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Usual 'Hands On' Approach Not Possible As Dallas Performing Arts School Adjusts During COVID-19 Pandemic

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - This year has been hard on all students, but in particular, those enrolled in performing arts schools.

Dallas ISD's Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts for example, has a very hands on approach and teachers and students have had to make adjustments.

"We are usually all together and close, kind of on top of each other, and now we have to be six feet apart," senior Kennedy Hannible said.

In her contemporary dance class, social distancing measures are in place.

"The boxes that you see on the ground - taped on the ground of the studios - are 8x8 ft. sq. with 2 ft. between them so the dancers are always 10 ft. apart from each other," Booker T. Washington Director of Dance Conservatory Kate Walker said.

Only about half of the students actually attend the modern contemporary class in person. The other half, including senior Alma Alvarado, attend virtually from home.

"I have more room to move in as a dancer since we are limited in on our spacing," she said. "That's basically my top reason why I decided to stay home."

"It certainly is different, it's challenged all of us as educators to really look at our teaching practices and make them more efficient, make them more accessible," Walker said. "I think they're getting different things out of it.They're having to work differently. There's a lot more self-reflection that's being asked of them."

"It's something that we can grow from and definitely a life lesson to dance differently, be with your family differently, just talk to your friends differently," Hannible said.

"I'm thankful I can still see my classmates through Zoom," Alvarado said. "I'm thankful I can still contact my teachers and counselors through email and I'm thankful that I have a space to dance in as well"


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