Salt Lake Community College’s performing arts classes return as in-person classes for fall semester.
“Faculty all across Performing Arts and Dance are creating safe teaching and learning in a number of ways. Different classes are using different approaches, including dance,” said Nick Burns, the associate dean of SLCC Communication and Performing Arts.
Although dance is a physically demanding form of art, often requiring partnering and touch, face coverings will be a requirement and in most cases, students must maintain a safe distance of at least six feet apart.
According to AJ Henkel, secretary to Nick Burns, “With consideration for the safety of students and professors, classes returning in the fall will have a cap of 15 people per class to accommodate physical distancing guidelines.”
To maintain the safest environment possible, the college has developed protocols for hybrid classes, with the option to Zoom into the class if students feel unwell.
There are multiple levels and styles of dance classes from which students can choose, ranging from beginning to advanced. Genres of dance offered include ballet, modern and jazz. A Dance and Culture class is also offered.
“Partner work and physical touch is discouraged but ultimately will be up to the teachers and students if they are comfortable with it,” Henkel said.
Students interested in choreography, workshopping movement and performing may consider auditioning for SLCC Dance Company in the future, as auditions for the 2020-21 school year have closed.
“This year we [the Dance Company] are looking forward to practicing in person with masks, and maintaining social distancing,” said Cheyenne Smith, a member of the SLCC Dance Company.
The college is looking into ways in which performers can still have a live audience amid the COVID-19 pandemic; a decrease in audience size, including limiting groups to 50 attendees or fewer while sitting six feet apart, would fulfill current physical distancing guidelines.
Despite these technicalities, students are still feeling the excitement of returning to classes and working with SLCC Dance Company.
“Because our spring concert was canceled, we’ve agreed as a company to bring back the same pieces this fall,” Smith said. “This way, we can use the choreography and costumes that we worked so hard on last semester.”
Students with specific questions or wishing for more information regarding SLCC dance classes this semester can reach out to Whitney Harris.