Palmerston North dance studio teaches over 100 line dance classes

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Marika Harvey, director of Danceworks Studios, began offering online dance lessons during the lockdown;  her daughter Isla Hardie, 8, participates in her makeshift dance studio.

DAVID UNWIN / STUFF

Marika Harvey, director of Danceworks Studios, began offering online dance lessons during the lockdown; her daughter Isla Hardie, 8, participates in her makeshift dance studio.

A Palmerston North dance studio will continue to teach hundreds of line dance classes during the lockdown to keep its students connected and exercising.

While the country is in lockdown, people enrolled in dance studios cannot take classes.

DanceWorks Studios director Marika Harvey said the studio will teach more than 100 studio classes in a week and plans to teach them all online.

She learned on her own how to build a website over the weekend that would be a hub for pre-recorded videos, dance challenges, and live streaming for students that students can access from their homes.

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Harvey emptied his desk and was also teaching from the backyard, the porch, or even on the kitchen bench.

DAVID UNWIN / STUFF

Harvey emptied his desk and was also teaching from the backyard, the porch, or even on the kitchen bench.

The live lessons would be delivered via Zoom, and they would be recorded for children who could not see it later.

Harvey said it was decided that at level three the studio would close because it was fertile ground for the virus to spread and children from across the region were attending.

However, she wanted the students to be able to stay in touch with their dance community and follow their dance, as they still had exams at the end of the year.

“When the news came, everyone cried a little bit. But creative minds find creative solutions.”

Harvey learned on her own how to create a website that would be a hub for pre-recorded videos, dance challenges and live streaming for students that students would access from their homes.

DAVID UNWIN / STUFF

Harvey learned on her own how to create a website that would be a hub for pre-recorded videos, dance challenges and live streaming for students that students would access from their homes.

Harvey emptied his desk and was also teaching from the backyard, the porch, or even the kitchen bench.

The lessons were introduced in stages, the lessons for those who are in the studio 20 hours a week first, then adults and children afterwards.

She said about a third of the kids have sorted out the software and tune in, and more are learning the new technology every day.

“For us, it’s not just about the demands, but looking at their faces when they knew they couldn’t see their friends.”

Sophie Hyland took online classes at DanceWorks Studio during the lockdown.

Provided

Sophie Hyland took online classes at DanceWorks Studio during the lockdown.

Parents had already paid their fees, and Harvey said she had an obligation to do her best for the students.

“They are really becoming an important part of your life.”

Next week, she planned for students to send in videos of their dance for reviews and comments.

Beth Jones’ 15-year-old daughter Isabella is a student at DanceWorks Studios and dances every day.

Isabella took up ballet, jazz, contemporary and acro and Jones said “dancing is something she has to do.”

She said Isabella had reserved living spaces for classes, at 10:00 a.m. in the kitchen and at 12:30 p.m. in the living room.

Jones said it had been really good to maintain a normal schedule and keep in touch with the people she would normally see on a day-to-day basis.

On Zoom, children could see each other and teachers and have normal contact with their friends. “Kids can connect and I think that was one of the most important things.”

Jones said she couldn’t talk enough about the lessons because the teachers put a lot of effort into looking after the kids in the studio.

“They really put their energy into taking care of our children.”


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