SG Danceworkz and Fitness Studio, LLC, was set to have its fifth annual recital at Saint Mary’s University on May 16, 2020, and were forced to postpone it due to COVID-19. Organizers quickly began coming up with other options. There was so much hard work and dedication that had already gone into the recital that canceling it was not an option, but it became evident as time went on that the pandemic and restrictions for the studio made an in-person recital also not an option. As they say, “The show must go on,” and that is exactly what the staff, parents, and students of SG Danceworkz did.
The studio director, Sheena Gifford, put on her mask, and personally delivered all the costumes to each of her 125 students’ houses. The parents assisted the kids with taking photos for their class photo and filming a short clip of them dancing for the virtual recital curtain call. Students practiced their numbers at home with videos of their dances and instructors finished choreography virtually.
Once allowed to be back in the space, the studio set up one of its rooms as a filming room. One by one, the students came back into the studio to participate in their “teal carpet experience.” They arrived with their hair and make-up done, in their costume, and performed in the studio for an audience that included Gifford, maybe an assistant, and the video camera. Each student received a flower to celebrate their individual recital. Gifford then edited their individual recital, and all families received a copy of their filming to share with family and friends.
A few numbers, which relied heavily on social interaction, were filmed in August in small groups, outside, and in masks. The outdoor filming locations showcase a lot of the beauty Winona has to offer, and were shot at several city parks, Holzinger Lodge, Saint Mary’s University, the levee and Mississippi River, and a local farm. Those that also were not able to come into the studio to film were given the option to submit an at-home filming so they could still participate.
The studio has been editing all of the individual and small group numbers together to premiere its fifth annual, first ever digital Danceworkz In Motion. The virtual recital has over 80 students participating and will be on Friday, October 2, at 6 p.m. There will be a link available on SG Danceworkz’s website and social media pages before the recital and all are invited to support the studio by watching!