Syracuse City Ballet dancer Claire Rathbun rehearsing for performances of Cinderella, which were cancelled due to COVID-19. Felipe Panama, Courtesy Syracuse City Ballet.

Coronavirus precautions are spreading throughout the U.S. and the world, and the dance community is feeling the effects. As schools and public gatherings are being shut down, dancers are forced to take time away from the barre and postpone performances. It's been heartbreaking to hear about almost every company of every size cancel upcoming performances, stop classes and rehearsals, and temporarily lay off dancers with no solidified end date.

As a dancer with Los Angeles Ballet, in a city where the spread of COVID-19 is rampant, I've had to adjust to this new reality. Somewhat thankfully, the company is already on a previously scheduled lay-off right now through April 13. Our season will continue through June, and we have yet to cancel shows or weeks of work, which hopefully will remain the case. Los Angeles Ballet School and our A Chance to Dance community outreach program, which hosts a day of free classes taught by LAB dancers every month, are on hiatus.
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Teaching Tips
Anastasia Johnson with her Dance Place students. Photo by Jonathan Hsu, courtesy of Dance Place

If you've responded this week to the recent murders of Black people by taking part in Blackout Tuesday and/or including a Black Lives Matter statement of solidarity, you may think that your role as a dance teacher or studio owner in this traumatic time is complete. But your Black students need your vocal, committed support, now, more than ever.

They may be feeling a host of emotions right now—traumatized, scared, drained—and as their dance teacher, you can offer them a special source of strength and support.

Here's a short list of ways you can support your Black students right now.

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Photo by Kathy Mcp, Courtesy of Ananya Dance Theatre

Bhangra, Brazilian, North African, Malaysian, salsa, Southeast Asian and traditional Scandinavian gammaldans.

Name a genre of dance, and you'll find its practitioners in the Twin Cities.

But in the wake of George Floyd's murder last month, several Minnesota studios have been damaged or destroyed, leaving dozens of dance teachers to mourn years of unfettered police brutality, while simultaneously scrambling to secure their own spaces for the future.

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