UDOIT in Lockdown
Impact of Covid-19 on UDOIT Dance Foundation
Like all organisations the Covid-19 pandemic had a profound impact on UDOIT! when the lockdown came into effect at the end of March.
Our satellite clubs programme had been the main focus of our work, ensuring that young people living in communities (often deprived) across Wales had access to street dance. These clubs along with all school engagement sessions had come to a sudden end, meaning our young people now with little to no warning had no access to a physical club to keep physically active.
We were also due to commence with the Welsh National Schools dance competition at Sport Wales national centre, with 330 participants due to attend. Schools were shut down on the day this competition was due to go ahead meaning that the competition had to be cancelled.
While the lockdown has clearly had a significant impact on the organisation and the projects we deliver, we have looked to proactively adapt to the situation and we feel that we have managed to move rapidly and we hope successfully to be able to work in this new reality.
What have we done during Lockdown?
Over 80 Online Street Dance & Fitness tutorials-
We have worked with choreographers from around the UK to create free street dance lessons that vary in styles of street dance & all abilities catered for. Our videos are split into categories according to ability, to ensure that dancers/ non dancers and those who were interested in trying street dance, all had a platform they could go to. We also created a series of Street Fitness videos, these were easy to follow and aimed at those wanting more of a workout in the street dance style.
We created lessons aimed at targeted audiences such as parent & child, women & girls, males, young children & the Welsh language.These lessons highlight the inclusiveness of street dance and how a song/ different deliverer/ style of delivery can really tap into the preferences of these audiences.
We have also created helpful information videos such as
- What is street dance? (Understanding its history, the styles within street dance, what each style looks like) : http://alturl.com/sgk5s
- How street dance can help your mental health - Interview with Professional dancer & Judge Gemma Hoddy: http://alturl.com/b4m7m
- Getting through lockdown: http://alturl.com/sgwpt
- How street dance changed my life- Interview with professional dancer & judge Gemma Hoddy http://alturl.com/6koba
27 Live workshops-
We have worked with UK wide choreographers to provide Free live workshops, so young people can have the experience of being in
a class but from their living rooms! These workshops allowed the participants to have a sense of routine whilst in lockdown.
They knew the day and time the workshops would be held to help provide structure to their day.
We have also offered schools & sports partnerships access to exclusive zoom workshops for their school/classes/ groups for free to keep their young people active.
Improving our reach online & online resources
We now have a database with dancers, teachers, parents email addresses that we send out our newsletters with updates & opportunities to directly. Our facebook likes have increased by 1000, Instagram followers have increased by 8420, and YouTube subscribers have increased by 383.
We have a total of 626206 views on our online videos on Facebook (Lockdown videos only).
Schools have been utilising our online resources page on our website to assign our street dance lessons as homework during the home schooling period. We also created PDF homework sheets where QR codes were linked to videos including tasks & challenges which they would then report back to their teachers about what they learnt.
Increased our partners
We have used the period of lockdown to make new connections with partners who can help strengthen and add value to our work. These are varying from new dance schools to partner with as exit routes and delivery agents, new connections In local authorities/ Sports Partnerships & organisations who want to work with us on the satellite clubs programme when the new normal is more settled.
We have set up summer camps which are following the government guidelines in areas that are ready to Host sessions. These have started as outdoor socially distanced classes with bubbles, and now with the Guidelines changing they have in some places moved to indoors with limited capacity.
Street Dance Superstars
Our digital street dance programme aimed at primary school children has been a great resource of ours for young people to learn street dance through cross curricular themes and subjects. When homeschooling was brought in we in partnership with UDO made the decision to make this programme free for everyone in England to access.
The lockdown has given us time to think innovatively, think of ways that young people can still have fun & feel involved and part of something but from their homes. With our 3 upcoming national schools events being cancelled we wanted the young people to have something to look forward to so we have hosted 3 online competitions throughout the summer.
Each competition allowed us to learn from the previous and implement better experience for the participants, the judges & for us organising the events. There were other online competitions hosted throughout lockdown, but what made ours unique was that the participants were not required to dance live for the finals. We would shortlist to the final 12 and get them to send in another video to the song we provided. Running the competition this way helps those with lower confidence experience the competition in a way that’s of ease to them, knowing they can re record their videos and not have to compete live on zoom.
These have been popular with over 488 participants involved over the 3 competitions.