COVID-19 Department of Dance Handbook


Ohio State Dance’s strength has always been, and always will be, people and our potential to solve problems together. Our community is bold in purpose and compassionate in spirit. As Buckeyes, we pull together to care for each other and those around us. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a challenge unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lifetime. It demands ingenuity, compassion, empathy and spirit. At Ohio State Dance, we know that no one person can solve this problem alone. We must connect across communities, combine expertise and create new ways of thinking —at an unprecedented scale. Now more than ever, we’ll act together to develop new solutions that work. Person by person, family by family, community by community, we will find ways to help. Together, we are and always will be champions for people. Please know that a huge amount of thought has gone into our planning so far to provide a fall semester that is true to who we are, ethically responsible given what we know, and maintains rigorous and inspiring creative and scholarly research within the mandates from the university. We in the department have been working hard with many people across campus and the field to imagine the best way forward for the fall given the myriad situations/needs/comfort levels/university guidelines/dance-specific nuances/etc. We are continuing to define what the fall will look like as we monitor the how this state of emergency changes. I hope you trust that we are making decisions putting the interests and needs of the people in our community above all. 


The university remains under a state of emergency. Learn more about guidelines and requirements in place for return to our campuses at Safe and Healthy Buckeyes. We encourage everyone to keep checking updates from the university. We recognize that there is a lot to keep track of right now, but we've noticed some questions have come up that have already been addressed and some time reading through communications regularly might provide needed information sooner.


Here are a few places for mental health and wellness support. Yes, we will find ways to keep teaching, learning and creating but please put your well-being first.

The Performing Arts Medicine (PAM) team will be providing services in Sullivant Hall 291 every Friday starting September 4, 2020. To schedule your appointment, please follow these instructions:

New URL is

  1. Left hand side click services
  2. Onsite Treatments
  3. PAM Staff
  4. Click on Friday date you want to schedule
  5. Choose time
  6. First time you will have to create a new profile

Below are the dates PAM is scheduled to be in Sullivant Hall 291:

  • 9/4 8-11am
  • 9/11 8-10am
  • 9/18 8-11am
  • 9/25 8-11am
  • 10/9 8-11am
  • 10/16 8-10am
  • 10/23 8-11am
  • 10/30 8-11am 
  • 11/6 8-10am 
  • 11/13 8-11am
  • 11/20 8-11am


Navigating COVID-19 demands ingenuity, compassion, empathy and spirit. The College of Arts and Sciences community exemplifies these traits. From ensuring continuity of education by moving over 4,000 courses online to Arts and Sciences experts addressing the pandemic at the state and national levels, we’re striving to develop new solutions and find ways to help. Together, we are and always will be champions for people. And together, we will weather this storm. Read more at


Social Justice doesn’t take a pause. In fact, recent events have highlighted how much we need to stay focused on making the world a better place no matter what. The university is taking up this work with increased effort and so are we. We are proud of the work of the Anti-Racist Working Group (ARWG) which is a sub-group of Dancers in Graduate School (DiGS) an Ohio State student organization. We have worked with them to organize town halls and workshops to facilitate discussions about racism this summer. The ARWG has also launched a new social media initiative to celebrate Black students, alumni, professors, guest scholars and artists connected to the Ohio State dance community. Every Tuesday, the Anti-Racist Working Group is featuring a Black artist, scholar or practitioner from the Ohio State community using #OSUDancers4BlackLives. The hashtag celebrates the impact and leadership of Black visionaries in the field of dance and beyond. We encourage you to engage with our social media platforms and use the hashtags with us. If you would like to be featured, please fill out this form. For more information, please visit the DIGS website and email

Download the Anti-Racist Working Group Solidarity Platform >
Look out for emails from the department about these and other social justice efforts. 


While Ohio State has been communicating the plan for campus wide changes through the Safe and Healthy Website, the nature of our department and our field necessitates department-specific changes and policies.  Sullivant Hall and the Department of Dance will look very different next year. I recognize there are different interpretations of risk and different comfort levels with safety measures. As we all know, information and what we know about this virus has been changing quickly. We are proceeding with an abundance of caution based on what we know now and will adjust accordingly as we learn more. Now more than ever, please READ your Ohio State emails on a regular basis. University communications will also be published on OSU Dance Weekly and the Toolkit on the website.

Building Reopening Coordinator

Jonathon Hunter has taken on the role of Building Reopening Coordinator for Sullivant Hall and Safety Coordinator for the Department of Dance. Please reach out to him if you have a question or concern about the building or safety protocols that is not addressed here or in the upcoming information sessions:

Building Access

As you know, we have all been working remotely since spring break. At this point, any entry request to the building should be sent to Jonathon Hunter.1007 who will work the appropriate channels to provide approval. Hopefully, our plan for a phased return to access the building will be approved soon. Even when we receive that approval, we will only be able to sustain occupancy that is absolutely necessary. In other words, to protect all of us but especially essential workers we won’t be able to hang out socially or meet in spaces or at times that aren’t approved. This will also allow us to ensure proper cleaning protocols. Also, as with all campus spaces, masks must be worn at all times (see below for dance class mask protocols). Faculty, staff, and GTAs will hear from Jonathon directly regarding preparation and maintenance of class spaces.

Common Areas

You will notice many differences when you return to the building. New signage will be in place. The Department of Dance is working with other occupants of Sullivant Hall to consider traffic pattern changes. Even once classes are back in session, doors or hallways may remain locked. Expect to carry your BuckID at all times. Overnight access to the building will be prohibited to allow for deep cleaning.


Will be reserved for moving materials or ADA needs. One person in an elevator at a time. Utilize the stairs.

Drinking Fountains

Drinking fountains will be closed except for the newly installed bottle filling station on the 3rd Floor West hallway (outside of 370).

Green Room

Furniture in the Green Room will be removed or stored in a manner to prevent socialization and gathering. You will have access to the restrooms, the refrigerator and microwave, but packing food that does not need refrigeration or heating or that utilizes ice packs is encouraged. You will not be able to eat meals in the green room. 

Hallway Furniture

Benches, tables and chairs will be removed to allow maximum distancing.

Office Kitchenette

Shared equipment such as the electric kettle, coffee makers and Brita pitcher will be removed. Shared utensils will be removed. Please bring your own. Likewise, shared cups and mugs will be off limits. You will have access to the refrigerator and microwave but packing food that does not need refrigeration or heating or that utilizes ice packs is encouraged. There will be no shared food. Anything left on the counter will be discarded.

Faculty/Staff Offices & “Living Room” Access

In order to reduce the overall occupancy of the building, some staff members will continue to work from home with limited presence in the building. As such, the main office door to 316 will remain locked. In-person meetings with faculty/staff are discouraged. Unless absolutely necessary please plan for all meetings to happen via Zoom. If an in-person meeting must happen it must be scheduled in advance and you will be admitted by either a front desk student assistant or the person with whom you are meeting. 

Grad Shared Office Space

To manage a reduction in density of population and maintain physical distancing, a reservation system will be utilized.  Extra furniture will be removed. Plan to work remotely as much as possible. More details to come. 

Drop-In Spaces

Small-capacity physically-distanced classrooms, which do not have courses scheduled in them, are being made available for students to drop-in on a short-term basis. These should not be used as long-term study spaces, but in the case where a student has back-to-back online and in-person courses, they can drop into the space for the online course session. 

If you use these rooms, leave all furniture in the space marked by the physical-distancing stickers. In addition, there should never be more people in these spaces than the capacities posted. In addition to physical distancing Ohio State requires masks and recommends frequent hand sanitizing, in alignment with public health guidelines.

Once Classes Resume August 25


As you have been learning through Buckeyelink, most dance classes have been changed to hybrid or online delivery. Also, you will see that class times may have shifted slightly in order to accommodate traffic patterns and sanitization between classes. Studio faculty are still working out the details of what hybrid instruction looks like in individual classes and how classes meeting at the same time will navigate the building. In August we will provide more information about which doors we will use, staggered entry/exit times, cleaning protocols, utilizing cohort class meetings, etc.



    • At this time, formal performances are not scheduled for the fall. Please use the typical repertory slot (approximately Tues-Fri 12:30-2:15pm) for other course requirements you may need to complete. 
    • BUT, we would still like to be able to create performances/showings for both the dance and broader OSU communities. While we will not have formal performances in the Barnett, we are working with campus partners to imagine site-specific performance opportunities. 
      • On a personal side note, thinking about these creative possibilities is bringing me much-needed joy as an artist as I plan our alternative fall. I know most of this email is a bummer. Please join me in imagining creative possibilities here. I would love to have moments of powerful outdoor creative expression all over campus. How can we make socially-distanced dance in the fall to counter what will surely be physically tense navigations of campus spaces? I also think aestheticizing the campus in this way could be our “gift” to OSU as artists. If you’ll allow me to wax mushy, I do believe that is part of the power of art. Okay, more on that another time! Back to the nitty gritty…
    • We are working with MFA candidates to schedule their projects. We will do the same for BFAs who elect to do an optional senior project. 

Ongoing Department Community Time

Ohio State Dance is such a strong community. We may lose some of this in the upcoming school year. To maintain some of our community connections we are reserving Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:15-3:15pm for Department Zoom Community Time. We hope to have guests, workshops, town halls, etc. While the exact structure of these are still in discussion, please hold this time if you can. 

Barnett Theatre

All seating and risers will be removed to utilize this space as an expanded classroom.


In studios, occupancy will be based on a 12’ radius circle for each person (student, instructor or musician) in the space. Studios will be marked to enable physical distancing. Some spaces will be used for different purposes in order to maintain physical distancing depending on the level of activity of the individuals in the space. There may be the possibility for outdoor tents for some occasional classes. All classes will still have a dedicated Sullivant space. This is still very much a conversation with the university and nothing has been decided yet so no promises. I mention it here to let you know that we are trying to see if we can make this work.

Movement Practice

The movement practice area is in discussion about details for fall. In general, we are aiming to reduce the density of people going and coming from studios and increase time between classes for ventilation. Expect that in-person class time may be shortened in order to stagger arrival and departures. Location may change from usual studios to allow for more distancing. Your class may have some combination of in-person, online synchronous and online asynchronous expectations. Accommodations for different possible scenarios will be built into syllabi. Other safety protocols and policies for studio classes (masks, navigation, shifts in expectations, etc.) are forthcoming.

All Creative, Somatic, and Lecture Courses

Each instructor will be taking enrollment, space, and best mode of delivery into consideration as they plan specifics with safety and physical distancing guidelines in mind. Please check your OSU email closer to the start of classes to learn more details about the courses in which you are enrolled. If you are not sure about something, enroll in order to receive timely updates and/or email the instructor or Amy Schmidt. 

Media Lab

In order to accommodate more people at computers at once, 247 will be utilized as the media lab for the semester. 343 will be utilized as a small seminar room for some classes. After each use, the media lab desks, mice, headphones, and keyboards will be disinfected with disinfecting wipes located at each computer station. Students are not to touch each other's computer stations to assist one another. In addition, masks or face coverings must be worn at all times inside of the media lab. Information about a reservation system to utilize the lab outside of class time will be announced later.

Media Equipment Check-Out

Equipment checkout must be scheduled ahead of time via email. To schedule the checkout of equipment, email the Media Manager Chris Summers at Equipment checkout and return procedures will be through no-contact means. Equipment will be sanitized after each use.


Changes regarding the MOLA space and equipment are forthcoming. If you have any questions now, please reach out to Jonathon or Oded Huberman at

Course Lab Time

In order to maintain reduced building capacity, no dedicated lab time for courses will be scheduled. Please see Reservation of Spaces below.

Conditioning Studio

In order to maintain reduced building capacity, there will be a reservation system to work with the Pilates Reformers. Please see Reservation of Spaces below. 

Cleaning and Sanitization

For ballet barres, each student will clean their area before and after usage with wipes provided in the space. Floors will be cleaned more frequently and time between classes has been increased to allow for this. As communicated with the university, facility services will be cleaning more regularly. We are still working with them to finalize details. Each space will have a log to track cleaning.

Reservation of Spaces

While Ohio State Dance has utilized Outlook calendars and a reservation system in the past, this will be enhanced moving forward under the direction of Jonathon Hunter as Safety Coordinator. 

  • Any reservation must be made 24 hours in advance. 
  • Expect that being in the building outside of class will require a reservation. 
  • Reservation times will be limited to allow for overnight cleaning by facility services. 
  • Additional spaces, such as the Media Lab in 247, Graduate Open Desk Space, and the Conditioning Studio, will also utilize reservations.
  • When reserving a studio, you will be required to list others who will be in the studio (e.g. dancers, musicians, or observers).
  • For all reservations, you will be expected to clean high-touch surfaces and/or equipment before and after use.

Personal Safety Expectations

Face masks for Department of Dance community members will be required in common spaces. Dancers are encouraged to discuss whether face mask use is advisable while dancing with their physician. If a movement within ten feet is required, all dancers will be required to wear a face mask. More details from movement practice area forthcoming

Please come to Sullivant dressed in layers to reduce congestion and use of changing areas. Lockers will be marked to notify spacing while using. Maintain social distancing even when wearing a mask in the building.

Teaching resources and support

As faculty continue to prepare for the autumn semester, we have developed a new resource to address frequently asked questions by instructors. The new Teaching page on the university’s Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website includes information about a variety of topics, including:

  • What to include on syllabi 
  • Microphones in classrooms
  • Assigned seating for students
  • How to handle guests or hardcopy assignments 
  • What to do if a student doesn’t follow safety measures


The Office of Undergraduate Education, in collaboration with the University Senate and Undergraduate Student Government, has developed new guidance on excused absences. These guidelines, which you can find on the Undergraduate Education site, are aimed at helping faculty refine their policies to accommodate the greater incidence of absences and the more challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Space Reminders for Instructors:

  • Please tell your students that they may use the studio assigned in Buckeyelink on days you are teaching completely online (you see it in Faculty Center). This is limited to the capacity of the studio (12 students in general) and students will be responsible to sanitize their area before and after use with wipes in the studio. The front desk work-studies will post sign-in sheets each day should contract-tracing be necessary.
  • Faculty warm-up spaces continue to be 390 for 10:30am teachers (reserved 8:30-10) and 370 for 12:30 pm teachers (reserved 10:30-12).
  • If your microphone stops working, it is most likely the batteries. Backup batteries will be placed in every studio, as well as a collection bin for used batteries. If you take the last fresh battery, please email Jonathon and Chris.
  • No-touch thermometers will be attached to the A/V rack in each studio with brief instructions should you choose to want to take temperatures. You are not required to, but it is an option. 
  • Instructors in the tent: please monitor the weather and communicate with your students if you need to come inside due to lightning. Please also call the front desk 614-292-7977 or Jonathon’s office 614-247-4999 in order to put up a sign at the tent as backup. 

Restroom/Housekeeping Reminders for Instructors:

  • Please remind your students to wear shoes to/from/in the restrooms so that any germs in the restroom are not tracked back into the studio. 
  • Remind students who are majors to take their BuckID with them to the restroom, or remind them and elective/minor students (who do not have swipe access) to use the restrooms in the Green Room or 3rdfloor North corridor so that they are not locked out of 290, 270, 370, 390, 320 Theatre. Students in 250 and 247 should be fine using the 2nd floor South corridor. Since we are keeping corridors locked 24/7, this is a new habit for us all. 
  • Remind majors to enter through the NW door with “museum” over the tops to help not cross-pollinate with our building neighbors and their students. Remind elective students to enter the North door (Wexner-side) and then encourage timeliness so that you can let them into the Dance corridor all at once. You may need to allow a little extra time for entry until they are in the habit. 
  • Reminder that OSU Facilities staff are not coming into offices to empty trash – please take any office trash to the large trashcans in the hallways when needed. Thank you for helping keep our essential workers Enerik and Hicham safe! They also will not vacuum offices unless by special request. Please thank them when you see them! 

General Reminders for Instructors: 

  • Check mailboxes by front desk in 316 Sullivant for headset microphone and other items. You can also use it as a drop-off for students to deliver papers or journals if desired. 
  • In accordance with the university’s requirements, please make sure your Carmen course is active by August 28 for all classes, regardless of mode-of-delivery. 
  • Keep in mind that you may also plan a substitute in advance with a campus office such as Student Wellness Center or Arts & Science Career Success Office. Other offices may offer workshops as well (it may be under an “Outreach” tab of their website).
  • Course Schematic is available on Department COVID page and in BuckeyeBox > Faculty Share > 20-21 Minutes. This is only for the who is teaching, what is being taught, and when it is taught. The spaces of where and modes of delivery are purposefully removed so that you and your students will refer to the details in Buckeyelink (Faculty Center for you, Student Center for them). 
  • Also, Faculty only can access the lists of graduate students, BFA students, department contact list, and the faculty service documents in BuckeyeBox > Faculty Share > 20-21 Minutes.
  • The Internal Calendar should be complete in Toolkit now – thanks for your patience! Keep in mind, as for everything, this is how we know it now. Updates will be made online. You can access the calendar in Toolkit, or if you would like to add the Dance Internal Calendar to you Apple Calendar, please see this video from Chris Summers. Within the video, you will notice a web address to copy and paste. This is the address:


We are working with other occupants of Sullivant Hall to plan traffic flow patterns and other policies. Details forthcoming.

We are also working with Facilities to learn more about Sullivant Hall’s air handling system and ventilation. 

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