More than 100 children have joined Salford Community Leisure’s (SCL) School of Dance virtual dance classes after only a week of being open.
The virtual classes come as a response to the temporary closure of leisure centres from the second lockdown.
SCL School of Dance has worked together to create dance and fitness classes for free to help parents who may be struggling with finances during these unprecedented times.
The classes cover everything from street-dance to stretching, so there’s plenty to keep young people active during the winter lockdown.
The classes cater for children and young people of all abilities and ages, from complete beginners to practising dancers. The team has also adapted the classes for disabled young adults with a group called ‘Rainbow Rooms’, so everyone can join in.
The lessons can be accessed via Zoom, however, during the class, only the instructor can see the child, meaning children are free to express themselves and have fun.
Sarah Grime, 34, an active education officer and dance/fitness Instructor at the school, has organised the lessons along with her team. She feels the classes are incredibly beneficial to the community throughout the lockdown.
She said: “The more we can help children keep busy and focus on positive things, then we’re doing our job.”
Grime spoke of the many benefits of doing the lessons online, from confidence building, to its impact on physical health and wellbeing. She said: “A lot of children have comfort zones and sometimes going to a class isn’t just about keeping fit, they know they’re safe.
“With Zoom, shy children feel more comfortable to ask questions, rather than being in a class of twenty children.”
Dancers can choose how many lessons they attend, with no contract or financial pressures added.
“The classes can adapt around family lifestyle, there’s no pressure with them.
“It gives parents peace of mind, that the children are getting some activity – it’s one less stress.”
Get the kids #active tomorrow morning with Miss Sarah & a FREE Born to Move class aimed at little ones aged between 2-5 years old. To access simply make sure you have Zoom installed on a PC, mobile or tablet and use passcode ‘Move123’ and Zoom ID 826 0320 8856. Have fun! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/mMowHONGoV
— Salford Community Leisure (SCL) (@SalfordLeisure) November 14, 2020
She also added that parents often end up joining in the fun and dancing with their children during the sessions. She explained how the lessons were bonding for all involved.
The online classes have only been running for a week and, so far have been a huge success. More than 100 children and guardians have got involved in the first week. Grime said: “It’s really good to see everyone involved, not just the children who would normally do it. Every week you see new faces.”
Sarah hopes that both the lessons will help children see fitness as fun both now and in the future. She also hopes the classes will encourage more children to join their face-to-face lessons once leisure centres can reopen.
More information on the classes can be found on the Salford Community Leisure Website or on the Centre’s Facebook Page