Inverurie dancers set for return to studio
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An Inverurie dance school is getting ready for classes to resume after a year of uncertainty.
Evolution School of Dance, run by principal Suzanne Hamilton, has been a fundamental part of the town and Aberdeenshire for the past 13 years.
However, last March saw the group having to adapt to the circumstances and the sessions moved online to ensure the members stayed connected.
With the easing of lockdown restrictions, the group is now set to get back to face-to-face sessions at Garioch Sports Centre on Monday.
Suzanne said: "We provide all aspects of training in performing arts from the triple threat of dance, singing and acting for pupils from babies right through to vocational students.
"All our pupils are taught by our fully qualified and highly skilled team of teachers.
"As with the rest of the world, in March 2020 due to the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, and the additional government directives on travel, school closures and public gatherings, on March 18, 2020, we closed our studio doors to Evolution School of Dance. The safety of our staff, pupils and parents being paramount.
"The whole country went into lockdown a few days later and we began the surreal yet terrifying journey through lockdown.
"We, as a team of staff, became acutely aware very quickly once we were in lockdown how much our classes boost children and adults confidence and self-esteem.
"We have always been very aware of the benefits of how much dancing and singing have huge physical, social and emotional rewards.
"So, as we were getting used to a very different reality and our face-to-face teaching classes were temporarily suspended, we knew we had to stay connected with our pupils.
"With all the unknowns of lockdown, we quickly knew that we had to begin to fast track Evolution classes being set up remotely, online.
"Although we knew it was not ideal, we knew it was the new normal for the foreseeable. We wanted to support our Evolution pupils through the scary and unknown time of the global pandemic by keeping the continuity of dance and singing there for them as their weekly classes always are."
After researching various online platforms for learning the school chose to work with Google classroom and Zoom.
The purpose of the virtual classes was to ensure continuity of learning and dance training for the students.
Suzanne added: "For many of our dancers the social aspect of coming to classes is extremely important to them and a huge part of their life.
"Many of our seniors are on our vocational specialist program and train five to six days a week. Many of whom were training had been accepted into full-time degree training colleges in London.
"The prestigious colleges in the capital also closed their doors and transferred online. We really did not know what was around the corner for us, but we did not want to close our doors fully to our pupils."
"The team of Evolution staff has worked so hard to keep everyone singing and dancing on Zoom. We are immensely proud of the commitment and resilience that all our students have shown, continuing to shine bright when times have been so hard.
"We have had huge support for our Evo-online classes @home. It is so heart-warming to know how many families are supporting Evolution and advocating our survival so that we can continue to provide dance education for our pupils and make treasured memories for everyone, for many years to come.
"We are very grateful for the continued support of our small business and wish to thank all our Evolution families for backing us."
The dance school has a variety of classes for boys and girls from the Early Years Star program and the classes including ballet, tap, modern, highland, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, acro, commercial jazz, vocal coaching, adults classes and the vocational coaching program.
Suzanne said: "We have our in-house specialist youth dance company Re:Volution, which has performed all over the UK and worked and performed with world famous choreographer Sir Richard Alston.
"We also offer SQA training in Higher dance in collaboration with Inverurie Academy at the new campus.
"We would be delighted to welcome new dancers and singers from babies upwards to join our Evolution family."