SDA COVID-19 Restrictions


By Stephanie Tulpan, Staff Writer

SDA at Wayne Hills has been a huge deal for decades now, bringing in hundreds of dancers to participate and large crowds of friends and family to watch them perform. Every year, each dance generally has about fifty people, with no restrictions as to how many can join and how many dancers can be in each dance. The Gifford Gym is where SDA takes place each year, and when counting both the dancers and the audience, it holds about six hundred people each night. These conditions were obtainable until the 2021 SDA season.

In February of 2021, all Wayne Township Public Schools were learning virtually due to COVID-19. This included all extracurricular activities, like SDA. Along with SDA being virtual, there were only twenty girls allowed in each dance.

SDA advisors and participants grew concerned about the final showcase and whether or not it would be able to transpire. Later on, it was confirmed that one night of SDA performances would be able to take place on March 19th but had to be viewed virtually by audience members. There was one exception regarding the viewing restrictions which was that very few parents were allowed to watch the performances in person, but had to leave after their child’s dance was finished. All of this took place while strictly following COVID-19 protocol and guidelines, including the dancers and audience members wearing masks and remaining six feet apart from one another.

Junior Ava Cahn, one of the captains of SDA’s Maroon Tap, says, “Most SDA dances didn’t even fill up because of virtual learning.” The 2021 SDA dances were significantly smaller than usual and the season was not like any other, but the advisors and participants made it happen!

Fortunately, the 2022 SDA season made a breakthrough. With COVID-19 settling down in New Jersey, many SDA restrictions have been lifted. Practices are held in-person, (though masks have to be worn), and there are no restrictions as to how many dances each dancer can be in. Though, there is a capacity of only thirty dancers in each dance.

What SDA participants and spectators are most excited about is that there is no limit regarding how many audience members can be in the Gifford Gym each night. The school is allowing up to six hundred people to be in the gym at one time if each person wears a mask. Parents, students, and staff are thrilled to hear that they can go watch the SDA showcase once again! Additionally, dancers do not have to wear masks while performing.

Although they didn’t get to experience the season they desired, SDA advisors and participants were extremely flexible during the 2021 SDA season with so many COVID-19 restrictions. Thankfully, everything is back to normal, and SDA, once again, is ready for showtime!