Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre’s exciting new season of in-person dance and theatre classes start this month.
For the past 18 months, the theatre has been holding classes and performances online. But in just a matter of days, the doors will be thrown open, allowing the public to rejoin the theatre community.
Back on the stage
Jess Thorpe, associate director (Engage) at Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, said: “This will be the first time we have been open since March 2020 and it will definitely be emotional.
“We believe in the power of performance and bringing people together into a community at the theatre and these classes are an important part of that.”
Jess explained that while online class attendees found great benefits, the resounding feedback was that they wanted to get back into the theatre ASAP.
Dance and theatre classes
For the first time the theatre is offering as many dance classes as theatre classes. They are aimed at all ages and abilities.
“We have created classes that allow people to start from babies right the way through to seniors. We are also launching a new inter-generational community dance company.
“There really is something for everyone.”
Participants don’t need to have any experience, just a keenness to move and connect with other people.
Creating a community
While the online classes served as a lifeline during lockdown, bringing people together in person at the theatre adds a different element.
“There’s something that being in the theatre that feels different – it’s really feeling part of something special.”
With special classes and guest appearances by members of the ensemble, participants can also get to know some of the performers they will see during shows. That also helps it feel like one big community.
Dancing for wellness
“It’s been proven that there’s a link between the arts and health and wellbeing. Coming out of lockdown and the pandemic, people want to get back together and share space.”
And it’s not all about treading the boards.
Jess added: “The classes are about more than just performance – it’s about confidence, communication, making connections and expressing yourself.”
But they are aware that having spent so much time at home, some people might not be keen to jump straight in.
“There is a lot of social anxiety just now. Our classes will start gently so people can take that step back into events at a slow pace.”
To ensure the safety of staff and participants, the theatre has created a schedule for enhanced cleaning after sessions. All staff have also received Covid-19 training, as well as their existing training.
Everyone entering the building will be temperature checked. They will also be asked to wear a mask (exemptions may apply) and there may be spaced out seating.
Jess said: “As much as we are keen to get everyone back, safety will always be at the top of our priority list.”
Classes can be booked in blocks of 10, so there’s no long-term commitment.
Find out more and sign up for classes at the Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre website.