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Dance studios excited to be reopening

A new executive order from Gov. Tate Reeves has allowed local dance studios to open their previously shuttered doors to returning dancers.

Miss Sarah’s School of Dance began hosting classes again on May 11, while D&L Dance Center will begin having sessions on May 18.

Both studios are taking preventative measures seriously to ensure students are practicing in the safest environment possible.

Sarah Oldmixon, owner of Miss Sara’s School of Dance, said her studio will cut down on the possibility of dancers touching objects by having them enter the room without touching the door and going straight to their mark.

Mats won’t be used and students won’t be allowed to touch the bars running along the perimeter of the room to minimize risk of transmission.

Both studios are deep cleaning the studio each night while also sanitizing individual classrooms in between sessions.

Dena Guy owns D&L Dance Center with her sister Lisa Keene; they have similar guidelines in place for their studio.

Guy said they’ll have an employee at the front door taking temperatures of each dancer as they enter the building, while also asking parents to wait in their vehicles and splitting classes so the dancers are in smaller groups.

Guy said it’ll be nice for students who were used to spending several days a week dancing to get back in the studio after being stuck at home during quarantine.

“Right now what’s important is them getting to come back and do something they’d normally do and that they miss,” Guy said.

In the past Oldmixon would let parents visit on her porch while children who aren’t enrolled in her class play in her yard. Now Oldmixon asks that the parents just drop off dancers then leave.

The change was a hard one to make, but it has had some benefits.

“The noise level was just the music and me talking. I wasn’t having to talk over parents and other kids. It’s been really peaceful with no distractions,” Oldmixon said.

Oldmixon understands that even though she had the savings to get through the shut down there’s no telling if cases will spike again, so she’s still being wary of getting too comfortable.

“Some people won’t return and finish the year. Hopefully it is on the downward turn, but nothing is for sure,” Oldmixon said.

D&L Dance Center’s recital for dancers was supposed to take place May 16 and because of that most of the funds had already been collected by the studio to help pay for necessary expenses.

However, that date has been changed and now Guy is hoping to have one in the next few months.

Oldmixon is hoping to have hers in July, but both business owners aren’t certain when they’ll be able to put on a full show.

It may be awhile before things go back to the way they were before COVID-19, but Guy said just being back in the studio is a good start.

“For us the biggest thing we’re excited about is to see the kids, and we know they’re wanting to come back. They’ve been messaging us, ‘When are y’all going to open?’ I can’t wait to see their happy little faces coming back, it will be great,” Guy said.