For people living with a disability, the restrictions necessitated by the pandemic may have been doubly difficult.
“The pandemic has been isolating for all of us — once we get through this, many of us will get back to some sort of normal,” said Andrea Johnston, who leads the All Abilities Dance Troupe with local dance teacher Tasha Bryant. “For people living with a disability, isolation may be a constant reality. Community connections are so vitally important to our health and well-being — for each and every one of us.”
It’s why the All Abilities Dance Troupe is thrilled to be hosting their first in-person class in October, after a year of being able to meet only through Zoom.
Pre-COVID, the group ran classes every month at All Saints Anglican Church. When they had to change to online classes it was more difficult for the leaders and dancers to engage.
“We pivoted literally and figuratively by hosting classes on Zoom,” said Johnston. “Then last fall there was a reprieve in the restrictions and we gathered for an outdoor class. We were so happy to reconnect and dance. Then we were shut down yet again.”
As always, classes are free and welcome to anyone who is interested in dancing together no matter their level of dance skill.
“It’s for anyone who wants to get up and move their body together. We all have so much fun and spend half the time laughing,” said Bryant. “It’s been such a lovely and enriching experience. I’ve formed so many amazing relationships with people who come from different walks of life.”
The next class will be on Friday, October 15 at 4 p.m., masked and physically distanced, at the Huntsville Festival of the Arts Studio courtyard across from River Mill Park.
The troupe has been together, with members coming and going every year, for almost seven years. The group is made up of more than 30 individuals with all levels of ability who come together for the love of dance, and over the years have performed at many Huntsville events.
The troupe is grateful for the support of Huntsville Festival of the Arts, Community Living Huntsville, and Muskoka Dance Academy.
Follow the All Abilities Dance Troupe Facebook page for updates on this event and future performances.
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