MOUNT Gambier’s HYPE Dance Studio has gone digital to help students maintain their skills and fitness.
A noticable drop in class attendance – believed to be an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – led the studio to explore an online class schedule.
“Little did we know that in the next few days we would see the Prime Minister make many announcements that would affect our day-to-day running,” studio instructor Keana Soper said.
“Our number-one priority was to keep people active and to give people something that would keep their minds busy throughout the tough times ahead.”
The dance instructor said the studio had received an overwhelmingly positive response from students to the online classes, with many children understanding of the need to alter their lessons.
“Both students and parents have been grateful they can continue to enjoy dancing even though we cannot physically dance together,” she said.
Dance instructors have compiled pre-recorded videos where they speak as if they are teaching a class, with students able to follow along from home.
“The beauty of pre-recorded videos is that parents can save the videos to their child’s device so that it is not constantly using the home internet,” Ms Soper said.
“While for the majority of our students it seems to be working quite well, we do know that it presents challenges for some learning styles and that is something we are working on in preparation for next term.”
It has been a steep learning curve for the studio staff who prepare and record material during the day, attempting to cover any questions or points they believe might arise from students.
Each video is posted at the normal class time with staff also using video chat technology to interact with students completing their dance certificates.
“We will also deliver one-on-one lessons through the same avenues instead of our regular face-to-face solo and duo lessons,” Ms Soper said.
“All of these changes have presented a number of challenges to work through but we now have a smooth process in place.”
The studio has also made its adult hip-hop class free to access online for all users.
“We have had so many people tell us they have wanted to try our adult hip-hop class so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for them to give it a go in the comfort of their own homes,” Ms Soper said.
“I have been recording full class length videos that are then uploaded to our social media every Tuesday at 6.30pm.
“We are hoping this free access to our class provides some fun and fitness for the Limestone Coast community as our aim is to spread kindness and joy through sharing our love for dancing through these uncertain times.”