Staff and dancers at Shorewood’s Revolution Dance Studio share their COVID-19 safety precautions and perspective regarding the pandemic. With the spread of COVID-19, extracurricular activities have been either limited or disbanded completely. Yet, Revolution Dance Studio manages to stay open during these tough times, providing a beacon of hope for the dancers that pour their everything into what they do.
Tracy Rohlfs, the studio owner, states they have a lot of safety precautions in place.
“We have implemented hardcore sanitization procedures such as hand sanitizer between every class, cleaning with a disinfecting fogger, and thoroughly cleaning all rooms in the building. We also have 6-foot boxes in tape on the floors that dancers must stay in,” Rohlfs said.
Though extreme to some, these cleaning processes are proving effective.
“As a result of being in the studio, we have had zero cases of COVID-19,” Rohlfs said.
She also explains that she is in it for her students and staff. Rohlfs wants to create an environment that is safe for the dancers and instructors so they can still do what they love.
Jennifer Stevenson, staff member and front desk worker, also weighed in.
“We clean in between every class and at the end of the day,” Stevenson said who explains every time someone enters the bathroom it is cleaned right after.
As for actual instruction, Modern and Lyrical teacher Kimberly Sullivan says that she took a whole different approach to choreography for her dancers this year.
“I taught five combinations then drilled them. Then, with masks on, I put the dancers into formations,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan passionately explains that physical touch between dancers is important, but now her dancers have to adapt to the new way of class.
Leah Meeder, a senior in high school, tells us that it definitely is not exciting to have her last season at the studio during a pandemic.
“It’s your golden moment as a senior. Everyone looks up to you and respects you. It bothers me that we can’t have a normal season,” Meeder said.
The pandemic is taxing on the seniors at Revolution according to Meeder. These talented dancers must spend their last year without a normal competition.
Not only is it taxing on the dancers, it strongly affects instructors.
“When we were told about the shutdown, we didn’t know if we’d even have a job. Nobody knows what’s going on! But, as long as we are open-minded and stick together, we will make it through. I feel that revolution is one big happy family, we are all open and honest with each other.” Sullivan said.
Meeder decides to be optimistic about these hard times, “We still bonded as a team even though we can’t really be around each other like normal,” Meeder said.
Meeder explains that since the dancers have to work together to relay information, the team feels stronger.
“They all seem to be enjoying being back at dance even in these hard times,” Stevenson says. She has witnessed these dancers come in and out of the studio every day of the week and believes that the dancers still have a lot of hope for the season.