MISSOULA, Mont. – Local dance company, bare Bait Dance, is already heading into the new year, transferring management to the West Side Theater in Missoula.
It’s been a long time coming for staff and dancers, but now with a new wave of COVID changing how the dance company operates for rehearsals, classes and their gigs. The show must go on, but it might look a little different than what we’re used to seeing.
Much like other businesses, adjustments to workspace, social distancing and the number of people in any confined area have proven difficult over the past couple of years. The local studio navigates these changes by adjusting choreography and spacing along the dance floor.
Executive director Joy French says her dancers have grown accustomed to the changes as they continue to roll with the hits.
“Sometimes in rehearsals where half the dancers are in quarantine because they were even in close contact, so I think we had to do that and I think the dancers really learned to be more responsible to each other. , like okay I’m holding this space, I’m going to help that person when they come back to rehearsal with us rather than assuming everyone is there and present 99% of the time,” French said.
French says that one of the shows they are preparing for has been canceled due to Missoula’s new COVID surge. They hope to put on more shows later this year, at this time, she says, the safety of her dancers and the Missoula community remains her top priority. Local businesses are strongly encouraged to comply with county guidelines as COVID-related protocols may change in the coming weeks.