SINCE finding suitable spaces to rent for her classes has become a major headache, a Stonehaven dance teacher has set her sights on a purpose-built dance studio for her school, and the whole community.
Rhythm Nation Dance and Fitness owner Natasha Stewart worked hard to keep her students engaged and active during a lockdown that highlighted the youngsters’ need for both exercise and a social outlet.
She said: ”I organised international choreographers on a weekly basis to teach classes online via Zoom.
”And we would arrange a time to just log on and chat to our older teams who were needing just that time to laugh again.”
She added: ”I just wanted to do my best to keep them as motivated as possible and have some kind of a routine and normality for them all.”
Towards the end of summer, with online lessons having obvious limitations, Natasha took classes outside in the local parks.
And when restrictions eased, Rhythm Nation Dance moved indoors. But Natasha is facing an uphill battle to find suitable accommodation, with a limited number of halls being willing to open their doors – St James’ Church Hall being one of the few available to the dance school.
Dance Video Released Tonight
The results of all Natasha’s work can be seen in a video released this evening on their Facebook page, showcasing her pupils and using stunning backdrops from around the town
And while current problems are perhaps temporary, Natash said there have always been restrictions and compromises forced by having to rent dance spaces. Using school premises meant teaching had to wait until after 5pm, and there are cancelled classes, when the hall is needed for an event. School holidays bring further closures.
A dance venue could be an asset for the whole community
Natasha said: ”All of this has now made me determined to have our own place – a multi-purpose studio that is there for us to use to its full potential and an opportunity to work with and support others in the community
We could share the facility with other activity groups who are in a similar position to myself, and offer the space to local schools such as Mackie Academy who run Nat 5 Dance and Higher Dance.
”There is so much the community could benefit from having a modern facility to use.
”I believe the town is crying out for more use of facilities like this, with the lack of spaces that are available before lockdown and even more so now after lockdown, with some venues perhaps not opening their doors again.”
She added: ”I’m hoping that throughout this difficult time, it’s showed how much dance is really needed and how it can be used to support our young people and the greater community.”
Feature photograph used with kind permission of Adele Keith