VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes and artists have adjusted to the new normal, including dancers.
Dance studios across the country are implementing plenty of COVID-19 protocols, like performers wearing masks at all times and social distancing in the studio. Encore Performance Company in Vestavia Hills won’t allow parents inside the studio; they have to wait outside the building for their children.
Most, if not all, students and dancers don’t mind to follow the safety measures at the moment because they are willing to do anything to keep dancing.
“We would do anything to get back in the studio. To have everyone back together dancing,” student Arden Haynes said.
Dalana Moore, owner of Encore, said they also deep clean all of the surfaces throughout the day.
“We have like special steamers. We steam all the dance bags as they put them down in class,” Moore said.
One tough adjustment has been water breaks. Since dances aren’t allowed to take their masks off, they have to go outside to get a drink.
“They get tired and they want to, you know, need to breathe and drink water. And so, we don’t allow them to take off their masks for water even,” Moore said.
Moore believes the adjustments have made her students stronger dancers. Recently, they competed in Nashville and won.
Though attendance was limited, Moore said performing again meant the world to her and the students.
“To be able to like have something like last year we never thought we’d have again, it was kind of like a win for us,” Haynes said.
Haynes said dancing is a form of expression.
“When other people may not understand me, I feel like that is some of the best ways for me to express how I feel,” Haynes said.
She said dance is much needed during a tough year.
“You got to express all of the anger you had from the pandemic happening. You express it through the movement,” Haynes said.
After this year, everyone at Encore believes the arts can survive anything.
“That hard work you put in the studio, you can’t take that away. And that’s what it’s really all about,” Moore said.
“It’s always going to be alive. No one is ever going to be like I’m going to forget about dance and music, and the movement or how it makes you feel watching it or doing it,” Haynes said.
Moore said there have been no reported cases throughout the pandemic; they plan to continue to follow all guidelines until the end.
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