Local dance studio doing virtual dance lessons


CORNING, NY (WETM) – The coronavirus pandemic put many activities on hiatus, but the one that never stopped was dancing. The Stage Door Performing Arts Center in Corning, NY adapted to the challenges and moved the lessons to zoom.

“When it all happened last March, we closed our doors for two weeks to figure out how to run virtual classes,” said Heather Haskins, owner of the Stage Door Performing Arts Center. “So we started online in a completely virtual way thanks to the zoom. I think in June we started doing a hybrid, because we were allowed to start doing smaller groups, and then we gave our recital in July; it was completely virtual.

The company teaches students different types of dance such as: jazz, ballet, hip-hop, etc. Haskins told 18 News that since the start of the pandemic, the number of students has declined.

“We currently have 75 to 85,” Haskins said. “Before corona, we had about 125 to 130 of them.”

Currently, the dance company offers in-person and hybrid classes.

“We also have the virtual option available to anyone who has been in quarantine, it doesn’t feel 100% because we don’t want to take any risks,” Haskins said.

The Stage Door Performing Arts Center has since reopened for in-person classes with appropriate social distancing in their studio as well as extensive cleaning measures.

“We are working in 7 × 7 squares,” Haskins said. “We wear masks all the time, we do a lot of sanitation inside and out. We do a big cleaning every night and everything is wiped down. Everything is disinfected between the children.

Haskins said studios in the area were chatting and saying this was something they were used to. Teacher and owner of a dance studio, they are used to adapting and always changing.

“No matter what challenge lies ahead, kids are number one priority,” Haskins said. “I try to do my job of doing whatever I can to help them find their joy.”

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