May 6, 2020

Tapping Into Technology to Keep Dancers on their Toes

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Center Stage in Melrose was forced to close their doors when COVID-19 struck in Massachusetts. Navigating through this unprecedented time has not been easy, but not even a pandemic could stop this mother-daughter duo.

Donna Leonard and her daughter and co-director, Christina Leonard-Kristan, have gone the extra mile to #StayTrue to their students and Center Stage families by keeping them as engaged as possible from afar. “We are adapting - because what other choice do we have?” Donna told Northern. Center Stage has adjusted their schedule and, thanks to Christina, is able to run virtual dance classes for students to take from their homes. This has not only allowed the faculty to continue preparing for the annual recital, but also saved their jobs. “I feel a responsibility to my faculty and to my dancers,” Donna said, “Seeing the beauty of the dancers again is brightening these cloudy days.”

Donna is also sending a weekly newsletter to keep the dancers and families informed and welcomes feedback from parents around class times and current studio procedures. They have continued to push out the recital date to maintain social distancing rules and keep the Center Stage community healthy and safe, never wavering on this being their priority. This community, though virtually for now, is tighter than ever.

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