Honoring our Recital during this pandemic

Claire Van Aken, staff writer

There comes a time in everyone’s life where you find something that clicks. You find joy and an adrenaline rush by doing something. No one influences it or makes you feel like you have to do it, you just want to do it. Some may find it on a field, on a track, or even on paper. At Sara’s Studio of Dance, we do this on stage. We work from August to May of the every year shaping ourselves into new dancers. Dancers and tumblers set goals, work hours on end to achieve them, all with hopes to showcase them at our annual recitals. This year, we faced a major setback due to our good friend, Coronavirus.

Sara Roegge and all of us dancers would have performed at our annual recital on May 8 and 9. Every year, we work in the studio for hours thinking of innovative choreography, new skills, and enjoyable performances for our audiences. We also have an eye on the calendar at all times. Week after week, Sara will remind us how close our next performance is. This year, we spent the last night in the studio not knowing it was our last, for a while at least. We had just realized we only had eight more weeks to sculpt our dances. We had rough drafts of what we wanted, but we had so much more to accomplish. Anytime Sara brought that time frame to our attention, all you could hear were gasps or feel a sudden intensity in the room. This excited everyone. 

As everyone knows by now, we have had to make some adjustments. Due to the coronavirus outbreak and stay-at-home orders, we have all had to press the pause button on our time together in the studio as well as our upcoming show. Every single one of the dancers is so grateful that Sara has made the effort to put together virtual opportunities to dance together. It is not ideal or easy, but we have surprised ourselves with how much we can learn through our computer screens and smartphones. Although there are some cons with e-learning, I’d say we  like to look at the glass half full most of the time. We have experienced some pretty eye-opening virtual classes, including taking class with other studios and choreographers who live in other parts of the state. Dancers will honestly say that at the end of all of this, we will only have gotten stronger and better.

With our recital date passing this week, we have gotten extremely creative to honor our teacher, Sara Roegge, our parents, who continually support our crazy schedules in May and every other month of the year, and each other. Dancers from age three to our incredible senior class will watch May 8-9 pass knowing we should be dancing on stage and cheering for each other backstage. It is something so hard to endure, but our dance family has only grown closer through these times. During virtual classes this week, we will wear our costumes for class and try our best to have as much fun as we would on stage. It is important to embrace that all things happen for a reason. Nothing will ever compare to the feelings we feel on stage, but we WILL have one last dance together. We continue to pray and hope for better days and a clearer future, but until then, we must wait for the storm to pass and dance in the rain.