PORT HURON, Mich. (WXYZ) — So many kids are adjusting to life at home because of the stay-at-home order. On top of losing their normal school routine, many of them also lost their afterschool team sports or physical activities. But a lot of folks are working hard to keep kids active during the quarantine.
No punching bag needed for 12-year-old Gage Watters of West Bloomfield. He’s started boxing with his dad Jeff in their driveway several times a week.
Nikki Little posted a picture of her twin boys on Instagram enjoying hiking in the Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve.
Even my little cousins Luke and Tyler are kicking around the soccer ball at least three times a week to keep their skills up.
Of course, once-packed gyms, ball fields, and dance studios are now empty.
Nine-year-old Theresa Hohmann of Kimball Township in St. Clair County went from 12 hours of dancing a week to none.
Her Mom said she was really sad – not only because she missed dancing, but also because she’s old enough to understand the reason causing it all – a global pandemic.
“It’s not easy for anyone,” said Mary Margaret Hohman – wiping tears from her eyes. “I mean I can, I feel, I feel for the doctors. I feel for their families, the nurses, the first responders. I couldn’t imagine what they’re going through, but I see what my daughter is going through and my kids, and it’s hard.”
But her daughter’s spirits soon lifted when her dance studio in Port Huron started offering free zoom classes.
“Open the arms. Stay in releve. Now lift. And plie. Finish strong!” announced Brandon Harneck, Theresa’s dance instructor – now coming to her living room live via Zoom.
“When he gives me directions, it helps me. And I get more practice, and I get better at it,” Theresa explained.
She now dances two-to-three hours a day thanks to the Dance Company Conservatory in Port Huron – which is offering 20 classes online for free this month.
Laurie Langoff – the owner of Dance Company Conservatory in Port Huron said the instructors mobilized online classes quickly, and she is paying them for the hours they’re teaching.
“I had heard that one of the problems that people experience when they experience a trauma is finding a way to move on in a positive way. So, actually, these active classes are helping me, too,” said Langoff.
“I’m sometimes calling kids out on zoom class, like, ‘Hey what are you doing? I can still see you! Keep doing everything to the best of your ability,'" said instructor Harneck."'Stand up straight, hold those abs in!'"he laughed.
Leaping from a studio to a living room is an adjustment, but it’s working.
When the online classes kicked off, Theresa’s Mom definitely noticed a change in her spirit.
“Yeah. She felt like she was at dance again…It felt like she was the old Theresa,” said Mary Margaret Hohmann.
It’s great to see these kids finding some joy in movement during these trying times.
Again, these dance classes are free for the community right now.
Langoff said the studio will provide the free online live classes through at least May 3, 2020.
Click here to find out the Live Stream Class Schedule or to visit the company’s facebook page.