Time to dance the COVID-19 blues away

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Dancers are keen to get back into the swing of things by practice social distancing during their classes.
Camera IconDancers are keen to get back into the swing of things by practice social distancing during their classes. Credit: Supplied

Students and staff at a Baldivis dance school are relieved to start lessons again, with a further change to restrictions in WA allowing dance classes of up to 20 to take place.

JLC Dance Company will resume classes on May 18, alongside many other dance schools and other sporting groups.

Dance school owner Jessica Cox said everyone was excited and could not wait to get back into the swing of things.

“Our students have been out of the studio for two months and miss each other and their teachers terribly,” she said.

“Dance to many of our students is the thing that they love most. To see them dance alongside friends who they haven’t seen for some time will be wonderful to witness.

“The crisis has impacted a lot of children and their families. Although moving to online classes has been great, to have the students improving and continuing to dance from the comfort of their homes, it is just not the same as being in the studio with your friends and teachers.”

Ms Cox said the biggest worry of not being able to run the classes had been the student’s mental health. “These kids live and breathe dance and for them not to be able to be together has definitely had an effect on their mental health and it hasn’t been nice witnessing that,” she said.

“The biggest struggle being closed has definitely been seeing the impact it has had on the children.

“We absolutely think that during tough times children need to be getting physical activity, not just to stay fit and healthy but for dancing specifically, it’s also mentally stimulating in an enjoyable way which is imperative for health.

“Just like adults, children have also been dramatically impacted by the COVID crises; it must feel to them like the sky is falling and any form of stability will help to bring those stress levels down.”

Ms Cox said she hoped introducing dance back into their lives would help the students see everything was going to be all right.

The dance company will be following strict rules set out by the State Government, including limiting the number per class to 20, with parents asked to wait outside.

Studios and bathrooms will be wiped down after each class alongside the use of hand sani-tiser, which will be mounted throughout the building.

“We will be following every guideline that is asked of us,” Ms Cox said.

“We will gradually increase the intensity over the first few weeks to get the children back into the swing of things whilst keeping the structure of our classes as similar as they were before.”

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