By Ellen O’Riordan
23 November 2020
“Alice, can you put the cat down now?” ballet teacher Miss Rita asks as music begins for pliés.
The young student is waltzing around her living room cradling her cat. Such are the opportunities for distraction when lessons are conducted via video link.
Movement is restricted to what can be done within a small space at home and what is visible to Miss Rita and her assistants on a Zoom video thumbnail.
Coffee tables have been pushed aside, rugs rolled up and younger siblings begged and bribed to stay clear of makeshift studios.
This is ballet class in the age of the pandemic.
The Metropolitan School of Dance, which operates from six locations across Dublin and Kildare, had been reopened for just a week when Level 3 restrictions came into force in the capital on September 18th.
“We were so excited about getting back to work,” school principal Maireád Langan said. “I had planned for the possibility of more restrictions and a return to Zoom; I just didn’t realise it would happen a week after reopening.”
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