ASSINIBOIA - Giselle’s Showtime Dance recently reviewed the past year of dance at their studio, and owner Giselle Wilson felt that she learned a lot on how to be adaptable while handling the COVID-19 regulations for dance studios.
“If I have learned anything from the past year it is how to be adaptable and easy going. In the past 22 years of teaching I have never experienced the challenges like I faced this past year,” said Wilson, in a year-end report provided to the Assiniboia Times.
“From each new announcement to new restrictions to guidelines that we as a Dance Community had to follow to say the least … it was stressful. It brought an idea of the unknown, in a world where we have such a seasonal routine. It definitely taught me to be resilient,” added Wilson. “I am proud to say that we made it through offering a season to our Dance Families in the safest way that we could as a studio.”
Wilson noted that across the Saskatchewan Dance Community, there were no outbreaks in any studios throughout the entire season.
“I applaud our Dance Committee that spoke on behalf of all the Dance studios and worked closely with the BRT (Business Recovery Team) to manage what was needed for us as dance teachers to keep our doors open,” said Wilson. Those requirements included strict cleaning routines, sanitization and mask wearing.
“The hardest was not embracing our students. For anyone that has taken a Dance Class knows by touch is how many teachers teach. We correct by physical touch and reward our students with hugs and high fives, which was all not possible. So we tried our best offering lots of air high fives.”
“Many of our Dancers also faced challenges like having to be masked, social dis’dance’ing from each other, and this made things hard as dance is about connection and social interaction as well as learning with hands-on teaching.”
Dance Education Examinations were offered to full-time dancers in both ADAPT jazz and tap, and RAD ballet. Exams were taken virtually and each dancer at Giselle’s Dance Studio was very successful.
“As a studio we were able to coordinate a Videography day. Videographers came down from Saskatoon and video taped each choreographed routine. We used the videos for three Virtual Dance Competitions. Dance City Promo, Candance and Dance Nation were the Virtual Events we attended,” said Wilson.
“GSD Studio was also able to offer a digital copy of the YES (year end show) for our families. Now this is definitely not the same as our yearend event, but we were just happy to have the dancers on stage as this hasn’t happened since May of 2019.”
Graduating from Giselle’s Dance Studio this year were Hayley Mooney of Bengough and Lorenne Rutko of Mossbank.
“Both dancers have been dancing with me since they were three-years-old. These girls are part of my family along with their moms. You build such a bond with these people after 15 years of dance,” said Wilson.
There was also six most improved awards presented to: Jada Nesvold, Khanesia Warken, Haylie Peterson, Kaelyn Nelson, Hope Olson and, Andie Peterson.
“These Dancers have shown a great improvement in their dance training as well as their hard work in class and their studio rapport with other dancers,” said Wilson.
The acro program also had a success during the season, when Michaela Bumbac was able to land an ariel. Giselle’s Dance Studio also had some really great results in their competitions this season.
The teachers at Giselle’s Dance Studio are excited for a new season of dance, as currently there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place. They will still be following a strict cleaning regime, but their dancers will no longer be masked unless it’s a personal choice.
New classes being offered by the studio include a Fine Arts Club for ages two-and-a-half to five years old; cheer and a POM dance team; boys only hip hop; and recreational classes that are affordable and a shorter season. A registration open house was held on August 28 and 29.