April 16, 2021
Supernova Dance Company, a dance studio for kids and teens in Harford County, Maryland, made the decision to move nearly 300 dance students to online classes last March with just two weeks to prepare.
“We had meetings with the teachers over Zoom to explain how to use it, so we could test everything,” said Alexa Conway, owner and director of Supernova. “And then we let the families know, ‘OK, from here on out, we’ll be on Zoom for the foreseeable future.’”
Dancers were remote from March to June—forced to practice routines and learn new skills at home.
Annie Zickefoose, a dancer and former student at Supernova, said dancing at home was difficult.
“I was dancing on carpet, I didn’t have a lot of space,” she told The Click, “but I preferred it to dancing with a mask on.”
With Maryland’s coronavirus cases dipping in June and July, Supernova opened back up for the summer and fall. The studio invested in new technology and safe practices for hybrid classes.
“We bought 50-inch TVs and laptops for each studio,” Conway said. “Each studio has its own Zoom account so teachers can teach hybrid.”
Health protocols included six feet of social distancing and masks being worn inside. While outside the studio, dances were showcased in the parking lot.
Over time, Supernova’s adjustments proved a success—even scoring it the top place for dance lessons in Harford County for the third time in the studio’s history.
Conway told The Click her main priority throughout the pandemic has been safety.
“I’d rather be safe,” she said. “I’d rather know that if anyone did get sick, it was not coming from the dance studio. That was a headline I was not interested in.”
She said the government’s paycheck protection program loans and county grants helped the studio pay for Zoom equipment and sanitation gear. The public support also allowed for a month of tuition-free classes for dancers.
With Maryland now vaccinating all adults 16 and older, Supernova is expected to host its annual recital indoors in June.