Limerick Youth Dance Company has been offering online services for official members and the general public during the current pandemic. Pictured above are the members and leaders of Limerick Youth Dance Company. Photo taken before social distancing and taken by Pat Shanahan. Video below taken by Shane Vaughan.
Limerick Youth Dance Company offers online workshops and services during Covid-19
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Sophia DiBattista
Limerick Youth Dance Company has been trekking through Covid-19 like experts with the help of contributors, members and their constant online activities.
Limerick Youth Dance Company (LYDC) is a dance group tailored to young people. Led by Artistic Director Rachel Sheil, LYDC provides weekly training sessions every Saturday to promote new skills and individuality through dance. With funding from the Arts Council and the Limerick City Council, the Limerick Youth Dance Company has been teaching children ways of self-expression with the help and support of Dance Limerick.
Ever since Covid-19, however, LYDC has suffered a dramatic change in their curriculum. Now, with the help of online workshops and Zoom calls, the Company can continue delivering their services to the homes of many members.
Rachel discussed her job as an Artistic Director saying, “My goal as an Artistic Director, and for myself in general, is to have these young people flourish. My specialties are teaching the students in contemporary based dance and eventually training them into ballet.”
“My favourite part is going in on Saturdays, seeing everyone and helping them learn more and more as the time goes on. Now with Covid, our weekly three-hour workshops take place remotely from our separate homes, but we’re all still enthusiastic about our current projects.”
Despite the current conditions of remote working, the Company has grown by five members within the last year, but there is no way to practice dances face-to-face. “It is difficult not physically seeing the LYDC family,” said Rachel. “I haven’t seen the Company since March. With no space available in our studio, dance is currently at a loss because of social distancing. We are not stopping our projects, but we need to adapt them to Zoom calls.”
“We have funding pending, so we have many ideas for new projects. We’re keeping positive but also keeping parents and their children in mind. We need to ask them if they’re comfortable with continuing the training and continuing it if and when the studio opens back up in the future.”
In regards to the future of LYDC and their events, Rachel commented on the online opportunities they have. She said, “We have our one project ‘Dancing From a Distance’ premiering on June 13. It was filmed remotely from all of our individual houses, so myself and a few other compiled the videos together. RTE Radio actually interviewed one of my students for it! Then we have our ‘Quarantine Dance’ which is going through editing now.”
“In July, we’re also participating in the Online Dance Festival in Scotland. We’re all very excited about these upcoming events, but I just can’t wait to get back in the studio. I’d love to see everyone and try to be together again in the near future,” Rachel concluded.
For more information on Limerick Youth Dance Company, click here.
For more stories on LYDC, click here.