Will we? Won't we? Should we?
I would love nothing more than to be able to write a long post outlining the solution for us all, like a Nigella recipe for chocolate mousse - but I just cannot.
Because we just don't know.
Do you remember the stairs from Harry Potter, in the corridors of Hogwarts? They keep moving. So to get from one place to another can't be planned ahead. Directions "turn left here, then take two flights up and turn right" simply wouldn't work.
That is us right now. The rules are changing every few weeks. The only thing we can be certain of us that there is a whole lot of uncertainty.
So how do the Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and Gryffindors get to class? They improvise. They adapt. They keep one eye on the destination and have faith that they will get there eventually, even if they have to wait for the right staircase to line up with their path.
My excitable parents have been asking,
"Will we be having a concert?"
My answer remains the same every time,
Now the truth is, I don't know exactly what that concert would look like - it's highly probable that this year's won't be the same as other year's concerts, but we WILL have one. I think my kids need it. I think my parents need it. I think my business needs it.
And we have to keep remembering how quickly things are changing. Planning ahead (unless it's hypothetically to explore options in preparedness for a variety of circumstances) is not really possible right now.
If we had planned ahead for the year based on what we knew 2 months ago, we would all be having online virtual concerts. And 2 months from now, it will no doubt be a different story again.
So all we really can do it wait...
Keep the hope of our students alive...
Give them joy in the moment...
And let their parents know that we will be striving to create whatever concert experience for them that we possibly can, and that our teams will be pouring every drop of their talent, passion and love into making it special - no matter what!
I BELIEVE OUR STUDENTS NEED SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO AND WORK TOWARDS.
Even under current restrictions, there are a bunch of possibilities for concerts:
Mini concerts for each individual age group?
Local school hall and smaller audience?
One versatile costume for all routines?
In the studio, one class at a time?
100% digital, with an online watching party?
And it's likely things will have progressed by November/December - by how much we don't know - but perhaps we will only need to make small adjustments?
50% audience capacity, running 2 one-hour shows instead of 1 two-hour show?
Hiring extra dressing room space, or a marquee to facilitate?
A different venue completely, and a whole weekend of mini-shows?
All we know is we just don't know.
And I honestly believe it's too early to make definitive decisions about. We have time. Routine prep can start later and the dances can just be shorter. Costumes can be ordered closer to the end of the year. Venues don't even know what is happening yet, so even they are just guessing. So we just have to wait...
And in the meantime, I will keep saying YES when my students and parents ask me about concert. Because no matter what it looks like, I will be putting on some kind of performance. And the details, though impossible to know right now, won't matter anywhere near as much to the parents as the opportunity to watch their child perform will.
One more thing...
We don't have a map, but we DO have our compass. As leaders we have to trust that we know what is right for our brand, our values and our community. With this, we can have confidence in our ability to quickly adapt and improvise to these constantly changing circumstances.