As we all try to find our way through the current physically distant reality, it makes sense that an organization founded on creativity would find creative solutions to reach their students!
The Heart of Riverdale Community Centre in Whitehorse, which focuses on skilled artistic expression for preschoolers through adults, with an emphasis on creative development, has responded to the current COVID-19 restrictions by taking all classes online.
“We’ve moved everything online and have six studios going now,” says executive director Andrea Simpson-Fowler, commending the creativity of staff to find new ways to connect with students.
“We have great instructors who have really transitioned well into this online world and they love interacting with the students.”
While the courses have moved online, the personal connections and creative expression remain.
“You Zoom in and have an interactive experience. Your teacher is there for your lesson and they give you feedback just like they normally would,” Simpson-Fowler says.
Students who’ve been regular in-person attendees, but who have been limited in their daily activities because of COVID restrictions, appreciate getting back to class and creativity. “People are really craving that connection and need to feel their world is still a little bit normal,” Simpson-Fowler says.
“The world keeps spinning and we have this technology – let’s use it.”
Which class will you choose?
A variety of courses are available to pique your creative curiosity. For preschoolers, ‘Heart Heroes’ classes focus on dance, music, visual art and story time.
For kindergarteners through Grade 5 students, art and music classes are complemented by dance options from ballet and jazz to breaking and hiphop. For preteens and teens, the selection grows to include contemporary dance and musical theatre.
In addition to group classes, students can also choose from a variety of private music lessons. “No matter what instrument you’re playing, we can find a teacher for you,” says Simpson-Fowler.
Beyond classes, the Heart of Riverdale team is also building creativity packages for young art enthusiasts – a recent package included clay and inspiration sheets, some pastels and notes from the teacher.
New courses for adults, too!
As the Heart of Riverdale team look for new ways to adapt their offerings, brand new classes for adults – offered by donation – include contemporary and hiphop dance. You can also drop in virtually for a fee to Broadway jazz or ballet and pre-pointe.
What do you need to know?
To register, visit online at theheartofriverdale.com where you can browse the course offerings and times. And for those new to the digital meeting world, there’s even a Zoom cheat sheet. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.