The Show Must Go On
Coastal Dance Academy gets creative when it comes to keeping dancers fit and ready for recitals and competitions.
When Sara Clemmons first received the news that she would have to close her Coastal Dance Academy due to the COVID-19 outbreak, she immediately began thinking about how she could continue to keep her 100-plus students on track for their summer recital.
After seven years of teaching dance, Clemmons opened her own dance studio in Leland in 2012. She started with 40 students in a small, one-room building and moved to a beautiful large location in Brunswick Forest in 2018.
Now in its eighth year of operation, her dance academy in Brunswick Forest offers instruction in ballet, creative movement, jazz, tap, lyrical and hip hop for children. Her advanced young dancers also take pointe and advanced ballet classes. Adult dance classes include tap, barre fitness, Latin and ballroom dance. Clemmons has just recently added Arco dance classes — a style of dance that combines classical techniques with fluid acrobatic movements. It is very physically demanding and requires strength, control and flexibility.
Coastal Dance Academy started their first competition team this year and will be heading to regional competitions. She has three high school seniors graduating — one has been with her the entire eight years, and another is planning on studying dance in college.
When the COVID-19 news hit, Clemmons knew she would have to scramble to find a way to keep her students progressing for their summer recital. She is using google to do online classes and has posted online videos of dances they need to practice. They will soon be utilizing Zoom online streaming as another way to practice real time. And though Clemmons has had to postpone the May recital, they are now shooting for the second week of June if all goes well.
“Seeing my students’ smiling faces, even if it’s on a screen, brings so much joy to my day,” Clemmons says. “No matter what life throws at us, the show must go on!”