DCE reopens studio

Madison McGuire, Arts & Entertainment Editor

There is no question that community activities have come to a halt with the rise of COVID-19. Musical groups, theatre productions and, of course, dancers have been subject to the community space shut-down. As school begins again and people are finding ways to reopen their organizations safely, these art institutions have also done their best to find ways to safely commence activities. The popular dance group and lesson center, Dance Center Evanston (DCE). 

Since it’s closing in early March, DCE has utilized online formats such as Zoom, allowing students to take ballet, jazz, and modern classes alike all in the comfort of their own homes while teachers instructed from their computers. 

“It’s been a while, and I’m definitely really excited to get back into class, and get back to dancing in-person instead of in my living room,” says junior Nathaniel Orlov-Mayer, DCE participant. 

Learning to dance over Zoom can be challenging, as not everyone has space in their homes to dance they would do in the studio. This accessibility issue has proved apparent for DCE students, but the teachers have done their best to adapt to everyone’s living situations. Thankfully, DCE has developed a reopening plan to allow students to come back into the studio in controlled numbers and groups. This reopening is to commence and develop over the coming weeks. 

“Each week, you rotate so you’re going in every two weeks,” says senior Quinn Turrilli about the reopening plan for DCE. 

“It’s reopening this week, and they have a whole bunch of safety measures in place with boxes of tape on the floor and measured out along on the walls to make sure that people distance. You have to wear masks the whole time, and they check your temperature at the door,” says Orlov-Mayer. 

The thought-out plan has reassured dancers that the transition will be smooth and safe for all participants. Dancers will come in on a rotating schedule, assuring the same group of dancers are in the studio, limiting the contact that dancers have with other people. 

“For our major rehearsals, we have been rehearsing outside. We wear masks and stay six feet apart. This was only for times when we needed to do big rehearsals with more than 10 people. It was hard for some of us, because we’re not used to dancing outside,” adds Turrilli. 

Since DCE limits the amount of people inside for safety precautions, moving outside has been one of the only solutions to bringing large groups of dancers together. They have been rehearsing for a show in which they have no idea if it will be put on or not. With so much uncertainty in the future, it is unknown if they will perform for a live audience, broadcast the show or even delay it until further notice. 

DCE, like other organizations in Evanston, has done their best to work with the new situations that have been thrown at them and adapt to the safety and wellbeing of their community. 

“They have to be safe and make sure people aren’t getting sick,” Turrilli says, “but they still want us to be able to dance.”