Orillia dance teacher offers free online courses to keep people active | #teacher | #children | #kids

‘I just thought it would be a great way for me to stay sane and have structure if I started a class (open) to anyone and everyone from all walks of life,’ says local dance teacher

Miriam Goldberger is offering a free, eight-week dance course to help people cope with feeling isolated during the latest set of COVID-19 restrictions that have been put in place to combat the rise of the Omicron variant.

“I’ve been running virtual dance classes for almost two years now. Before the pandemic, I was doing in-class sessions particularly focused on seniors and people with mobility challenges, but with the pandemic, things have changed really fast,” Goldberger explained.

When the pandemic halted Goldberger from teaching dance in person, she never once considered hanging up her dancing shoes.

“I can’t desert my people, I just can’t do it. So, through training I’ve done with the National Ballet School and Dance for Parkinson’s, I decided to pivot quickly,” she explained.

“I started partnering with Art Your Service to deliver a virtual program for people 55 and older, and it’s related to art and wellness.”

Goldberger resumed teaching in-person classes this past summer at Creative Nomad Studios in downtown Orillia. However, Goldberger, like everyone else, is once again stuck at home since the province moved to Step 2 in its so-called reopening plan. So, she decided it was time to offer virtual programming to the masses.

“I’ve put out an invitation to anyone and everyone from all walks of life. I just thought it would be a great way for me to stay sane and have structure if I started a class where we move for 45 to 55 minutes, and then enjoy 10 to 15 minutes of social time,” she explained.

“People talk about music, what kind of dance they like to do, the weather, or really anything they want. It’s just a great way to connect.”

Goldberger says her virtual classes make a difference for many during the pandemic. Friendships and memories have been created thanks to her weekly classes.

“We always start the class seated, and then some of us stand up depending on mobility issues. I always provide choreography that will work for everybody in the class. I take requests for music and different dances, and it becomes something people genuinely enjoy. It’s just fun,” she said.

“I want everyone to have a positive experience and feel welcomed on an individual basis. An important part of what I do is making people feel like they are being seen, enjoyed, and recognized rather than just being another screen in a Zoom class.”

The class called Dance Balm takes place each Tuesday morning at 11:30 on Zoom. The program will run for eight weeks and got underway on Jan. 10. To register, click here. To contact Goldberger, you can email her at whatdancecando@gmail.com.

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