We have compiled some FAQs (frequently asked questions) to help individuals and Local Groups plan ahead and assess risks.
Please scroll through the sections below to read the General, Participant and Local Group Committee FAQs.
Dance to Health delivers a high quality falls-prevention dance programme to people around England and Wales. Our participants range in age from 55 to 90 years old, many of whom are most at risk from coronavirus.
Our primary concern is the safety of our participants and Dance Artists and we encourage Local Groups to fully consult members before making a decision to restart classes. The final decision to reopen should be a joint one between groups, Dance Artists and the community venues.
For detail of the risk assessment and operational procedures AESOP – Reopening Guidelines for Local Groups is available to read and download.
GUIDANCE UP-TO-DATE 4th September 2020.
1: Are all Dance to Health Local Groups restarting?
No. We do not advise groups to automatically restart at this time, just because community sports and dance classes can now be held. We advise that all groups’ committees fully consult members, venues and Dance Artists and carry out a risk assessment to determine if they can resume classes in a safe, socially distanced way while remaining financially self-sufficient. If the safety of members is uncertain or there are not many group members who feel confident returning to class, then the group should remain suspended.
2: Will Dance to Health Online classes remain?
Yes, while face-to-face classes are not possible we will continue to provide at least one online class in each region each week. These may not be with your regular Dance Artist, but all online sessions are delivered by one of our qualified, regional Dance to Health dance artists.
FAQs for individual participants
1: I am a high-risk individual and don’t feel safe returning to class – what should I do?
Stay at home and practice the social distancing protocols outlined by Public Health England and Public Health Wales. Join our Online Sessions or buy our DVD.
2: Will my place in the class be forfeited if I can’t return?
No absolutely not, if you are a regular member of one of our Local Groups your place is safe. You are welcome to return to the group at any point when you decide it is OK for you. You won’t be penalised for deciding to remain at home to keep yourself or your family members safe.
3: I am worried about losing my fitness and strength while classes are closed.
We have online classes you can join, click on this link for more information CLICK HERE for online classes.
We have produced a DVD of Dance to Health sessions which costs £5 and you can order one by ringing or emailing your Dance Artist, Local Coordinator or Aesop Head Office on 01993 870 161 / email@example.com.
Our newsletter will be emailed out to all participants with email addresses and printed copies are available from regional volunteers. The newsletter will contain suggestions for exercises and activities to do at home and will be distributed every six weeks.
4: I am taking part in an online class – will these remain?
Yes, we will keep online classes for as long as COVID-19 is a cause for concern to ensure people can exercise and dance safely from home.
5: I want to go back to face-to-face classes, what should I do?
Contact your group’s committee and let them know how you feel. It’s important that everyone’s views are taken into account when making the decision to resume classes. If more than half of your group wishes to return to face-to-face sessions your committee and Dance Artist should carry out a thorough risk assessment following our guidelines.
It’s also important that your group works out if the number of people willing to attend will be able to pay for the Dance Artist’s fee of £80 per weekly session, venue hire and other costs. This may mean you have to pay more subs until everyone can come back to class. Alternatively, your group may want to run online and face-to-face classes together so you can choose take part in person or follow along at home.
6: I want to help – what can I do?
Contact your committee or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can offer you training in helping your local group members to get online, to access our DVD and written resources or to act as a social contact for people unable to attend online classes. We have free training available for all our volunteers.
FAQs for Local Group Committees
1: How do I contact my group’s members?
You or your dance artist will have a list of members with phone numbers and email addresses (where supplied). This is the list used to contact people if a class needs to be cancelled. It is OK to use this list to contact people in your group on matters directly related to Dance to Health. Please do NOT use this contact information for any other reason – that would be a breach of UK data protection legislation.
2: How do I find out what’s happening at our community venue?
You can call them yourself and explain your situation. Ask the venue for their policy on resuming community classes and ask about their COVID-19 specific risk assessment. Some important things to consider:
- What cleaning protocols are in place, how frequent is cleaning, what is being cleaned?
- The maximum number of people allowed on site and in the room you use.
- Are venue staff getting COVID-19 awareness training?
- Use of public toilets on site.
- Access to the building, one way systems and social distancing rules on site.
- Are groups being spaced out more through the day to ensure communal rooms can be cleaned?
- Do masks need to be worn in public areas of the building?
- What ventilation is available for the room that you use?
3: How do I find out what sessions my Dance Artist can do right now?
Contact them. Some Dance Artists have family commitments and have been unable to provide online services while schools are closed. They may have medical conditions themselves which put them at risk, or they may have family members who do. You will need to find out what they are able to do with regards to providing online or face-to-face classes. We are committed to providing at least one online class per region while COVID-19 is a risk, but we must work with the Dance Artists who are available and that may not be your regular Dance Artist.
4: What needs to be in a risk assessment?
Read Aesop’s Reopening Guidance for Local Groups and our risk assessment materials. Then working with your Dance Artist, identify infection risks to the people and staff involved with the group, for example:
- Contact with the virus through using doors and hand rails.
- Contact with an asymptomatic but infectious person in class.
- Contact with a sick person in class.
- Travelling to the class on public transport.
- Using public toilets.
- Handling loose change and notes.
- Moving and touching chairs which may not be completely clean.
- Using tables and surfaces to register people.
- What ventiliation is available, is it adequate?
- Using equipment like mats or resistance bands.
- Should family members only support a frailer person during sessions?
- How will hearing impaired participants understand the session if socially distanced?
- How to manage first aid if an accident occurs during a session.
- Tracking and tracing people if a COVID case occurs within your group.
- List them and judge how likely it is that this will happen and how damaging it would be if it occurred. Think up realistic ways to reduce the likelihood and/or severity in each case and reassess the risk? Is it OK now or still too dangerous?
If risks are low to low-moderate, there are a manageable number of risks, everyone is made fully aware of where and how they may be exposed to infection, and people still wish to go ahead and restart the sessions, then you should proceed carefully and review your procedures regularly.
5: What financial considerations are there?
If fewer people are able to attend your local group sessions, you will bring in less money. The minimum you need to raise through subscriptions each week is the amount needed to pay your Dance Artist and the venue hire cost. You may need to temporarily increase your subscription amount to cover this or carry out additional fundraising in your community. Estimate your income from weekly subs and any shortfall. Plan how you will make up any difference before restarting sessions.
6: Do people need to wear a mask if groups reopen?
No, the Government’s guidance is clear that no one needs to wear a mask when exercising indoors. Masks don’t obstruct airflow in people who are doing low level activity such as sitting, standing or walking. The oxygen requirements for an average person doing a low level intensity activity would be about 3.5 millilitres of oxygen per Kg of bodyweight per min. Moderate to high level intensity exercise, such as parts of a Dance to Health class, requires 3-6 times more oxygen and this would be affected by wearing a mask.
7: Where can I go to find help on safely restarting our group?
The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) has guidance here:
EMD UK, the national governing body for exercise to music, have also issued guidance.
8: Is there any training I can do to prepare our group or volunteers to manage our classes post-COVID?
Yes, this course is free and set up by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, and Sport England: