Newsletter 04 - Starbrite news, August 28th, 2021 -

What a year it's been...

Does anyone else think that the past twelve months have just flown by? We can't believe that a year ago we were completely reinventing the Starbrite timetable after having to close our doors for five months.

September 2020 was the start of our show preparations where our fabulous performers took to the black box to produce a fantastic DVD, creating a wonderful, positive memory for the year.

Also in this time, we saw students take IDTA exams both via Zoom and also by a video recording with a 100% pass rate and results of up to 94% in our November and December sessions.

In January 2021 we were able to add more classes to the timetable. Tap dance was coming back! Yippee! This was also the time when we developed our interactive lesson plans to enhance our serious curriculum through vibrant presentations and other visual aids. These were very well received by everyone and something that we have continued to keep developing on our return back to the studios.

There has been no stopping our Starbrite students and teachers as we worked hard on preparations for our June IDTA exam session with another 100% pass rate, and then we have just celebrated more student success with our August session. Unfortunately, no results have been received but these can take up to three weeks from the exam date to be processed. Our examiner, Mrs Lee, did contact me to say what an honour it had been to watch such beautifully presented work which was well organised.

It has been an honour to be surrounded by such determined, enthusiastic and committed performers as they have adapted to their new classes and structure with ease. The one thing we take from this, especially during the pandemic, is that dance and performing arts does play a significant role in the development of children, providing them with structure, stability and positivity.

We can't thank everyone enough for their continued support, allowing us to keep providing high-quality classes in both Shiptonthorpe and York.

Looking forward

As we reflect on the past twelve months, it is time to start looking ahead at the exciting things happening at Starbrite (well, up to Christmas anyway). We thought that would be enough to cover within this newsletter!

Covid Strategy

Let us start with our Covid plan for September through to December. Even though we have all been told to carry on without the use of face masks and restrictions in place, we have decided that we will continue to run classes with social distancing measures still in place. The numbers of students within each class will increase slightly from September but we aim to control class capacity so we can continue to mark out performance spaces for each member, keeping them a safe distance apart. The use of antibacterial gel on the way in and out of classes will still be in place with all of our cleaning bubbles remaining so we can keep wiping down surfaces, floors and any props used before the next class arrives.

As part of our Covid risk assessment, we introduced a separate entrance and exit route into each studio space. This will also remain, but we do stress that parents and grandparents should use the markers outside the studios to queue as this will assist us with the signing out procedure. Waiting at the end of the back door corridor or in the car makes the process hard as we are then forced to leave other students, potentially, unattended whilst we search for parents. We thank you in advance for helping us continue to keep everyone safe.

Summer Holidays

We look forward to hearing all about your summer adventures when classes restart on Monday, September 6th. It has been wonderful to hear the studios full of vibrant and enthusiastic children within all of our summer workshops, developing new skills and talents. Amazingly, we could find all of our props and gymnastics equipment after having been in storage for nearly a year.

The Starbrite Café Re-opens

As part of our summer holiday schedule, we have used the time to freshen up and renovate our café space, getting ready to start serving hot drinks and food again.

To minimise congestion within our studio spaces, the café will no longer be used as a waiting area for children to be signed into classes, this will still be done from the studio doors. The café will now be a space where parents and children can relax with one of our speciality drinks and a piece of cake. The perfect opportunity to take some 'me-time' whilst your child is dancing or as a family treat before or after class.

We welcome you to come on in and enjoy the new space we have created for you. The reopening date will be released shortly.

As we all resettle back into the new term we will be using this time to expand our café menu, which will be launched later on in the year with many other exciting additions!

CPD Training

On August 16th and 17th, Miss Emma and Miss Destiny attended a two-day paediatric first aid course. We teamed up with the fabulous dance teachers from Derwent Danceworks for the course and it was extremely interesting. Over the past twenty-one years, Miss Emma has attended many first aid courses, but this was definitely the best. The instructor was very knowledgeable and passionate about her work which made for a great day, shared with like-minded people.

It's Show Time!

Yes, you read that correctly! It is that time of year again where we start putting the wheels in motion for our next production.

As mentioned at the start of the year, we will be again publishing another show DVD, utilising the amazing black box space we have within our Shiptonthorpe branch. With so much uncertainty around the virus, especially as we approach the winter months, we feel that the best way of still being able to host our annual show production and keep us all safe is by filming all of the show routines within timetabled lessons like we did last year.

Miss Emma and Miss Destiny had an eight-hour planning meeting last week, and yes it did involve a lot of tea and coffee that day, to finalise the choice of music and choreography which will feature within this year's production of 'A Night at the Musicals'.

Further details on how to secure your show package will be emailed in the coming weeks but for now, save the dates. Filming will take place during the last two weeks of the term from Monday, December 6th and will finish on Saturday, December 18th.

Starbrite Returns to York

We were given the green light to return to All Saints Hall in Upper Poppleton back in June. What an exciting time this was, as this was where Starbrite Studios first opened its doors back in 2002.

We returned with our Star Performer class, which combines two fantastic performance styles, commercial and musical theatre, in a space where self-expression and individuality are embraced.

It has been wonderful to reconnect with our York members and we look forward to continuing with the same timetable from Thursday, September 8th.

Due to hall restrictions we currently are only able to keep offering our Star Performer class from ages 3 and upwards.

Star Gymnast Classes

We will keep everything crossed as we try and relaunch our gymnastic classes (again)! We are overwhelmed by the response to these classes with some classes nearly at capacity already. Have you secured your place?

Our Star Gymnasts will train with both British Gymnastics and Acrobatic Arts teachers to develop their tricks and skills, working towards in house badges and qualifications as well as Acrobatic Arts certifications.

There will also be the opportunity to perform within competitions.

Zoom Virtual Classes

We will endeavour to keep a Zoom option available but this will be for individuals who have made a prior arrangement with us to attend class in this way. This will be made available for students who live too far away to access the classes at the studios.

If you would like to continue attending your Starbrite lessons virtually then please get in touch so we can arrange your Zoom meeting details.

New Term - New Faces

You will be introduced to some new faces to the Starbrite teaching team from September as we welcome:

Miss Claire

Miss Claire will be co-teaching with Miss Emma on Thursday evenings as part of our Star Gymnast programme at Shiptonthorpe. She will bring to the studios her British Gymnastics training and expertise alongside Miss Emma’s Acrobatic Arts knowledge to create confident gymnasts. Miss Claire is also an incredible tap teacher.

Miss Chloe

Miss Chloe will be teaching some of our Star Dancer classes on a Monday evening and Star Performer classes on a Wednesday. Miss Chloe is an Associate member of the IDTA and has just recently graduated from Addict Dance Academy with a First-Class BA Honours in Dance Performance.

Miss Hannah

Miss Hannah will be making an appearance once a month to guest teach in musical theatre jazz and commercial styles. Miss Hannah has recently graduated from Addict Dance Academy with a First-Class BA Honours in Dance Performance. She is also currently studying to be a personal trainer so we are excited to be able to bring that dynamic into Starbrite too.

Triplestar Associates set to return

Now we know we said we'd cover up to December, but we couldn't resist just slotting in the extremely exciting news that the Triplestar College Associate programme will be set to return in January 2022! With a fantastic line up of teachers bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge from the performing arts, this once a month associate scheme is the perfect training addition to our Starbrite members to further boost their technique and skill base ready for a strong career within the arts.

Further details will be released later in the year.

Do we ever stop?

Miss Emma and Mr P get this asked so many times, and from all of the above, we think you can guess that the answer is no! We love what we have created at Starbrite, and with so much passion and dedication to the arts, we thrive within our environment and love to see children and adults do the same.

We feel that there hasn't been a more appealing time to be a member of Starbrite Studios and we look forward to creating new but most importantly more positive memories for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.

With love, Miss Emma and Mr P X