School is out, playgrounds are closed, and sports have been put on hold due to restrictions over COVID-19 concerns. But as many parents know, kids are still full of energy and have the desire to be creative and involved. The Duval Dance & Music Academy is helping to fill the void by continuing to provide dance and music education to its students, despite the physical studio being temporarily closed.
“My studio family is everything to me and I knew this was the only option,” said owner/director Stephanie Holleran. “I began working tirelessly to come up with a solution to turn from a physical dance and music school to a virtual dance and music school. I wanted to help our students maintain a sense of normalcy and routine while so much was happening around them.”
Over 100 videos of recital choreography were recorded for Duval dancers to practice at home. Additionally, a schedule of live dance classes and private music lessons was set up for students to be able to access via Zoom, and on demand dance content for students to access anytime was created.
“The virtual classes have been going very well,” Holleran said. “We are bringing the joy of dance into our families’ living rooms. Seeing our dancers’ faces light up when they hear the music and start to move is very special. Given the ability to connect and talk with them provides us a great sense of connection. Private online music lessons have been a great way for our music students to continue learning and improving their skills and technique.”
Feedback for the Academy’s live classes has been wonderful, Holleran said.
Beth Rusznak is a “dance mom.” She has extended a “thank you” to all of the dance teachers at the Academy - Miss Stephanie, Miss Kate, Miss Amanda, Miss Marissa, Miss Heather, Miss Lauren, and Miss Lauren – for all they do year round, but for also keeping the students dancing during this unprecedented time.
“They wasted no time in creating and releasing DDMA online classes for all age groups and genres of dance they offer,” she said. “The teachers have not only put their heart and soul into this but they also take the time to put up online challenges, videos just saying ‘hi’ to the girls, and some pretty amazing videos of them dancing. They even take the time to talk with the girls about positive things and play games, along with keeping them on track with their dancing techniques, new choreography, and keeping them on track for competition season.”
Dance education is so important for the students’ well being and helps them feel a sense of community and keeps them connected to their friends, Holleran said.
“It keeps them physically, mentally and emotionally healthy while they are quarantined.”
Duval Dance and Music Academy is committed to providing educational, fun and exciting classes for its students.
New students can view the Academy’s live class offerings at duvaldanceandmusic.com/online-class-schedule/. New families can call 781-545-3100 to register. Visit duvaldanceandmusic.com for more information.
Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth