Keep calm and keep dancing as classes move online
A BOWEN dance teacher has found positive in the negatives, embracing the move to bring her classes digitally as coronavirus measures tighten.
La Petite Danse School owner and teacher Mel Nobes said she knew last month the closure of dance schools was 'imminent', but it let her begin to investigate how to teach during coronavirus measures.
Despite currently running at about 30 per cent of normal capacity, she was "extremely optimistic" about the positives she has been able to embrace through digital teaching.
"I have friends who are teachers in Italy, so we've been able to watch their lockdown and learn from their mistakes," she said.
"It's going to be tough, our numbers have dropped but we've been able to move classes online through video and it's actually worked out really well.
"It's not a complete replacement for face-to-face learning - and it never will be - but it keeps the little ones dancing and it's something that I think more people in the arts will embrace in future."
Ms Nobes said the best part of moving to the use of teleconference programs in dance was "connecting with more people than ever, despite social distancing".
The school was recently able to host a digital class and question and answer with dancers from the Brisbane Ballet Company, with plans to host teachers and dancers from around the globe.
"I think the amazing thing about this is watching some people adapt and figure out this whole new medium they're being tossed in to," Ms Nobes said.
"My daughter Poppy just had a lesson with a ballet examiner the other night online. The examiner is 65 and a little traditional, but I walked her through how to set up Zoom to stream to us and now that she knows how to use it, she can see the value in it.
"That examiner has no income at the moment with no exams on, but she has such a rich skill set to offer dancers and she can offer her services around the country through the internet now."
Ms Nobes said she expected to see more dancers and parents warm-up to online lessons as schools pushed closer to being online next term.
"It's something new and different so it might take a little for people to warm up to it, but I think they will," she said.
"It keeps some normality for the students and I'm still watching them and making sure they do their very best.
"We've offered some free lessons recently to get people into it, and there will also be lots of prerecorded exercises for students to work through which is a new addition.
"We're doing all we can, and the government is making sure these measures keep us safe. Moving online means we should hopefully be there to teach in person again when this passes."