Downham Market dancers head outside for safe summer season sessions
Many businesses and community groups have had to adapt due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a dance instructor is no different.
Alison Mclatchie has been holding her classes outside with summer school sessions taking place at Howdale Park in Downham on Thursday evenings.
Known as Alison’s Street Dance Club, sessions continued to take place over Zoom video calls during the height of lockdown.
But the teacher has now been running the classes for youths in the open air with social distancing in place.
Alison said: “We have been taking the classes outside in Downham and Wisbech to keep the community going.
“It’s been quite well supported and we obviously could not take it inside so we had to come up with new ways of running the sessions.”
Before the pandemic tightened its grip on society, Alison’s Street Dance Club sessions had been taking place at the Lynn Heroes Fitness Gym, Downham’s Methodist Church Hall and the Tesco community room in Wisbech. The club also covers Long Sutton.
During the summer, she has been running a four week course with 15 spaces available per session.
As well as Howdale Park, the classes have also been taking place every Monday evening at King John Bank in Walpole St Andrew.
There are two classes for each day, one for those aged 10 and under, and another for those over the age of 11.
Zoom classes are also continuing to take place every Wednesday for all ages. The classes are aimed at beginner and intermediate level
The dance instructor took to social media last week to express her pride at how the sessions had been going given the unusual circumstances.
Alison posted: “I would just like to say I’m so proud of all my dancers and Jessica Skipper [fellow dance instructor] through these difficult times, you have done amazing with Zoom and outside classes with our summer school. We have missed you all so much.
“Here’s to the next chapter with our new term in September.”
Alison can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07887 925949 for more information on her sessions.
Government regulations meant indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities could reopen from July 25 following the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Measures included reducing class sizes and allowing sufficient time between each class to avoid groups waiting outside during a changeover.
The government has also encouraged the use of outdoor spaces for individual, team or group activities, making sure those taking part comply with the latest restrictions on public gatherings.