SPRINGBORO, Ohio (WDTN) — The coronavirus has hit the arts hard with theaters dark and performances canceled.
Keeping a routine, Barbara Pontecorvo, owner of Pontecorvo Ballet Studios in Springboro is teaching classes virtually, giving dancers an outlet to escape uncertain times.
“I wanted to stay in contact with my dancers because a lot of my dancers are very serious, even the little ones,” says Pontecorvo. “Even though they can’t stay in shape at the studio, at least I can have them do a barre. They can put their pointe shoes on. They can do their releves. They can do things that will keep them in some sort of shape.”
The studio is home to nearly 200 dancers and is closed at a critical time.
“March, April, and May are really important for Ballet 3 and Ballet 4. Ballet 4–they’re getting ready to go en pointe,” says Pontecorvo.
Pontecorvo has been dancing for more than 60 years and danced professionally for more than two decades.
“It’s because you can forget everything else when you dance. You can just forget everything else. It’s a workout for your mind. It’s a workout for your body. It’s just a workout in general. You can be someone else when you dance, which is one of the reasons I have loved it all my life,” states Pontecorvo.
She opened her studio in 1991, but nothing has ever impacted her like the coronavirus.
“Not even 9/11,” admits Pontecorvo.”The next day, my dancers came in, and I asked them, ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to go home? Do you want to talk about this? What do you want to do?’ And they said ‘we want to dance’.”
She’s still paying her eight teachers on hiatus. She’s hoping to be back in business by May. The studio plans to hold summer classes starting in July.
Pontecorvo Ballet Studios canceled their April repertory; a performance has been rescheduled for October. Their production of Cinderella is dependent on when they can get back in the studio.
The classes posted online are free for anyone. Click here for the link.