For people with disabilities, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic may have been doubly difficult.
“The pandemic has isolated us all – once we get through that, a lot of us will come back to sort of normal,” said Andrea Johnston, who leads the All Abilities Dance Troupe with local dance teacher Tasha Bryant. “For people with disabilities, isolation can be a constant reality. Community bonds are vitally important to our health and well-being – to all of us. “
That’s why the All Abilities dance troupe is excited to host their first in-person class in October, after a year spent meeting only through Zoom.
Before COVID, the group ran classes every month at All Saints Anglican Church. When they had to switch to online classes, it was more difficult for leaders and dancers to engage.
“We’ve pivoted both literally and figuratively by running courses on Zoom,” Johnston said. “Then last fall there was a reprieve in the restrictions and we got together for an outdoor class. We were so happy to reconnect and dance. Then we were closed again.
As always, classes are free and welcome to anyone wishing to dance together, regardless of 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 has been such a pleasant and enriching experience. I have made 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, in the courtyard of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts Studio across from River Mill Park.
The troop has been together, with members coming and going every year, for almost seven years. The group is made up of over 30 people of all skill levels who come together for the love of dancing and over the years have participated in many events in Huntsville.
Although they partner with Community Living Huntsville to bring their clients into the troop, the group has many non-disabled people including business owners, board members, teens and seniors.
The troupe is grateful for the support of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, Community Living Huntsville and the Muskoka Dance Academy.
Follow the All Abilities dance troupe Facebook page for updates on this event and future performance.
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