COVID-19 Updates

Studio Update

Thursday, November 18, 2020

In accordance with Governor Walz' Executive Order 20-99, all in-person classes and private lessons are paused from Sat, Nov 21 through Fri, Dec 18
We will hold all regular classes via Google Meet starting Saturday, November 21.
Details for Google Meet, Pre-Ballet, and Nutcracker Spirit are to come.
We will hold evening classes Thur, Nov 19 and Fri, Nov 20 in person as planned.
We will proceed with our Thanksgiving Break (Nov 21-28)
and Winter Break (Dec 13-Jan 3) as planned.

We're glad to report that since reopening in June, ABAA has had zero outbreaks and zero cases of COVID-19 being contracted at our studio. Your caution makes a difference!

We'll have more information in the coming days about how we are moving forward, and we appreciate your patience and support.

Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2020, 12:30pm

Update: Revised Health and Safety Plan Available

Thank you for your patience as we work through an ever-changing situation and make plans we believe to be in the best interest of our students, art form, and community.

The latest version of our visual guide (PDF) is available now. Note our updated symptom screening procedure for the school year, and plan to perform your at-home symptom check before each day of classes at ABAA.

Updated: Sunday, August 2, 2020, 12:30pm

Update: Revised Health and Safety Plan Available

Thank you for your patience as we work through an ever-changing situation and make plans we believe to be in the best interest of our students, art form, and community.

Please view our Health and Safety Plan on the website, in PDF format, or in our visual guide (PDF)

Updated: Friday, May 22, 2020, 10:30am

Update: Health and Safety Plan Available for Summer Programs

Thank you for your patience as we work through an ever-changing situation and make plans we believe to be in the best interest of our students, art form, and community.

Please view our Health and Safety Plan, available on the website here, or in PDF format here Please view updated Health and Safety Plan in the above update

Updated: Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 3:00pm

Update: Cancelation of 2020 Défilé Performance

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our 2020 Défilé has been cancelled.

Please know that we at ABAA have not made this decision lightly. After considering the ongoing advice from local government and health officials to refrain from gathering in large groups, we've realized that in a performance setting this is unavoidable. We were unable to find a feasible way to reschedule this performance; therefore, the most responsible option we have is to cancel.

Please also know that as the director, every year's Défilé brings me so much joy as I see how rewarding it is for our students to display their hard work onstage. I recognize that canceling Défilé will likely be disappointing, and I apologize. I will greatly miss seeing our students grace the stage this year; and even in spite of this cancellation, I want to encourage us all to turn a hopeful eye toward future opportunities.

Despite our need to cancel Défilé this year, we'll continue to explore the educational and fun aspects of learning choreography by practicing our Défilé dances. We'll also create other opportunities to perform, both in person at home and by sending videos to teachers, friends, and family.

We know we'll continue to share the art and joy of dance with you via virtual dance classes and online learning materials. We're eager to return to the studio in person as soon as it's safe to do so.

Each account will receive a credit for Défilé fees ($40 for Pre-Ballet and Junior dancers/$60 for Senior dancers), as well as a credit for the tickets purchased by the account. You will see the credit posted to your account by May 1st. Please feel free to use the credit for Summer sessions (registration currently open), private lessons, or our 2020-2021 School Year Programs (registration beginning May 15th).

Once again, thank you so much for your ongoing support and understanding at this difficult time.

Update: 2020 Summer Programs Remain Scheduled as Planned

As of today, we have not yet made any changes to our Summer Programs. We are hoping to hold 2020 Summer Programs as planned if government and health officials advise that it is safe to do so. We will implement a safety plan at that time.

Students who are enrolled in 2020 Summer Programs (Summer Class Session, The Pre-Professional Dancer Summer Dance Intensive, Pre-Professional Study, Young Dancer Camps, and Nutcracker Prep Classes) will be notified by email of any changes.

Updated: Sunday, April 5, 2020, 10:30am

Update: Rescheduling of A Midsummer Night's Dream Performances

Hello ABAA Midsummer Cast members & Parents,

It was difficult to have to postpone our A Midsummer Night's Dream performances. We have appreciated your understanding and support around these decisions.

  • I am happy to announce that in partnership with the Ives Theatre, we have been able to reschedule these performances for future dates.
  • We will remain flexible at this unprecedented time and appreciate your understanding if/when we have to reschedule performances for the health and safety of everyone.
  • We remain dedicated to giving our students the performing opportunities they are looking forward to, even if not as formerly planned.
  • It is also great to keep in mind that while our performances are the icing on the cake, I truly believe that the most important thing we give your child is the personal connection to this beautiful art form that comes from dance education.

Performances have been rescheduled for Saturday, August 29th, 2020 at the Ives Theatre. All tickets have been transferred to the new date. We appreciate your support of the arts and our students by attending this performance.
We will set up the rehearsals and performances as a FUN week-long summer camp Tuesday, August 25th - Saturday, August 29th, 2020. Please see the attached "Midsummer Camp" (PDF) for details.

I do realize that the new dates may not work with your current summer plans. If that is the case, I do apologize.

Please trust that during this process, I considered all the possibilities, all the conflicts, the rehearsal availability, the theatre availability, the timing of summer plans, our financial budget, and the ever-changing world affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to our families for their support at this difficult time. As a small business, this is crucial to the future of our school. We are all in this together and we will continue to strive to share the art and joy of dance with our families and the community. We need joyful outlets more than ever and are grateful to be able to continue to share dance with you.

Thank you,
Ashley Burkland and the ABAA Staff

Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 8:00pm

Update: Return from Spring Break

Hello ABAA Students & Parents,

Updates: Covid-19 & Return from Spring Break
I hope you all are well! As our Spring Break draws to an end, I wanted to give you an update on how things are going “at the studio” and our plans for the next few months. While things remain uncertain, we will continue to be proactive and consider the advice of our government and health officials. Right now, the state mandate requires all recreational facilities to remain closed until May 1st, and as always, the health and safety of our staff, students, and their families is of the utmost importance.

Online Learning
We deeply appreciate all of the positive feedback we have received about our online learning materials. It warms my heart to hear the joy your child receives from them. Before the stay-at-home order went into effect, the ABAA faculty was at the studio, working hard to create more content for your child’s online learning materials. Although we would much rather be in the studio with your dancer, we are grateful to remain connected with our students, helping them to continue their dance studies and move their bodies. I truly believe that dance is good for the soul and the mind.

Flexible Timeline & Plans for Exciting “Virtual Classes”
The latest announcement from Governor Walz predicted online schooling until at least May 4th. We plan to follow this advice and the school systems. We are hopeful that we can return to the studio with our students after May 4th, but will also be flexible and know that this may not be the case. We will continue to provide our classes through online learning. We are very excited about our weekly themes to keep classes fresh and help our students progress. Each virtual class will consist of three parts:

Part 1: Warm-Up, Technique, & Theme Material
Part 2: Défilé - learning the art of memorizing choreography in a fun way!
Part 3: Fun “assignments” such as: coloring sheets, journaling, or supplementary videos to watch, learn from, and enjoy.

We realize it is hard to focus on a video for a normal class length, and believe this method gives the dancers a nice balance (pun intended). Teachers may veer from themes, depending on what each particular class needs, but in general, your child can look forward to the following classes:

Week 24 April 6 - 11
Vocabulary Day
    • Include previous barre/warm-up
    • Learn the vocabulary on the syllabus
      • Learn the step and meaning
      • Analyze the step and work on common corrections
      • Learn combinations to put the steps on context
Week 25 April 13 - 18
Choreography Day
    • Include previous barre/warm-up
    • Review and add on to Défilé dance
      • Review the dance and/or learn new steps
      • Analyze and work on common corrections
      • Assign students to “perform” for family at home, and send a video to teacher
Week 26 April 20 - 25
New Barre/Warm-Up Day
    • Learn a new barre/warm-up
    • Junior Level 2/3A & Up: Review Défilé barre exercises
    • Review Choreography Day & Vocabulary Day material
Week 27 April 27 - May 2
Stretch & Flexibility Day
    • Learn how to warm up, and combinations incorporating stretching
    • Stretch challenge!
    • Send in your "splits" photos or other challenge photos
Week 28 May 4 - 11 (Possible return to studio*)
New Center & Stretches
    • Include previous barre/warm-up
    • Learn new center combinations
    • Center stretch exercises
Week 29 May 13 - 18 (Possible return to studio*)
“Dress Rehearsal/Performance” Day 
    • Condense all video material for a full class - lots of dancing and music!
    • Défilé choreography review
    • Défilé "Performance" - Perform for family
    • Record and send “performance” video to teacher, we would love to watch! Share with family and friends.
Week 30 May 20 - 25 (Possible return to studio*)
“Sneak Peak”/ Post-Performance Day
    • Final review with lots of dancing and music!
    • Students will get a “sneak peak” of material they can look forward to learning next year!
    • Analyze Défilé "Performance" videos
Week 31 May 27 - June 1 (Possible return to studio*)
Last Class Celebration
    • Final fun vocab quiz
    • Stretch to see how much you've improved this year!
    • Perform your choreography
    • Learn “picture poses,” practice, & share!
Week 32 June 3 - 8 (Possible return to studio*)
Picture Week
    • We will work with Steve Lucas to reschedule if needed

*If we are able to return to the studio, classes will proceed as usual with full barre/warm-up, center work, choreography review, and preparation for Défilé

Performance Updates
We will email you updates on our performances in the coming days. Thank you for your continued patience while we work with our guest performers, theatres, tech crews, and the advice of government and health officials to formulate the best plan moving forward.

Moving Forward
Lastly, I would like to say thank you to our families for their support at this difficult time. As a small business, this is crucial to the future of our school. We are all in this together, and we will continue to strive to share the art and joy of dance with our "dance families" and the community. We are feeling the need for joyful outlets now more than ever, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue sharing dance with you.

"In a society that worships love, freedom and beauty, dance is sacred. It is a prayer for the future, a remembrance of the past and a joyful exclamation of thanks for the present."
- Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Thank you,
Ashley Burkland and the ABAA Staff

Last Updated: Sunday, March 29, 2020, 12:00pm

Update: ABAA is on Spring Break through April 5th, Virtual Classes Available Online

Hello, ABAA dancers and parents,

We are officially on Spring Break now!

Although everyone’s Spring Break time will be different than expected, I hope you enjoy the downtime and extra time with family. While we wish that we could have been in the studio with you last week, one positive aspect of our producing “virtual classes” is that you can access these videos over break and continue to move and learn.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work my faculty did last week to produce these videos. Within 24 hours of having to cancel in-studio classes, we implemented a new system for teaching and were able to stay connected. I am proud of how adaptable and committed our faculty is to continuing to bring the art and joy of dance education to our students.

As the world changes daily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to plan for the future, but we have to consider that it is looking more and more likely that we won’t be able to be in the studio with our students for some time. I want to reassure you that I am committed to continuing our school year program through “virtual classes" in whatever way possible while keeping my staff's safety and local and federal restrictions in mind - providing resources and continuity for our students is paramount.

We will continue to be proactive in our decisions for our staff and dance families. Our greatest concern is to keep our staff, cast members, collaborating artists, and our audiences and their families safe and healthy. We appreciate your understanding and support during this time. Please look for more email communication as our Spring Break, March 23 - April 4, draws to an end, and we are able to give further updates on this developing situation.

Thank you,
Ashley Burkland, Owner/Director, Ashley Ballet Arts Academy

How to access our “virtual classes” over Spring Break:

You can continue to access the classes emailed to you last week. We also have set up a webpage and will open all of our “virtual classes” to our students and their family members. Students may try classes they aren’t enrolled in - as long as it is at the same or lower level, due to safety reasons.
Password: Please reference our email from March 23 or contact the Director for access.

Safety Disclaimer:
Parents and dancers take responsibility of the use of the online classes and will not hold ABAA responsible for any injuries obtained while participating in ABAA’s “virtual dance classes” in their home.

Further updates will be emailed and posted Sunday, April 5th

We look forward to "returning" from Spring Break with more virtual classes to continue sharing the art and joy of dance education while the Governor's Stay-at-Home order is still in place.

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