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Dancing despite COVID times: Hope and Agassiz students hold year end dance recital

Recital held June 20 was broken up into four mini-recitals, where families watched from their ‘bubbles’
Silver-Hope’s competition tap team from left to right: Talia Richardson, Madyson Scherle, Sydney Luck and Cadence Toop. Bella Alton, the studio’s competition hip hop teacher, who also teaches acro dance and recreational hip hop is behind the dancers.

Hope and Agassiz’ young dancers took a cue from a classic feel good tune for their year end recital amid a decidedly less cheery ongoing pandemic.

“Our “Singing in the Rain” themed recitals came from our competition tap routine with the same name,” said Michelle Richardson, Silver-Hope Dance Academy studio owner. “It is a metaphor for our pulling off our year end activities despite the pandemic.”

In order to end the dance season on a positive note, despite a shutdown of the studio for months and virtual dance lessons filling this void, Richardson organized a ‘COVID-friendly’ dance recital June 20.

Taking place at the Hope Golf Club, with the space donated and decorated by the club, the recital scrapped a large audience and group dance routines. Replacing them were four mini recitals for Hope and Agassiz dancers, where dancers danced with their classmates and where solos, duos and trios dominated.

Families were met at the entrance to the recital, were asked screening questions and were grouped into pods of six seats, to allow them to watch a recital and stay in their family ‘bubbles.’

Having a recital, with the proper precautions in place, was important said Richardson. Young people have finished school and other yearly projects with little to no fanfare, and without being able to see their friends she said.

“Everything was cut short, so we’re happy to be able to give them some happy closure at the end of the season,” Richardson said. While nerves were there Saturday, as they always are, there were also plenty of smiles, fun had and pride on the part of the dancers.

A total of 18 routines were showcased Saturday by the 28 dancers. The day also included dancer photos taken by Laura Zeke at the studio and videographer Taz Unworried capturing the recital.

The Silver-Hope Dance Academy has faced difficulties, Richardson said, with several dance families not continuing classes amid the pandemic. A bright spot, however, came in the form of a $500 donation to the studio from one of the dancers’ families and their company SJ and Sons Contracting.

Richardson said she is now in the process of planning for how dance will look in the fall. She encouraged people interested in dancing to get in touch sooner rather than later.

There are also upcoming competitions in July and Richardson is planning a hip hop camp for July 20 to 24.

Read More: Hope’s fitness businesses prepare to get moving again, in a new COVID-19 reality

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Dancers from Silver-Hope Dance Academy’s jazz fusion, junior hip hop, contemporary and mini steps all dressed and ready for their recital June 20.