Completing the remodel of the largest studio space for youth ballroom in the nation in just one month’s time was a herculean task. The rush to finish the disruptive overhaul of the space took place during the lull between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, when the studio is relatively quiet. It turns out that the quick work of staff, volunteers and subcontractors was more important than anyone could have predicted.
Without the studio expansion, the 25% capacity limits which have been in force consistently over the last year would have meant half of all teams and classes would have been cancelled. There would have been no way to accommodate the full student population. As it is, student enrollment for the Performing Company and Youth Academy have barely suffered a hit, largely maintaining class and team size, and in some cases growing. This has allowed the students at PBD to retain their sense of community and belonging as they meet together in their teams, with blue tape on the ground delineating social distanced dance pods. Virtual options for every team have also been essential.
Even something as small as a water bottle filling station makes a huge impact when drinking fountains are off limits to stop the spread of COVID-19. The water bottle filling station was installed in the new Studio #4 during the expansion remodel.
Dancing Classrooms has come to a complete halt and the adult programming remained virtual for months after youth programs were back in the studio in an effort to protect vulnerable populations. The Performing Company and Youth Academy have preserved the infrastructure that is allowing the adult program to begin growing once again and which will preserve Dancing Classrooms in its purity on the other side of the pandemic.