Where were you when you heard the news?
I was sat in the pub, celebrating with Prosecco the massive achievement of producing 3 wonderful shows the day before! The music was switched off, the telly turned up and Boris Johnson announces that unessential businesses are required to close.
Your instincts kick in, fight or flight!
I am positive I was a project manager in a former life. I sprang off the comfy seat, downed the glass and headed home to plan and prepare. By 9pm that evening I had sourced the system, written documents, gathered several testers and announced to both the team and the school that we would be dancing online.
The next day and with our classes ready to go live; I sat in Carrie’s living room ready to take the first class online. We laughed, I cried, we laughed some more and I cried.
Unbeknown to us, we were then set up to dance online for 166 days! Throughout this time I took on a new job role, IT support and the classes took on a new dynamic, dancing at home. With a big mix of characters from the camera shy, to the dancing diva, the chatty bunch and the quiet ones, it felt great to continue the dancing journey and in turn learnt a lot more about our dancers, their families and their living room’s.
Ensuring dancers were engaged, continuing to stay active, happy, socialising and of course, giving the grownups a chance for a break was key to our lesson plans and with a creative group at the end of my fingertips, the team and I brainstormed various ideas that either sank or swam!
By the time we were ready to return to the studios, the team and I could have secured a position within Cbeebies as children presenters with the amount of research, set up and over enthusiastic smiles! In fact, we even took part in a workshop held by Alex Winters, a Cbeebies presenter!
From March 2020 to now, we continue to grow the online platform as we leap in and out of lockdowns, continuing to ensure that our dancers are at the heart of every decision, event and class. As a school we have grown closer, as a team we are more resilient and as for me, I’ve added many new skills to the CV.