Online classes helping Frisco students keep passion for dance alive

Kristin Shepherd demonstrates a recital dance in a video posted to the 4 the Love of Dance YouTube channel. (Courtesy 4 the Love of Dance)
Kristin Shepherd demonstrates a recital dance in a video posted to the 4 the Love of Dance YouTube channel. (Courtesy 4 the Love of Dance)

Kristin Shepherd demonstrates a recital dance in a video posted to the 4 the Love of Dance YouTube channel. (Courtesy 4 the Love of Dance)

Image description
Kristin Shepherd shows off some dance moves for toddlers in a video posted to the 4 the Love of Dance YouTube channel. (Courtesy 4 the Love of Dance)
Image description
Luci Aldaz practices along with an online video from 4 the Love of Dance. (Courtesy Gina Aldaz)
Image description
Luci Aldaz practices along with an online video from 4 the Love of Dance. (Courtesy Gina Aldaz)
The young dancers who attend the 4 The Love of Dance studio in Frisco were gearing up for their annual spring recital when the calls for social distancing started in order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Many of those dancers are now practicing at home as they follow along to virtual classes and videos uploaded by the studio’s instructors.

“We started recording ourselves doing our recital dances so the kids can practice at home,” owner Kristin Shepherd said. “We're posting on Instagram, on Facebook, and then we also have now a YouTube channel that we have been posting everything to so people can go back and watch.”

The spring show is the studio’s biggest show of the year, Shepherd said, with an average of about 150 dancers. Shepherd said she knows some of the dancers will not be able to continue, but she and the other instructors are working to complete recital dances with the current students.

Melinda Perez said her 5-year-old daughter, Sofia, is loving the online classes in tap, jazz and ballet. Perez said Sofia puts on her leotard for whichever class she is going to watch and has even pulled in another participant in the house.


“Sophia has a 1-year-old sister, and she’ll even put on Sofia’s first pair of tap shoes and her first pair of ballet shoes because she’s been practicing right along with [Sofia],” Perez said. “It's just the cutest thing to watch because she'll be able to start [classes at 4 the Love of Dance] this August.”

Shepherd said she and her instructors are still offering some private lessons in the studio as well as “a couple duets” where there are only three people at a time in the studio. The business is also planning conference call classes, but most of the regular class lessons will be posted for anyone to see.

“If we are going to have to do it this way, we might as well open it up [and] allow more people to be able to see it so that way they can kind of see what we do,” Shepherd said. “Once [the coronavirus concern] passes, hopefully [this will let] people get excited about our classes and kind of get to see what different styles of classes we have that they might not know.”

Gina Aldaz said the online videos have been great for her 10-year-old daughter, Luci.

“It not only gives her the ability to improve as a dancer, but it still enables her to be connected with her dance team members and her instructors, which I think, emotionally, is really important,” Aldaz said.

Shepherd said she has been pleased with the number of views the videos are getting, and she has started a contest where current students can win a free summer session at the studio.

“For every video that they send us of working on one of their techniques or one of their recital performances, they'll get entered into a drawing,” Shepherd said. “So if they upload 10 videos, they get 10 names into the drawing.”

She estimated the dance school has received more than 100 videos from students already.

“It's been exciting, and honestly it's kept our spirits up as our teachers to kind of see them talking to us and practicing,” Shepherd said. “It makes us happy.”

Aldaz said the online classes are also making her daughter happy, as it has been “really difficult” for Luci not to be able to attend classes.

“It’s been a really important outlet for her,” Aldaz said, noting her son is the same way with his athletics. “During times like this to see that passion come from them, it just reinforces how much they love it, and it's amazing to be able to have the tools that enable them to continue to do it.”
SHARE THIS STORY
By William C. Wadsack

William C. Wadsack is editor of the Frisco edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


MOST RECENT

Pharmacists at ReNue Pharmacy produced 40 gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders in Frisco and Plano. (Courtesy ReNue Pharmacy)
ReNue Pharmacy donates 40 gallons of hand sanitizer to first responders in Frisco and Plano

The production of hand sanitizer is “very labor intensive,” but the business felt the donation would benefit the community, managing parter Raj Chhadua said.

Census day is April 1. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Dallas-Fort Worth area sees highest population increase in last decade of any metropolitan area

The North Texas area’s population rose by more than 1.2 million between 2010 and 2019.

Gov. Greg Abbott updated Texans and issued an executive order regarding the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis during a March 31 afternoon press conference. (Screenshot via livestream)
'Now is the time to redouble our efforts': Abbott issues executive order for state on COVID-19 extending school closures, clarifying essential services

Gov. Greg Abbott updated Texans and issued an executive order regarding the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis during a March 31 afternoon press conference.

Judge Jill Willis of the 429th District Court on March 31 denied Derek V. Baker’s request for a temporary restraining order against McKinney's shelter-in-place ordinance. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Court decision leaves McKinney's shelter-in-place ordinance intact

A court left McKinney’s shelter-in-place ordinance intact after a resident’s legal challenge claimed the policy conflicted with the county judge’s order.

MD Medical Group now has drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities at seven Dallas-Fort Worth locations. (Courtesy MD Medical Group)
MD Medical Group opens COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites at 7 locations in Dallas-Fort Worth

Select locations can test up to 1,200 patients per day, according to the medical group.

While the board is meeting in a closed session via video conference, there will still be an opportunity for public comment. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco ISD to hold special meeting to decide status of eLearning, coronavirus response

The board will convene for the special meeting via video conference April 1 at 10 a.m.

Collin County Judge Chris Hill's order urges residents to stay home except for travel related to essential activities and defines all business as essential. (Courtesy Collin County)
Collin County commissioners extend shelter-in-place order, clarify city authority

No changes were made to County Judge Chris Hill’s original order during the March 30 commissioners meeting.

Frisco ISD will remain closed for another four weeks, according to district officials. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Latest in Frisco: Frisco ISD schools to remain closed until May 4

This is an ongoing story. New updates will be posted as they become available.

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Significance of $2T federal stimulus package for small businesses explained during Richardson chamber webinar

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits.

Samurai Inti Martial Arts trains about 100 students through its online classes. (Courtesy Samurai Inti Martial Arts)
Samurai Inti Martial Arts seeing families train together

Professor Sebastian Mejias said he has seen his martial arts school’s online classes bring families together while they are staying home.

Texas Central plans to start construction of the Texas high-speed rail connecting Houston and Dallas by the end of 2020. (Courtesy Texas Central)
Coronavirus causes layoffs for Texas Central’s high-speed rail project

Texas Central officials announced multiple employees would be laid off March 27 in the wake of a worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

Frisco ISD's kindergarten registration event will take place online April 6. (Courtesy Fotolia)
New student enrollment, kindergarten registration in Frisco ISD shift to online-only

Frisco ISD enrolled 185 new students during two weeks of school closures.