We're Open: Walled Lake dance studio offering classes through Zoom

Posted at 9:38 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 07:39:11-04

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Imagine a world without dancing, and no we're not talking "Footloose."

The stay at home order means dance studios are shut down. But one is saying "We are open Detroit" and is still holding classes thanks to technology.

In a time when we can't all gather, we can still come together as a community.

We're Open Detroit is a partnership between WXYZ-TV and out local restaurants and businesses with one goal: getting them through this tough time with with out support.

Every day, we will help shine a light on the businesses that make up our community and help to create the soul of our neighborhoods.

And today, we are highlighting a dance studio in Walled Lake.

The world may feel very still but the owner of a local dance studio is trying to keep her students moving. And she’s not doing it for the cha-ching — she’s doing it so they can keep cha-cha-ing.

For 38 years, Dori Matkowski has been teaching at Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center in Walled Lake.

“We’ve been through the recession, we’ve been through it all,” Matkowski said.

That’s why after the initial shock of having to shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak, Matkowski decided to continue offering dance classes but online through Zoom.

“We just can’t stop. It’s really not that healthy mentally and physically,” Matkowski said.

And she's offering classes for free.

“We just need to do this and families were needing to drop for uncertainty of money and this was a luxury,” she said.

Matkowski says taking her scheduled class sessions to zoom and even offering bonus family dance parties, it gives her students a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times.

And she ends each class with a little chat.

“How do you feel? And it’s okay to have sadness and anxiety,” Matkowski said.

The class schedule continues through May — ending with a now postponed dance recital.

Even though Matkowski is concerned about the financial stress this shutdown might bring to her business, she wants to focus on what’s best for her students.

“Continue to bring joy and make a difference in these kid’s lives because they really need positivity right now,” Matkowski said.

The dance recital was scheduled for May but Matkowski says it will definitely be rescheduled as soon as the coronavirus pandemic passes.

Editor's note: Every day we will help shine a light on the businesses that make up our community and help to create the soul of our neighborhoods.

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