It is with a heavy heart that I write this missive.
Everyone is aware of the current pandemic that the globe faces with coronavirus (covid-19), and up until this weekend, I believed we could continue on and stay strong in the face of adversity.
However, with time and reflection, as well as some further research and latest announcements on the news and from the Government, I have decided that all Muse School of Burlesque Classes must be suspended indefinitely, until the real shape of the crisis is known. I do not make this decision lightly, and I am devastated to once again disappoint my amazing, dedicated students. After injuring my back in early February, I was so excited to bring 5 new courses to both Wollongong and the Sutherland Shire.
I would like to say, that I still believe audiences (including all Muse students) can and should attend live performances and shows while they feel well and healthy and do not have reason to believe they have been exposed. Our arts scene will be crippled if everyone stops seeing shows, and we may never recover. The setting for burlesque shows provides more control options and ability to maintain social distancing both for performers, and audience members. I fully support producers planning and holding shows, and performers taking to the stage as I know producers, performers and venues are going out of their ways to ensure the safety and comfort of patrons, including considering reducing their capacity to maintain space to reduce potential transmission.
However, with the Muse School of Burlesque, I am the sole teacher and backbone of the school. I teach multiple classes in two cities, and the risk that I may expose my students to potential infection is one I just cannot justify. I teach in studios that I hire, and while I know they are reputable places of business, I cannot guarantee the cleansing approaches those businesses take for their venues, short of cleaning each venue myself every week before, between, and after each class.
Dance classes are a high energy exercise, leading to increased potential fluid exchange, and the prolonged active virus life could go on to not only threaten my students, but other users of those facilities. Many of my students have young families, or have their own compromised immunity scenarios. As the weather gets cooler and we enter flu season where transmission rates of viruses increase dramatically, I could not bare to put any of those people’s livelihoods or health in danger.
I do believe other burlesque schools are in a better position than me to continue running classes and will take their own precautions to ensure the safety of their staff and students. Please do not read this as a suggestion that all schools and classes should close. Instead, please support your schools by reaching out and asking how you can help, and staying aware for their updates.
However, effective immediately, all Muse courses and student showcases are suspended. Refunds will be processed as soon as possible, and as soon as new health news is available identifying the safety and security of group gatherings, I will endeavor to reschedule our classes.
I will be talking to all solo, duo, and small group act performers this week to discuss potential online tutoring options to assist them in still creating the amazing acts they have all shared with me in the lead up to classes starting this coming week.
I will also be looking to run weekly virtual classes on Monday nights live streamed in to our Muse School of Burlesque Students Group. All past and present students will be able to access these classes in our Facebook group.
I also have plans for some potential workshops once heightened personal health security can be assured.
So in the meantime, I wish everyone good health, encourage enthusiastic hand washing, fist bumps, virtual kisses with a 2m leeway, AND, I invite you all to take some time to explore our new website and sign up to receive both the Muse News – updates about all classes and shows, AND, Mae’s Musings – a newsletter that I will be working on to share interesting news and fabulous burlesque information sourced from around the world.
All my love, and a couple of tears