Studio owners and dance teachers have faced immensely challenging times this year, but many of them have adapted to this new world of virtual dance with the determination to keep their communities together, be it online. 3d Arts Company in Melbourne, is one of the many dance studios that have had to close its in-person doors, but the studio has met each challenge with innovative ideas.
Like many dance studios throughout term 2, 3d Arts has been holding its dance classes on Zoom. Its youth dance classes called Footworks were meant to be using term 2 to work on their original production which was due to debut last week to a live audience. Instead, 3d Arts shifted to create online dance choreography and performances. Initially learnt and filmed online, faculty and dancers created four dances in the first five weeks and filmed them on Zoom, and then spent the last four weeks creating new dances. With the lifting of some restrictions, it meant that 3d Arts could gather its groups outdoors to film some of the content for the next set of videos. The studio will then package the eight videos together and sell ‘virtual’ tickets to its concert.
The students at 3d Arts have met the challenges of this term with a great attitude, and one student shared that she is “so honoured to have been able to see this family again in real life! It really gave me an opportunity to get away from my work and stress from uni and just dance!”
Another dancer in the community has shared of her gratitude at this time: “3d Arts has brought dance and community to our living rooms. Thank you for helping us get through this tough time. Our classes have given me something to look forward to each week and have provided some kind of normal. I have loved dancing with everyone over Zoom, and I wouldn’t have survived term 2 without 3d Arts.”
3d Arts Company is a charitable, not-for-profit urban arts organisation that is all about creating opportunities for young people and transforming youth across the city of Melbourne. Its students speak highly of the organisation’s work, with one student sharing, “I’m so thankful for being able to continue creating and telling meaningful stories during this time! Footworks has been a place where I felt relaxed and at peace when the world was filled with tension. The arts are so important and bring a sense of community, joy and peace to people during the worst times.” And she is spot on with this understanding.
Although 3d Arts is not alone in the pressures dance studios are facing, the organsation shares that they have loved how the countless dance studios around the country have supported one another and their students at this time. Dance teachers have transformed their lounge rooms on a nightly basis because they care so much about their students, and they will continue to give them the gift of dance despite their own personal challenges and the challenges of isolation. So we at Dance Informa say, “Well done, Australia. We are cheering you all on.”
To find out more about 3d Arts, visit www.3darts.com.au.
By Lara Bianca Pilcher of Dance Informa.