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Maumee dance studio reopening brings creative relief to community

Although the studio is only hosting private lessons due to social-distancing concerns, dancers are finding relief by connecting with their creative sides again.

TOLEDO, Ohio — With so much uncertainty out there regarding the coronavirus, a group of performers is turning to dance to bring back some normalcy into their life. 

For those who enjoy dance, the closure of dance studios back in March threw a wrench in things when COVID-19 hit.

"It was a shock. We were devastated. We are used to seeing each other almost every other day. And when that, when the dance floor is taken away from instructors and students, it's hard to find another creative outlet," The Ballroom Company instructor Alonso Southard said. 

However, dance studios have recently been able to reopen its doors, bringing relief to those who missed meeting in person. 

"I think we all feel very isolated right now. And we need to be brought back together and we need to even though these are challenging times we need to learn how we can move forward through them. And having this dance community would be a huge benefit," The Ballroom Company dancer Elise Clines said. 

The Ballroom Company owner, Gil Aromas, said that right now, they are only hosting private lessons in order to practice social distancing. 

"We're keeping up with all the CDC and Ohio Department of Health guidelines. We're doing the self screenings. We're doing a screening when they come in. A four-question survey that everybody is asked. Checking temperatures. Making sure they haven't had any symptoms, been exposed to anybody else," Aromas said. 

Southard also said he's getting creative with students who may not want to return in person just yet. 

He uses online videos of practice so they can continue with their lessons. 

But for those who do come in person, there are some safety measures in place.

"We're requiring instructors to wear masks. It is not an easy task to wear masks while you dance so we tend to often take breaks in between for the instructors and students. But it definitely is a requirement to wear masks, especially when we're sharing close space," Southard said.

The measures are allowing students to continue with their love of dance and expression. 

"There's just an unspoken kinda communication thing that just goes on and when you're in the moment. It can sometimes be so beautiful and that's just a totally different high that you may not know or never understand unless you get there," dancer Melinda Amornwichet said.

At the end of the day, it's just all about their passion. 

"I just want to dance," Southard said. 

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