Dance Creations pulls off a virtual recital in the nick of time

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

One of the two dance studios in Slave Lake managed to hold an unconventional dance recital just 12 hours before the most recent set of COVID-19 restrictions came into place.

In a news release, owner Jennifer Hansen says, “Last season was cut off abruptly, and many dancers were left devastated over their 2020 year left unfinished.”

In three short days, Hansen and her team moved the year-end recital forward by a week so that it would happen before children’s recreation was closed once again.

“We could only have two dance groups in the building at a time, and the dancers came in without their parents,” says the news release. With restrictions, it took a full day for the 56 routines to be performed. This was sent out on a live feed and an adjudicator watched online and marked each performance.

Also, some of the dancers had to perform from home, because of isolation rules.

Instead of group photos, individual were photos were taken on the red carpet as dancers came in. The stage was also divided with nine Xs three metres apart, which is how the classroom had been divided for the last while.

While adults were not allowed to dance inside, they still took part.

“Thankfully, the stage was covered, because that Saturday we got rained on, but the raindrops and birds singing made for a beautiful addition to the tap groups’ video,” says Hansen. “We were able to submit the video to the adjudicator, where they also received feedback and a mark.”

Also, no audience was allowed, so a live feed was done by a professional videographer.

Each dancer received a ‘Dis-DANCING at Dance Creations … 20/21’ trophy.

“After such a challenging season, I felt that each dancer deserved to bring home a trophy for their efforts,” says Hansen. “These students stuck with their classes through a few weeks of online Zoom classes, and continued through uncertain times, and that perseverance deserved recognition.”

Even before the new restrictions, the dance season required adaptation.

From fall 2020 to 2021, the restrictions changed several times, which meant that choreography had to change, says the news release. Two dance groups had to make new routines with a smaller number of dancers.

Many of the changes happened six weeks before the performance.

Adjudication isn’t normally part of the showcase, but is an important part of festivals, says Hansen. However, since festivals may or may not happen this year, Dance Creations added it to the showcase.

“Despite these setbacks, the students never gave up and they continued the path they started at the beginning of the season,” says Hansen. “It’s my hope that the integrity, perseverance, and resilience the dancers gained this season stays with them the rest of their lives. This season’s recital was less of a showcase of abilities, but rather a celebration of the capabilities! I’m thankful for everyone who supported our dancers and our studio and we look forward to moving into next season!”

Dance Creations adult tap group performing outside. Rachael Bellerose, Karlene Ching, Corinna Horsman, and Julia Hunt.
Photos courtesy of Dance Creations.

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