Leave it to a dance organization to make a quick pivot turn on plans.
After suspending its spring in-person programs, the Kern Dance Alliance has found a new way to serve its community. The nonprofit organization is launching a new campaign, "KDA Cares: COVID-19 Support." This effort provides online dance classes by local instructors, assistance in advertising for dance studios, and offers grants and scholarships to students who still want to pursue dance during this time. Additionally, to celebrate its fifth anniversary, the KDA will provide meals to first responders and families in need.
Like other major arts organizations, dance studios were affected and had to adjust to COVID-19 closures. KDA board members brainstormed a way to help more than 90 studios in Kern County as well as keep residents entertained with a new hobby.
"Our goal is to move every person in Kern County," said KDA president Andrea Hansen. "Our goal is to make them as diverse as possible. We want every person to move."
A major draw for anyone looking to improve their dance ability will be the free digital pop-up series dance lessons and webinars on Instagram or Facebook throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 quarantine. Kern County teachers will offer a variety of classes including ballet technique, beginning jazz, hip-hop and more.
The next class will be "Mommy/Daddy & Me" at 10 a.m. Friday, taught by Hansen. It will be a 30-minute lesson in movement as well as the alphabet and numbers for guardians and their children.
"We're trying to think outside the box for these classes," Hansen said.
In the past, the KDA has offered events like National Dance Day, an opportunity for anyone dance curious to try any and every style of dance, and dance therapy programs for Alzheimer's and cancer patients.
"We believe that dance can help in a lot of ways," Hansen said. "There's no better opportunity to dance than in your own home."