COVID-19 Update and Policies for our 2021 Season
First and foremost, we want to thank everyone for their support and patronage as we continue to navigate through the 2020/2021 season. The safety of our clients, dancers, and staff is of the utmost importance as we return to the stage.
We are closely monitoring information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the venue itself to oversee this matter. 2021 venues have been booked with capacity limits and distancing requirements in mind. We are working overtime to ensure your dancers and families have something to look forward to this competitive season.
Since COVID-19 has affected each region of the US differently we have been in contact with local authorities to ensure the health and safety of our attendees at each event. If your event will have additional precautions required, your studio director will receive an email prior to the event outlining anything our attendees must be aware of for the event. These additional precautions will also be sent in your TENTATIVE & FINALIZED schedules and will be included in the PDF documents that can be forwarded to your families.
These policies mirror the ones of our in-house staff along with the specific guidelines and requirements for each venue and city. Based on information to date, all events are being monitored weekly. We will keep our studios updated should anything change.
ONSITE EVENT SAFETY MEASURES & GUIDELINES
Please review our complete Covid-19 information to understand the plan we are ready to implement this season to guarantee an incredible experience! While we are still under the constraints of operating with COVID-19, we know that conducting a live, strategically organized competition is a much easier task and we are confident in the ability to limit numbers and social distance during our events. Also, we are confident in YOUR ability to help us by adhering to the guidelines and policies set forth below.
REQUEST TO LIMIT OBSERVERS / LIVE FEED
We are asking that the parent(s)/caregiver(s) of each registered competition dancer plan on minimizing the number of at-event observers. We recommend inviting only one or two observers per performer. Closer to each scheduled event, we will provide additional details regarding the number of competition observers permitted since information and guidelines are constantly evolving. Symposium and/or the Management team at the venue reserve the right to minimize the number of observers we have in any ballroom or auditorium. We will be livestreaming our entire competition and awards ceremony so that most viewers can enjoy watching from the safety of their home. Our competition live feed will be accessed from the homepage of our website. During the live competition, we will have our audience seating strategically organized to facilitate social distancing. If restrictions only permit that we allow “X” amount of people in an area at any given time, we will update our observer rules/regulations accordingly prior to the event. We will expect all attending studios to adhere to our observer rules set in advance of the event and communicate with their dancers and dance families accordingly to ensure they are followed.
SOCIAL DISTANCING & SAFETY
In compliance with procedures set forth by the CDC, to mitigate the risks to our customers, employees and the public, Symposium is asking that everyone please practice social distancing when not on stage. Until guidelines are lifted, it is strongly recommended a mask or face covering also be worn when not on stage. This might be required/mandated in some regions. If so, we will update the information we provide the week ahead of the event accordingly. Masks will NOT be required on stage WHILE PERFORMING, unless the state & local government mandates change regarding this in any one area at the time of your event. Masks WILL be required for performers that wish to be on stage during the live awards ceremony. However, we will leave the decision of whether to wear masks while performing on stage or not to the discretion of performers and attending studio owners/directors. If any dancer(s) opt to wear masks when competing, points will not be deducted.
We will be checking temperatures of observers and dancers with infra-red thermometers. Any person with a temperature of 100°F or above will NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE EVENT. Our Symposium staff will be monitored for elevated temperatures and symptoms throughout the entire event.
UTILIZING OUR EVENT SPACE
Depending on the venue, we will divide the large amount of designated event space throughout our entire competition into at least three to four separate areas. One of our rooms will be designated as the ‘holding area’ and will be supplemental to the common space at the hotel. Our holding area will be utilized whenever attendees arrive a half hour prior to their scheduled performance time. In a ballroom setting, one to two areas will be designated as dressing rooms and another large area will be used for our competition main stage. Upon your arrival to the event, Symposium staff members will direct you to your designated area.
PLAN A – STANDARD COMPETITION FORMAT
We know that the most rewarding and fulfilling experience your dancers can have is by attending Symposium’s standard competition format. This is the competition experience you are all used to. This will be our preferred mode of operation in 2021, but with certain obvious adjustments. Temperature checks upon entry, heightened disinfecting measures and modified audience seating to allow for social distancing, these shows will run as close to our standard format as possible. We WILL MANDATE the wearing of masks on stage during the live awards ceremony. Participation in the awards ceremonies are optional. Please notify staff if you prefer to pick up your awards at the conclusion of the event.
PLAN B – STRATEGIC GROUPING OF COMPETITION LINE UP
While it’s easier to control social distancing during a solo or duo/trio competition by use of entry blocking, we realize that large group, line and production entries typically mean a higher level of backstage, dressing room and spectator traffic. For this reason, we plan on dividing our competition up and scheduling studio blocked time frames in which certain sets of studios can compete either all their routines or at least all their group, line and production routines at one time. This does not necessarily mean that just your own studio will have a private time slot, but it does mean that we will consider the size of each studio, the number of attending competition dancers and the number of entries registered. This information will allow us to coordinate groupings and still adhere to limited participant numbers both on stage, in the designated dressing areas, holding room, and audience at all times. Overall, this method of organization will allow each participant to minimize contact with others outside their home studio. Symposium will communicate with each registrant as to their specific studio organized schedule within 1-2 weeks in advance of the event dates. Each studio and registrant can expect that all their group, line and production routines will be scheduled to perform on either Saturday or Sunday. Depending on the number of entries received, we will either designate solo, duo and trio routines compete Friday afternoon OR it may be possible that we also include all or a portion of our solo, duo and trio entries within our studio blocked sets along with their group, line and production routines. If all or most solo, duo and trio entries are scheduled on Friday, we will utilize an ENTRY BLOCKING method to control our audience, backstage area and dressing room(s) during this time. EXAMPLE: We may schedule solo, duo, trio entries #1-#20 to perform, then allow dancer and spectators to transition prior to allowing entries #21-#40 to enter the competition space. This will allow us to still focus on primarily arranging our solo, duo and trio competition in an age division order on Friday (starting with our younger dancers and ending with our older ones).
DESIGNATED HOLDING AREA AND DRESSING ROOMS
We will be strict in the control and monitoring of the dressing room, audience and backstage traffic to ensure that only the dancers and studios involved in each designated portion of our competition are represented in those areas during that time. We will take adequate breaks between our entry blocking and/or studio sets to allow the ability for our Symposium team members to clear, re-clean and then transition the next set of dancers/observers into each designated room. We will ask that all attendees (dancers, observers, teachers) not show up in the designated competition areas (stage, audience, holding room, or dressing areas) any earlier than 30 minutes ahead of their scheduled performance time. This is extremely important as it will allow our faculty and team members to maintain proper disinfecting and sanitizing procedures between each scheduled set of entries. Dancers should arrive warmed up, in their first costume and in full make up for their first scheduled routine. When arriving, we are asking that ONLY registered dancers and attending teachers enter our holding area (or adequate common space in the hotel) to warm up. Our holding area will NOT be a dressing room, which is another reason it is important that all dancers arrive wearing their first assigned costume. This area will allow both male and female teachers and dancers to gather from our small groupings of studios who are set to compete in the following group of assigned studio entries. The holding area is NOT a ‘hang out’ for parents and observers, WE WILL MAINTAIN STRICT ADHERENCE TO THIS RULE. Attending observers are asked to remain in a common area within the hotel or outside the competition stage until the assigned transition time stated on the event schedule. To avoid the risk of us running ahead of schedule, we will guarantee that we will not begin each set until the designated start time stated in our pre- event line up. We are slowing down the pace of our numbers to avoid any traffic backstage and, also to accommodate quick change needs for all attending studio performance schedules. If we tend to run slightly ahead during any set of entries, we will simply take a longer break and commit to starting the next set on time. We also ask that all attendees (dancers, teachers, observers) please clear quickly after their assigned block is complete to respect the way our active line up and transition protocols will need to operate. Once we make sure that our dressing areas are cleared and cleaned, we will have Symposium team members help control the transition of dancers from our ‘holding area’ to our dressing areas closer to the start of their section.
LINE UP PROCEDURES
Our backstage coordinators will only allow a certain amount of routines backstage at any given time. We will have one coordinator outside the entrance to our Mainstage and another lineup coordinator housed directly backstage. Our team will work together to assure that both areas respect proximity between groups and to control the transition of routines on and off stage throughout our event. When productions take the stage, we will allow ONLY that group’s dancers/teachers/prop parents permitted backstage during that time.
Our adjudicated awards will be presented by our competition emcee on stage at the end of each assigned time block. Currently, we ask that only 1-2 dancer or studio representatives remain to collect awards. We are asking that studio owners/directors please distribute all trophies, medals, and ribbons to their attending dancers after they have transitioned well away from our designated competition spaces following the conclusion of their assigned competition set. This will prevent congestion and allow for clearing and cleaning during the transitional periods between sets.
OVERALL AWARDS CEREMONY
SOLO DUO TRIOS- If all or an entire portion of our Solo, Duo, Trio competition is scheduled to compete on Friday afternoon, we will hold both the individual and overall awards ceremony at the conclusion of their age division. We will only allow 1 teacher or parent representative from each studio to be present when individual and overall awards are presented. If restrictions allow during any one event, we may allow 1-2 dancer representative to sit in the audience during individual awards and take the stage for our overall solo, duo, and trio awards ceremony. He/she must be wearing a mask at that time.
GROUPS, LINES & PRODUCTIONS- Our event emcee will be presenting the Group, Line, Production and Super Production Overall Awards during one live event awards ceremony at the conclusion of our event. This may include a portion of our solo, duo and trio overall awards in the event any of those routines end up being scheduled within their studio blocked group entries. During our Overall Awards Ceremony, we highly recommend that 1-2 designated studio owners/directors/teachers attend in order to collect their studios overall trophies. If any studio is unable to have a representative at the Overall Awards Ceremony, we kindly ask that they alert us ahead of the event. In this case, we will arrange to pick up the attending studio their Overall Trophies by the conclusion of the event.
WATER / FOOD
We are requesting that dancers pack any necessary water/snacks in order to stay hydrated and energized during their assigned competition block at our event. Large trash cans will be located in each area at our event, and we are kindly asking that all attendees please discard any items necessary to help us stay on top of our transition protocol between each set.
MEASURES WE ARE TAKING AS A FACULTY
Our faculty is committed to exercising the healthy steps and guidelines outlined for the prevention of sickness. We love our reputation of being friendly and personable with attendees but will obey all social distancing throughout our event. Air hugs and air high fives are welcome! Our staff will also be monitored for temperature & well-being throughout the event.
If any attendee becomes ill or cannot attend last minute, we will not be deducting any points for potential ‘holes’ in routines. In this case, we simply ask that the studio Owner/Director or choreographer inform our backstage line up coordinators within a few numbers prior to the performance and we will communicate effectively with our judges at that time. This avoids the need to stress regarding re-staging routines due to sickness or absences. Potential ‘holes’ in routines will not negatively affect scoring. Safety must come first, so assure that every participant within your studio if feeling 100% healthy prior to their attendance. If your studio makes the decision to create pieces in which dancers within your routines avoid physical contact with each other during choreography, we will support your decision and avoid any judging critiques that recommend otherwise. We want you to feel 100% confident and safe in any decisions you make within your home studios this season involving the safety of your dancers.
DISINFECTING AND SANITIZING THE VENUE
After each assigned ‘time block’ has been completed, the Symposium staff along with the facility staff will fully clean and disinfect following the guidelines of the CDC. We do recommend that all attendees remember to wash their hands frequently with warm soap and water and/or use their own hand sanitizer. We also recommend each attendee bring his/her own mask. While Symposium plans to have a limited number of masks for sale at our front desk, we will not be providing them. Avoid contact with people who are sick and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe. Hand sanitizer will be available for dancers exiting the stage.