Chandler dance studio adapts to virtual classes amid coronavirus outbreak

Shannon Wilson's Classic Image Dance is adapting to social distancing guidelines. This photo was taken prior to the coronavirus outbreak. (Courtesy Classic Image Dance)
Shannon Wilson's Classic Image Dance is adapting to social distancing guidelines. This photo was taken prior to the coronavirus outbreak. (Courtesy Classic Image Dance)

Shannon Wilson's Classic Image Dance is adapting to social distancing guidelines. This photo was taken prior to the coronavirus outbreak. (Courtesy Classic Image Dance)

Shannon Wilson and her team at Classic Image Dance saw what was happening across the country with the coronavirus outbreak while the studio was on spring break, and they decided to get proactive.

"We produced a site for students and for the community filled with prerecorded classes from our teachers," Wilson said. "We also connected with our partners in the dance industry who offered a week full of free classes, so our kids were able to utilize and take advantage of those. We started preparing before it really hit us; I figured sooner or later it was coming, and we wanted to make sure the students did not have a break in their routine."

The studio, which has had to close due to social distancing precautions in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, is calling its online dance lessons "distance learning"—just like the schools are doing.

"Every week we are releasing new, prerecorded content," Wilson, the owner of Classic Image Dance, said. The dance studio has also launched virtual Zoom livestream classes, offering four classes each day, one for each age level.

"We're just kind of in this for the long haul," Wilson said. "As long as it's going to take, we hope we are able to get back into the studio as soon as possible."


So far, Wilson said, she has seen a positive response from the families involved in the studio. The studio has even organized mindfulness exercises and weekly family dance parties to keep the entire family healthy and active.

"We know that everyone is in this together," Wilson said. "We all have this new normal of being stuck at home, and now kids are having to do school from home; we just really wanted to make sure we created some normalcy in the lives of our students. We wanted to give them movement in a time where isolation has taken over."

Wilson also created a community website where anyone can access free classes for kids of all ages and videos for the whole family.

"We want to make sure that kids everywhere are moving and staying active at this time," Wilson said. "It was really important to us that we were able to keep something normal for kids. Not being able to see friends or teachers at school or dance teachers, it's hard for kids. I really think that connection at this time is more important than anything. We hope we are back in the studio as soon as possible, but until then we are going to make sure we are doing all we can to make sure we are connecting and dancing with our students."

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