The youngsters at Barbara’s Studio of Dance go to work in August.
Throughout the year, they meet regularly to work on technique and routines and their hard work culminates in an end-of-year show, which is typically in May.
This year, most of that hasn’t changed. The dancers have still been working since August and they still dedicated endless time and effort to their routines. However, the final show is now in jeopardy because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s the unknown and the unfinished — it’s hard to put into words,” owner Barbara Yates said. “It’s hard for the children to understand.”
However, Yates and her team of teachers are still trying to reach the dancers — just in different ways.
On the studio’s Facebook and Instagram pages, Yates has dedicated each day to something different. Motivation Monday, Technique Tuesday, Workout Wednesday, Throwback Thursday and Fun Friday are what she bases her posts off and she tries to make sure the dancers have something to enjoy, even during this difficult time. The studio’s teachers also help create posts and although they haven’t done any virtual classes or routines, Yates has sent some music to the dancers who have requested it.
“We just kind of chose not to do it that way but we’re constantly staying in touch each day,” Yates said. “We want them to know we’re still here so they don’t forget about us and we’re going to make things happen when we can. We want to give everybody the chance for that.”
Yates has started to make contingency plans for her end-of-year show, which was scheduled for May 30. Those plans include possibly doing the show in June, combining what’s typically two shows into one and even doing something outdoors.
“I think everybody is ready to come back to class even our teachers,” Yates said. “We do have more than 10 in our classes, so we would have to split them up. But we are working on all those plans.”
Yates and her teachers took things to another level earlier this week. Although they’ve enjoyed reaching out to the dancers virtually, they wanted to find a way to see them in person.
Earlier in the pandemic, Yates had a drive-by costume pickup. The dancers’ recital outfits came in and she set it up so parents could come by and grab the costumes and go. It was a way for the dancers to see the teachers and Yates and also still feel like the season was ongoing. The teachers wanted to mimic that, so Tuesday, they held another drive-by get-together where students could come pick up goodie bags.
Although they still couldn’t interact with the dancers much face to face, the teachers and Yates at least got to wave at their students and give them a bit of encouragement.
“We just wanted to give them a little bit of happiness in the midst of all this,” Yates said.