Mellado Dance Elite unrolls…

‘A 2021 Year-End Experience’

Dear Parents and Students,

Each year Mellado Dance Elite has provided students with an exciting performance opportunity through its year-end recital. The annual staple of the dance school, the recital, conjures images of childhood for many. It’s a rite of passage for thousands of youngsters; a chance for them to shine.

Last year our hearts hurt that a year-end recital could not be offered to our dancers and families.  We have been determined all year to not let that happen again.  And although we are still not in the place we hoped we might be a year later, we have a plan!  It’ll be different – but it will be … an exciting EXPERIENCE!!

MDE is pleased to announce – ‘A 2021 Year-End Experience’ – for all of our dancers.  This performing opportunity will allow our dancers to have an on-stage experience – and to have that anticipated moment in the spotlight.

Like a recital, but not a recital – this MDE Year-End Experience (MDE YEE) allows our students to participate in a professionally directed on-stage, theatre performance – one of the most important educational experiences for a dancer.   Performing opportunities help dancers to build self-esteem, self-assurance, and contribute to a sense of confidence. 

The MDE Year-End Experience is currently taking shape as this announcement is released.  Very careful planning and thought has gone into it, and more specific details will be released as available.  Please read below carefully for the layout of MDE’s YEE.

DATE:      Friday, June 4th to Sunday, June 6th

TIME:      TBA – exact times specific to each dancer

PLACE:    The Act Theatre, Maple Ridge

DETAILS:

  • Students will rehearse, and then perform all group routines on-stage
  • Absolutely NO Audience allowed
  • All performances will be professionally filmed & photographed
  • Dancers, and staff, will wear masks at ALL times, including while performing

MDE is one of a very small select number of studios that The Act Theatre has specifically chosen to work with to allow an on-stage theatre experience for their students. We are honored to be one of the chosen few. Much communication, thought and planning has, and will continue to go into making this experience happen.

SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Both MDE and The Act Theatre have been in contact with the Fraser Health Authority, and all safety plans and protocols will be submitted for approval once final.  Rules will be strictly adhered to by all members involved – theatre staff, MDE staff, parents and dancers.  These rules will include the following:

  • At no time will there be more than 50 people in the entire building. 
  • Dancers will be scheduled to use the theatre lobby and stage in specific cohorts of under 40 kids.
  • All cleaning, sanitizing etc procedures will be in place.
  • Dressing rooms will NOT be used.
  • The theatre lobby will have 40 distanced, taped-off squares of space – one for each performer.
  • Dancers will use individual pop-up tents to change costumes.  Hair & make-up will be the same for all dances.
  • Masks will be worn by all, at ALL times – including while dancing on stage.
  • Absolutely no parents will be allowed to enter the theatre. 
  • After each cohort has completed their ‘set’ of routines, the entire theatre will be emptied.  A 30-minute cleaning break will happen between each cohort.

ON-STAGE DETAILS

All performances will be professionally recorded by Cake Walk Media, and still photos will also be taken.  Families will be given access to the recordings and photos – as this is part of the MDE Media Package that each dancer has already paid for.  (Individual dancer photos taken at the studio are also part of this package.)

Dancers will wear masks at all times – including during their performance. 

MDE staff will direct each group to the stage area in turn, and dancers will be able to both rehearse, and perform their routine in their time slot.  The performance will be just like a recital event – but without the live audience.  The dancers perform on stage, in costume, with full lighting etc. 

The MDE YEE will not be live-streamed.  Instead, families will be able to eagerly anticipate the ‘release’ of the performance experience video footage and be able to watch it comfortably in their own home – along with their dancer.  A wonderful night of arts & entertainment to enjoy!

OFF-STAGE DETAILS

Families and dancers will be asked to follow very specific guidelines – there will be no exceptions made, or room for flexibility.

Each student will be given a specific time(s) to attend the theatre in a specific cohort(s) of under 40 dancers.  Some dancers may be part of additional cohorts, and may need to attend an additional allocated time slot.

It is requested that only one parent accompany their dancer(s) to the theatre entrance/exit.  The parent will ‘register’ their dancer with an MDE staff member upon arrival, and the dancer will be the only one admitted access into the building.  Parents will not be allowed to enter.  Once dancer has been signed in (and again upon pick-up), all families and parents are asked to leave the area and not congregate.

Dancers will be assigned a specific ‘square’ in the lobby that will be their space for the length of their session.  Dancers will be asked to bring minimal belongings, and all items will be kept in their own ‘square’ of space.

All hair and make-up will be the same for dance routines.  No changes will be necessary.

Students needing to change costumes will be assisted by MDE staff/teachers, and will be able to use individual pop-up tents provided.

All dancers will be given an MDE Performance Mask as part of their costume – to be worn at all times while at the theatre.

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE COMMITMENT

MDE is ecstatic that The Act Theatre chose our studio to be one of those that they were willing to work with to offer this experience to dancers.  This is a big deal!

To put this experience plan into action, takes commitment from many people.  MDE staff and theatre staff will work hard to carry out this approved plan.  Dancers have shown commitment all year long by attending classes in-studio and on zoom.  We also need the support of all parents and families to help make this experience attainable for their dancer(s).  As dance is a team sport, we hope to have all families on-board with us.

A well-planned and high quality educational experience does not happen for free.  Unfortunately the theatre will still be charging the full rental fee to its users.  MDE will be paying over $15,000 in rental fees alone to make this happen.

In the past, ticket sale and lobby sale income has been used to off-set the costs of putting on our recital.  However this year it is not possible to do either.  Thus we are requiring each dancer to pay a Performance Fee of $65.00 to help cover theatre expenses.  Just like a child attending a special field trip, a fee is required to have these special experiences.   And this performance fee is in lieu of families spending further money on show tickets.  We thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

COVID-19 DISCLAIMER

Fraser Health is currently aware of our performance experience plan.  All final plans and details will be re-submitted for final approval.  The plans being made will follow all current Provincial Health Orders.  If PHO change, we will be required to adhere to them.  If MDE is not able to hold this performing experience, and the theatre is forced to close, all Performing Fee monies will be refunded.

Thank you for your attention to the details of this announcement.  We are very, very excited to be able to get our dancers on stage!  Our hearts are hopeful and full!

More details will come in the next few weeks – but please do mark the dates of June 4th – 6th off on your calendar for this special experience!

Please click on video link below for my personal message to our MDE dance families:
https://youtu.be/AnFACm99boI

Please find attached the MDE 2021 YEE Hair-Tights-Shoe Tracker!

This tracker is organized by regular class day/time, and listed are the tights, hairstyle and shoes your dancer will need as part of their costume.

Efforts have been made to simplify these requirements, as time between routines is limited, as well as not having the assistance of class mom’s this year. MDE staff will assist dancers with costume and hair changes as needed.

Please send your dancer with all the required supplies needed for each of their routines. Good organization is imperative.

All dancers are to arrive at the theatre in costume, with hair & make-up complete. If your dancer has more than one routine, please arrive in the costume of their first routine of the cohort order.

ALL dancers are required to have the proper tights and dance shoes for their big moment on stage. Tights can be purchased from The Dance Box (in Coquitlam) or online through our Johnny Brown online store. Delivery generally takes 3-5 business days but we encourage you to order or pick up supplies soon as many of these items are in high demand this time of year. To visit our Johnny Brown site: https://mellado-dance.johnnybrown.ca/en/. Tights and Shoes on the Johnny Brown site are organized by level/age of dancers.

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