Dance Studios hoping to hold recitals at a later date | CraigDailyPress.com
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Dance Studios hoping to hold recitals at a later date

Dan England / Craig Press
From left, Just Dance instructors Shaeli Hatten, Jeni Giedd and Jamie Ferree take one final bow following the 2018 Spring recital.
Andy Bockelman / Craig Press File

Jeni Giedd wants to see the bright side to this pandemic — “lemons into lemonade” is one of her favorite sayings about it — so she doesn’t mind laughing at the fact that she chose “Candy Land” for a spring dance recital that’s now postponed until (she hopes) this fall. 

You may not know that a retired schoolteacher, Eleanor Abbott, created “Candy Land” as a distraction for patients in the polio wing in a late 1940s hospital (Mental Floss has a good writeup about it). Polio compares to this virus in many ways, especially in the shutdowns both inspired. 

Giedd, the owner of Just Dance, a studio she’s run for 13 years, suspended all her classes on May 1 and will follow the Craig School District’s lead as to when she hopes to reopen again. She tried online classes with Zoom, but the numbers dropped after some initial encouragement. 

“I think everyone was just overwhelmed,” Giedd said. 

Kalee Voegtle, owner of Studio V, still hopes to have a spring recital that she rescheduled for the end of June. She hopes to have a small live show with immediate family members in the audience and record the dances to put together a virtual recital for everyone else. 

“I think it will be interesting,” Voegtle said. “This is a whole new experience, and it’s definitely challenging for everyone This is what we can do right now, and to me it’s better than nothing.”

Voegtle had better luck with zoom lessons. She’s offered a bit more strength training because that’s easier to at home, but her students are also working on their dances for the recital. 

“I think everyone is missing the community of being together,” she said, “but we are super lucky we are able to do that.”

Voegtle wants more direction from the county and the governor’s office before she reopens.

“It changes every day,” she said.

Giedd said the pandemic came at a bad time, even knowing there’s never really a good time for one. She just expanded into a new building and began offering adult classes, even yoga. 

“We are taking the month off to regroup and figure it all out,” Giedd said. “I’m hoping as we start to reintroduce everything, we can have a better plan.”

She will continue to work on Candy Land for a good fall show. A recital typically brings 800 to watch her 200 dancers, which is why she canceled. She said the show, because of her numbers, was “totally out of our hands.” But she also said the kids have worked on the choreography, so there’s no reason to toss it aside.

Plus the coincidence of Candy Land is just too sweet to ignore. 


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