Dancers Avery MacDonald, left, and Payton Daum Armstrong practice in the studio. It has been a long time since dancers from Dance in Common Studio have performed in front of a live audience, but they are preparing for live performances May 28 and 29. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Dancers Avery MacDonald, left, and Payton Daum Armstrong practice in the studio. It has been a long time since dancers from Dance in Common Studio have performed in front of a live audience, but they are preparing for live performances May 28 and 29. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake dancers prepare to showcase talents in upcoming live show

Dance in Common to bring dance back to the stage and audiences on May 28 and 29

Corinne Stromsten said she and her dancers “really just want to be on stage again and make people smile.”

While she and her dancers are nervous about getting back on stage after three years without a show, she has also titled the upcoming show Awakenings, to promote reawakening after this time of isolation.

She said the students haven’t had a chance to dance in front of any kind of audience in a long time, but she really wants them to have the chance to reconnect with an audience, when some have struggled to even come to dance during the pandemic.

The studio has also weathered the temporary closure which took place early in the pandemic and reduced class sizes and dancing with masks to keep students and staff safe. This meant Stromsten had to teach six days a week in order to fit everyone in with reduced class sizes.

All of these challenges, and then coming down with Covid herself in January meant she nearly walked away from her business twice, and she got through the period of her illness by teaching remotely via Zoom when she couldn’t afford to close the studio again.

Studio enrollment dropped during the pandemic and Stromsten said the adult classes were on and off.

“The adults really got the short end of the stick for the last two years,” explained Stromsten, but she said the studio plans to return to full programming this fall and will also have an intensive summer camp.

Students are currently practising for the two performances May 28 and 29 and Stromsten said they are learning to perform without masks and remembering to smile.

The performance will be “showing people that we can persevere,” said Stromsten.

The show will highlight all of the dance styles the school teaches which are ballet, contemporary dance and jazz.

Stromsten took over the dance studio in 2014 when Maureen Saunders retired, who also taught her dance, and the legacy continues still.

“What’s really cool is when you have students’ children.”

Tickets for the Awakenings show on May 28 and 29 are available for cash purchase at Dance in Common studio during the studio’s open hours. The public is welcome and wheelchair access is also available, but must be reserved in advance so those spots can be set up. Doors for the show in the Gibraltar Room at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex will open at 6:30 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7 p.m. Email danceincommon.wl@gmail.com for more information.

Read more: BEHIND THE SCENES: Love of movement apparent at Dance in Common dance studio

Read more: Kaleidoscope of dancers at this year’s Dance in Common review



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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