One local dance school’s move to tap into technology has meant toes are continuing to tap all across St. Charles Parish.
Social distancing mandates and the stay at home order may have forced Kelli’s Kreative Dance in Destrehan to close its doors, but the studio has moved their entire schedule of 90 dance classes a week online. The classes are live and run 5 days a week during their regularly scheduled times.
“My favorite part of virtual class is being able to still see my teachers and friends,” dance student Lexi Gaubert, 10, said, adding she looks forward to dance days each week.
“We are trying our best to give our students and dance families a little sense of normalcy during this time of so many uncertainties,” Director Kelli Manville said. “Thanks to technology, our studio staff is providing a virtual studio experience for our dancers to keep them moving, learning and interacting with their friends while having fun during this time.”
The live format allows the teachers to watch each student and give immediate feedback on technique and form, which Manville says is an essential element of dance education. While the technology was new to the instructors and they had to learn it very quickly, Manville said her staff rose to the challenge and classes have been going well.
Students are continuing to work on technique during the online classes and are also learning new choreography for their upcoming revue scheduled for June.
Manville said the move to put classes online has received positive feedback from parents.
“During these uncertain times, our children need routines and connections with their teachers and friends,” Melissa Parfait of Luling, a KKD dance mom, said. “These connections provide much needed structure, security and stability for our children … I’m forever grateful for the connections that we can continue to have through KKD virtual classes.”
Leann Benedict of Destrehan said the online classes are allowing her daughter to continue learning and growing and keeping her connected with her teachers and friends.
“I am thankful that they are providing this little piece of normal during a very crazy time,” Benedict said.
“We are committed to providing our dancers with the classes and teachers that they know and love so they can continue to improve their skills while combatting boredom and keeping some normalcy in their daily routine,” Manville said. “As a small business owner, this has been a difficult few weeks, but seeing our students’ smiling faces on the screen reminds me that it’s about so much more than dance … physical activity, movement, mental stimulation and social interaction are all going to help kids get through this trying time.”