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Dance clubs move to virtual workshops

By Jonathan Frias | @Frias_PolyPost

Cal Poly Pomona’s dance clubs are now hosting their workshops online, finding new ways to meet virtually while abiding by the local safety protocols set in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clubs are now using Instagram and Zoom to learn new choreographies.

The Vietnamese Dance Crew Caption of External Affairs Patrick Tran, a second-year civil engineering student, discussed the team’s experience deciding between which virtual platform to use.

“We don’t hold it through Zoom because we found it is more confusing and … there is a lot of technical difficulties with it,” Tran said. “For Instagram Live, we found that it mirrors our movements so that it’s easier to copy our movements and learn our choreography.”

Although the transition to the virtual format was difficult at first, Tran discussed the importance of continuing to practice and staying united. “Dancing is the time to just be free of your academics and things that stress you out, so it’s a time to express yourself and to have fun,” Tran added.

Similar to VDC, Inner Essence — an urban hip-hop dance crew — is hosting online workshops for new and returning members to join. This dance club, however, is using Zoom because members prefer to see each other while learning the new dance moves.

Alumnus and founder of Inner Essence Raymond Tran teaching a new choreography during a virtual dance class. (Jonathan Frias | The Poly Post)

Inner Essence President and Executive Director April Nimmo, a fourth-year marketing student, shared the club’s considerations when deciding which platform to use. “We recently switched to Zoom because we wanted to bring back that interactivity,” Nimmo said. After trying out the two platforms, club members urged that Zoom created a more enjoyable environment for being able to “bring back that social aspect and see other people dancing with you.”

Sherrie Williams, a second-year communication student who is a member of the club, reflected on how the first virtual workshop went. “I taught a class on Instagram Live and it was kind of lonely. I mean, you have the comments, but it’s not the same,” Williams said. “So, when we were on Zoom, it was just cool to see some key members’ faces and some new people too.”

Nimmo also explained the importance of hosting virtual dance classes to keep the club relevant. “Dance is something that is really powerful and can bring a lot of people together — no matter what background you’re from or what culture,” Nimmo said. “So, we really wanted to maintain that family bond that IE has created.”

VDC’s biweekly workshops will begin Sept. 15 via Instagram @cpp.vdc. As for IE, it will be hosting auditions on Sept. 14 and 16 via Zoom. To join, visit its Instagram @inner.essence_ for more information.

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