Tie hair up in a bun, lace up spikes and put on light pink tights. This is the typical routine of dancers preparing for the lesson. However, the connection to Zoom is now part of the preparation, as many dance lessons are transferred to a hybrid model.
Due to the continued impact of Covid-19 in Westport and surrounding towns, local dance studios have started hosting line dance classes for dancers to feel safe while enjoying the activity. that they like.
Many Staples students who dance attend Westport Dance Academy and follow the hybrid model. Most of the classes available at the studio include a mix of in-person and virtual classes in which students have a rotating schedule that dictates which days they are at home or in the studio. However, some small groups may have classes entirely in person.
Although this schedule is consistent Connecticut Regulations (only allowing a maximum of 25 people in the studio) this creates problems for the dancers.
It makes it a lot harder for our dance community because as a studio we are all very tight-knit and basically family. “
– Eden Miller ’21
One of the difficulties of dancing at home is that dancers do not have access to the same resources as in the studio. Dancer Christina Meehan ’23 said that’s what made being home the hardest part.
“[In the studio] there is more room to move, ”Meehan said. “I dance in my bedroom and use my closet door as a ballet barre, which is quite difficult because I’m afraid of hitting my chair or the wall.”
When at home, dancers also don’t have the same social bond with their teachers or peers that they would get in the classroom. This makes classes more difficult for dancers like Eden Miller ’21.
“It makes it a lot harder for our dance community because as a studio we’re all really tight-knit and we’re basically family,” Miller said.
Another popular dance studio among Staples students is the JD spot which holds most of the studio lessons. However, to keep everyone comfortable, the studio offers online lessons for dancers who feel safer taking classes at home. This is useful in case of bad weather when the dancers cannot make it to the studio. They simply log into Zoom to avoid cancellation of classes.
Dancer Pia Dottori ’23 took online classes and saw the benefits of dancing at home.
“By dancing on the zoom, I became more comfortable trying new things and thinking outside the box because no one was there to judge and no one was watching,” Dottori said.
Overall, the dancers are grateful for being able to dance during the pandemic and are trying to make the most of this time despite struggling to dance virtually.
“There aren’t a lot of positives to being on zoom, but one bright spot is that we’re still able to get the most out of it during Covid,” Miller said. “It’s good that we have the zoom or the dance studio option. “