With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting day-to-day life as we know it, Lisa Schumann, owner of Dance Expression dance arts in Hardyston, was quick to respond. She temporarily suspended physical classes and productions on March 13 and launched a virtual site with educational and artistic resources that would keep their students, families, and extended community dancing, singing, and conditioning.
“Our main focus is to sustain and continue developing the social/emotional health of our students and families during this time of isolation," Schumann said. "Many of our families call DEDA (Dance Expression dance arts) their 'second home' or 'third place,' the place outside of home and school where they feel as though they matter and belong."
Dance Expression has been serving children as young as 12 months through adult, offering lessons in dance, musical theater, and acro-tumbling for all abilities beginner through advanced for over 33 years.
"It was a natural response to what our community would need," Schumann said. "I am a mom myself, and knowing that all our DEDA families would be facing a new journey of homeschooling, working from home and maintaining a household inspired the idea for DEDA from home.”
Over the past two weeks, the virtual site launched with over 38 live-streamed classes scheduled each week, plus pre-recorded storytime, workout classes, coloring pages, yoga flows and both pre-recorded and live pop-up classes with guest teachers. Additional links to other fun arts inspired programming is also updated regularly.
Schumann said the response has been humbling, with parents sharing photos, videos, comments and emails of gratitude that Dance Expression is still a part of their everyday lives.
“I give credit to our entire five-star faculty and staff who have been creating, researching, implementing, collaborating, coding and putting in additional time to produce DEDA from home," she said.
For more information email DanceExpression1988@gmail.com