Local dance studios staying connected in unique ways


(WIVB) — Several local dance studios are keeping students engaged during these unprecedented times. The 716 Dance Lab in Lancaster and Tonawanda Dance Arts are offering classes online and staying connected in some pretty unique ways.

Passing the toilet paper while showing off dance moves! It’s just one way 716 Dance Lab is helping put smiles on its student’s faces. “It’s never just been about dance, it’s about staying connected,” said owner Maria Ruffato. “So we’re finding new ways to connect.”

Ruffato and her team in Lancaster have been taking part in the fun, too. They put together a parody video of the Full House theme song!

Instructors say its vital to keep classes going virtually, especially to give students a routine during this uncertain time. “We are trying to keep normalcy for the kids,” said Ruffato.

That message is echoed by Tonawanda Dance Arts.  “You can tell the kids really need this,” said Melanie Boniszewski, Tonawanda Dance Arts Director. “Everybody is kind of finding their new temporary normal. Not only does it keep them moving, but this is pretty much their only form of socialization and seeing their friends right now in a fun way.”

And she says staying connected means everything. “It’s really just not about the dance steps,” said Boniszewski. “It’s about being there for the community and helping them through this.”  

For more information on Tonawanda Dance Arts or to try out a class, head here.

Fore more information on 716 Dance Lab or to try out a class, head here.

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

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