Déconfinement: dance schools roll-up their sleeves

Déconfinement: les écoles de danse se retroussent les manches

Déconfinement: les écoles de danse se retroussent les manches

Dance schools in Quebec will new welcome their students safe by respecting the sanitary measures.

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June 20, 2020

Updated on June 21, 2020 6h18

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Déconfinement: dance schools roll-up their sleeves

Déconfinement: les écoles de danse se retroussent les manches

Déconfinement: les écoles de danse se retroussent les manches

Leah Harvey

The Sun

They will not be able to waltz cheek to cheek or dance the salsa, but the announcement of the reopening of the sports facilities interior gives the “swing” at the Network for teaching dance (RED). Since 22 June, the dance schools of Quebec will be able new accommodate their students safe by respecting the sanitary measures.

Marcelle Turgeon is the director of the NPO dance Space, a dance school partner with the cities of Québec and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, which allows almost 500 young people from the region to learn jazz, hip-hop, and ballet. Ms. Turgeon and her students were waiting for the reopening since long time ago. “From the beginning of the pandemic, it took me a good two weeks before to understand the magnitude of the situation. We stopped on our way in mid-march and we thought it was going to be just for three or four weeks. We had not seen it coming!” she says immediately.

Taken aback, Ms. Turgeon and his team of twenty teachers have quickly created capsules for toddlers. To her students a little bit older, the team has organized meetings Zoom to give exercises and advice. “It really wasn’t ideal, but at least it allowed us to keep in touch with the girls. Here, we are happy to be able to return for the summer camps which will begin at the end of July. This is all well and good the virtual, but the dance, it’s physical and tactile. It must be in front of the youth to correct their movement and learn the choreography,” says Ms. Turgeon.

“It’s fine the virtual, but the dance, it’s physical and tactile. ”


Marcelle Turgeon, director of the NPO dance Space

The director, who works in the dance community for nearly 40 years, has had to limit the number of places available in two groups of summer camp. Then she gathered in her studio in Cap-Rouge, last summer, between 20 and 25 children per group, Ms. Turgeon has had to reduce its number of participants by half. “There will be nine children per group and a teacher,” says Ms. Turgeon. It’s been ten people by local. I tell myself that it is enough for this summer. It will help me to see how it goes and how many children we can accommodate in the fall.”

Déconfinement: les écoles de danse se retroussent les manches

Marcelle Turgeon, director of the NPO dance Space, and his students were waiting for the reopening since long time ago.

Photo special collaboration, Lea Harvey

Even if it says it does not have to fear whether the child will comply with the health measures, Ms. Turgeon was really excited to see how the summer will unfold. “We’re doing the warm-up to the outside and, as there are two doors, you will be able to create a corridor of traffic in the local area. The students will all be two feet away and… we will wash hands! If it goes well currently in primary schools, I don’t see why it would go wrong here.”

Prepare for the fall

According to Véronique Clément, director-general of the Network for teaching dance (RED), representing 112 schools and 40 000 students, the announcement of the government fell right to the point. Dance schools, for whom the summer is generally a period of rather quiet, will be able to catch up with their missed classes, prepare for their summer camps and intensive courses. “We see the whole situation in a very positive way. It will allow us to organize, gradually resume our activities, to put in place sanitary measures and to test a little of our operation prior to our reentry in September,” she says, while hoping that the measures are eased by the fall.

Déconfinement: les écoles de danse se retroussent les manches

The health measures must be respected dance schools.

Photo provided by RED, Marie-Ève Dion

Due to the magnitude of the changes to be put in place, some dance schools have decided to remain closed for the summer. Although Ms. Clement stated that these schools do not represent the majority, the director-general of the RED insists on the importance of the issues that will face the dance schools in the coming weeks.

“We must not forget the costs associated with these new health rules. Several schools are currently in a precarious financial situation. […] Many of them have not had access to financial support”, said Ms. Clement.

Le Soleil

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