Updates and information about returning to campus for students of the School of Dance
will be published on this page throughout the summer.
Dance Information Session
Upcoming session will be Monday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m.
Interim School of Dance Dean Jared Redick with dance faculty and staff, Head Athletic
Trainer Laura Santos, admissions liaison Rob Myers, and Student Affairs staff Laurel
Donley. They discussed safety protocol for the School of Dance, how class instruction
will be delivered, repertory, and the winter break period.
June 30, 2020 – Interim School of Dance Dean Jared Redick shares updates and answers
dance-related questions regarding returning to campus. (Video length 01:04:49)
For barre, students will be spaced a minimum of 8 feet apart. For center, all studios
and de Mille Theatre will have the floor taped out in 10-foot by 10-foot grids to
allow for appropriate physical distancing.
Yes, but the teacher will be able to observe and communicate with the remote class
via Zoom through new technology with which each classroom will be equipped.
Students have been pre-placed according to audition notes (new students) and faculty
discussion (returning students). Placement will be adjusted during the first week
of classes; faculty will view classes via Zoom to make sure the placement/level is
For this year only, because of scheduling limitations, new contemporary high school
students will be placed in their own ballet level, and new contemporary college students
will be placed in their own level. Second-, third-, and fourth-year students will
move up a level from last year’s placement.
Some classes will occur on Saturdays.
Yes. Hand hygiene should be performed before handling personal items including water
This is still in discussion, but we are working to identify appropriate spaces should
an individual faculty member wish to hold class outside.
These precautions will be in place until different guidance is given from the governor,
the UNC System Office, and/or health officials.
Exterior studio doors will not be left open. This will not allow the HVAC system to
function properly. Our system will circulate fresh air four times an hour.
For fall, there will not be any performances with a live audience in attendance; however,
we will be doing repertoire through film and online. Regarding spring performances,
we will make the determination during the fall semester with guidance from the governor,
the UNC System Office and/or health officials. We are exploring the possibilities
of concerts in the Stevens Center, an outdoor venue, and/or a virtual experience.
The pieces and repertory will be designed to have no crowding and no touching; physical
distancing will continue in rehearsals.
It is our intention to facilitate Emerging, Pluck and Spree to the best of our abilities,
given the constraints under which we are currently working. Kira Blazek-Ziaii will
still be the teacher for the Emerging yearlong course and will be working with both
solo and group dance formats. We are still in conversation about the possibilities
to manage seniors choreographing small, socially distanced group works, either in
the fall or spring, with work on the Pluck solo taking place the alternate semester.
All solo and group work will involve a film component – something that Kira is very
experienced teaching. There will not be an Emerging concert in the fall; it is too
soon to bring back audiences into theaters in the fall, although there could be a
virtual Emerging concert. The senior class will move on to their Emerging and Pluck
curricula and will not have a redo of the Spree due to time and space constraints.
We are still looking at the possibility of spring performances, perhaps outdoors,
but this is still conjecture at this point. The Pluck Project still has credit for
the space rented last year in New York City; the trip is a big maybe due to the unknowns
of the virus. A filmed compilation of Pluck solos will take place whether there is
a trip or not. Gaspard Louis will be our guest to create a group work for the Pluck
dancers; he will be working virtually in the fall, and hopefully in-person in the
Spree is also an open question at this point in time. Sean Sullivan will be working
with the M3 composition class in the fall on building the skills needed for group
choreography. If there is the possibility in spring for students to work with small
groups of students on choreography, we will certainly be doing that. However, the
constraints of time and space for student-choreographed group pieces, as well as any
possible performances, are still up in the air.
As noted in the UNCSA Community Health Standards, “Anyone on campus is required to wear a mask when around other people unless otherwise
officially warranted by practical classwork (i.e., playing a wind instrument).” Since
masks are required in public spaces, students should already be masked before they
reach the studio for class or rehearsal.
Also, in the Standards: “UNCSA will provide masks to everyone on campus.” The plan
is to provide a small number (two to five) of reusable cloth face coverings to each
student at the start of the semester. Students are expected to maintain their own
supply of masks that fit appropriately and can be cleaned regularly (CDC guidance
Make sure your cloth face covering: (CDC, 4/4/20)
fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
completely covers the nose and mouth
is secured with ties or ear loops
includes multiple layers of fabric
allows for breathing without restriction
can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Because moisture from sweat or secretions from the mouth or nose can make it harder
to breathe in a mask and make the mask less effective, it is recommended that students
change masks as frequently as needed to maintain comfort and effectiveness. A reasonable
plan would be to budget for 1 mask per class per day. How many masks a student will
need depends on how frequently they’ll wash them.
Other than total isolation, there is no 100% effective way to prevent the spread of
the virus that causes COVID-19. Social distancing, hand hygiene, and masks, in addition
to frequent cleaning and disinfection practices, combine to give what infection prevention
specialist Karen Hoffmann refers to as “layers of protection.”
During a dance class, there are multiple people in a closed space breathing more heavily
and frequently due to exertion, which increases opportunities for infection to spread
from one person to others via respiratory droplets. When socially distanced, there
is lower risk that the droplets will make it out of a dancer’s 10 foot by 10 foot
defined area—but lower risk doesn’t equal zero risk. To bring the risk down even further,
masks become important to hold the droplets in and prevent most of them from being
expelled into the environment.
Yes. Infection prevention specialist Karen Hoffmann said there should be no adverse
effects from wearing a mask during exercise. Should a dancer experience dizziness/lightheadedness,
fatigue, or difficulty breathing during class, they should stop dancing and rest.
The immediate and intended health benefit of exercising in a mask currently is the
reduced spread of respiratory droplets. Others wearing masks protect you from infection,
and you wearing a mask protect others.
Athletes sometimes train with masks with the goal of improving respiratory endurance.
There is mixed evidence as to whether these strategies have their intended effect.
Right now, we are only offering withdraw or withdraw for extenuating circumstances.
If someone decides that they cannot attend UNCSA prior to the start of the semester,
a student may withdraw from UNCSA and when they are ready to return, they must reapply.
If there are extenuating circumstances once the semester has started, UNCSA offers
a withdrawal for extenuating circumstances, which allows for no grade penalty.
Our Office of Student Assistance and Support (Case Management) will be working with students who are quarantined and the student’s faculty members
to support the student during their time of quarantine and beyond. Students will have
access to class materials and will be permitted to do work in their space as they
can. Students may also have the capabilities to continue to participate virtually
in the classes.
Unfortunately, there will be no Intensive Arts this year. We are discussing optional
January online class offerings to possibly offer guest master classes or workshops.
Studio space is at a premium and will be used for classes and faculty rehearsals for
nearly every available minute. The School of Dance is in consultation with the administration
to see if students working independently in studios (should there be any space availability)
is something that will be permitted.
Depending on the status of the pandemic and the success of our campus efforts to mitigate
the impact on our community, there is the potential for this type of engagement. The
shape that this January activity might take will become clearer as we move through
the fall semester, but there is definite willingness to examine the possibility. Unfortunately,
this is a question that will not have a more concrete answer until we are into the
Student safety is at the center of every decision we make at UNCSA. If there is a
situation where there is extreme weather, we will make modifications to address student
Yes, as long as the school safety protocols are followed, and the projects do not
conflict with Dance or academic classes
School of Dance students will continue to have access to two licensed athletic trainers
and a dually credentialed physical therapist/licensed athletic trainer. Both telehealth
(via secure videoconferencing platform) and in-person visits will be available, including
same-day visits for new injuries. The number of students in the clinic at any one
time will be limited and visit times will be extended to allow for additional cleaning
and disinfection. The cold whirlpool will not be available for general use. Most performance
optimization activities will be in online format.
Students will submit an attestation daily regarding potential COVID-19 symptoms, including
temperature over 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very important for students to stay
in their residence if they feel ill at all. Since asymptomatic and presymptomatic
individuals can infect others, social distancing, wearing face masks, and hand hygiene
are together more effective than daily temperature checks in preventing the spread
of the virus that causes COVID-19.