Open registration originally scheduled to take place in April was pushed back to give the studio time to develop a comprehensive list of restart policies and procedures, complying with Gov. Doug Burgum’s ND Smart Restart guidelines.
As anticipation built from dancers and their families throughout months of quarantine, Red River Dance & Performing Company in Fargo announced earlier this month that it would begin holding in-person classes again.
“I heard through the grapevine that there were even some parents sitting right at 9 o’clock when registration opened making sure they could get signed up,” Executive Director Caitlin Killoran says.
Open registration originally scheduled to take place in April was pushed back to give the studio time to develop a comprehensive list of restart policies and procedures, complying with Gov. Doug Burgum’s ND Smart Restart guidelines. There was an overwhelming response as classes began to fill, even including some of the more advanced classes.
For an entire generation of young dancers, the opening represents more than just another summer of courses and camp — it’s the return to a second home. While the COVID-19 global pandemic has kept Killoran and her staff from students since March, she continues to feel the connection, saying, “I love what dancers can share through their movements.”
“I feel confident that we can continue to enjoy the arts despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We just need to do it a little differently right now,” says Kara Johnson, a medical doctor whose girls have been with Red River Dance for the past eight years.
Some of the differences come in the form of limited class sizes, one-way traffic through the building and sanitizing hands immediately upon entering the studio. Dancers must be ready upon arrival with no changing permitted for any reason, as well as other detailed plans outlined on redriverdance.com.
But even with all the changes, many students simply look forward to the simple joys of dance.
“I can’t want to get back to the studio to challenge myself both physically and mentally; seeing my fellow dancers and instructors will be an added bonus, of course,” company member Bella Dukart says.
As they move ahead with dance in the studio, the company will also continue a series of online classes to stay connected with new audiences from all over the world.
“We even have a viewer from Brazil who consistently tunes in and participates,” says Alexis Syverson, the program director. “Even when the entire world is going through a crisis, it’s so cool that dance can unite people and bring such joy.”
Registration for classes is now open at redriverdance.com with two summer sessions starting in early June and another in mid-July.
When planning a visit to support community art, be sure to check organizations’ websites and social media pages for developments, changes and new policies.
Here’s a list of some of the classes and resources available for kids of all ages this summer.
This article is part of a content partnership with the Fargo Forum and appeared online on Tuesday May 25, 2019.