Dance studios keep students dancing and safe while in an Orange zone


LANCASTER N.Y. (WIVB) – Dance studios throughout Erie County are among the few places people can go to, to get moving. Under state guidelines, dance is considered a low risk recreational activity, and businesses like The 716 Dance Lab in Lancaster can remain open in an orange cluster zone.

“We were expected to have to close in the orange zone, and were ready to go on zoom. We were happy that we’re able to stay open,” said co-owner Brittany Leighbody.

Leighbody and owner Maria Ruffato are not taking the chance to teach students in-person for granted.

“It’s just awesome to still be with them,” Ruffato said. “Virtual is great but in-person is so much better for dance.”

“The safety of one is the safety of all,” Leighbody said. “You know we are very lucky that we haven’t had any spread in here whatsoever.”

Class sizes at the studio are limited to 12 students, no more than 50 percent capacity. The studio also takes each student’s temperature and students are required to sanitize their hands and wear a face mask.

“They’re really lucky to be able to come here and they know that so they make sure they follow the rules as much as they need to,” Leighbody. “They need to get out on the floor and let it all out so it’s great.”

To help other small businesses The 716 Dance Lab is holding a Holiday Shopping Market event. The event takes place December 12th from 12 – 2 p.m. at 10 n. aurora street in Lancaster.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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