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There With You: Dance studios go virtual during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:43 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:18 25 March 2020

Amun Bhachu and Sonal Bailey have moved their dance classes online during coronavirus. Picture: MakMedia

Amun Bhachu and Sonal Bailey have moved their dance classes online during coronavirus. Picture: MakMedia

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Dance instructors across the borough are moving their studios online to help people shake off stress during the coronavirus lockdown.

They normally hold their BeBollywood classes in Mayfield Leisure Centre and Isaac Newton Academy but have shifted it to the virtual space this week. Picture: MakMediaThey normally hold their BeBollywood classes in Mayfield Leisure Centre and Isaac Newton Academy but have shifted it to the virtual space this week. Picture: MakMedia

Amun Bhachu, of Chadwell Heath, and her partner Sonal Bailey from BeBollywood have been teaching children and adults at the Mayfield Leisure Centre and Isaac Newton Academy for more than a year but after they were forced inside with everyone else they had to change their business model.

Starting this week they have shifted their classes online and opened them up to everyone.

Hannah Turner converted her shed into a virtual dance studio. Picture: Hannah TurnerHannah Turner converted her shed into a virtual dance studio. Picture: Hannah Turner

Amun said: “Dance is a healer and it’s really important for people both physically and mentally.”

Hannah Turner, of Clayhall, runs a dance school in Loughton and also teaches classes in schools across Redbridge.

Hannah normally teaches classes in schools across Redbridge but she is now doing them virtualy during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Jeannie FinchHannah normally teaches classes in schools across Redbridge but she is now doing them virtualy during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Jeannie Finch

While her classes were put on hold, she converted the shed outside her home into a makeshift virtual dance studio with the help of her dad.

Hannah said: “Last week my life got flipped upside down just like everyone else’s but I was determined to keep my classes going so I could help people get through these times.”

Hannah runs classes through the Zoom app for children in the morning and adults in the afternoons and evenings. Picture: Sara HarrisHannah runs classes through the Zoom app for children in the morning and adults in the afternoons and evenings. Picture: Sara Harris

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She said all anyone needs is a tiny bit of space to join in on her classes which she runs through the Zoom app.

Boys doing Boys doing "Wake Up, Shake Up!" dance class first thing. Picture: Sara Harris

Hannah has sessions in the morning for children and then classes for adults in the afternoons and evenings.

Hannah has been adjusting to being the only dancer in her shed from leading in-person classes with dozens of children.

There With You - the Ilford Recorder's campaign to help everyone get through coronavirus crisis.There With You - the Ilford Recorder's campaign to help everyone get through coronavirus crisis.

She said: “I didn’t realise how much I rely on the energy of the kids in the room with me in class so I’m just having to be conscious of that and shift it a bit.”

Be Bollywood has launched its first online class yesterday (Wednesday). For information visit their Facebook page.

They normally hold their BeBollywood classes in Mayfield Leisure Centre and Isaac Newton Academy but have shifted it to the virtual space this week. Picture: MakMediaThey normally hold their BeBollywood classes in Mayfield Leisure Centre and Isaac Newton Academy but have shifted it to the virtual space this week. Picture: MakMedia

Hannah runs five classes a day and you can find more information by emailing distinctdanceclasses@gmail.com.

For the latest coronavirus health advice from the NHS, go to 111.nhs.uk/covid-19. Our directory of community organisations and groups, helping people during the coronavirus outbreak can be found here. It will be regularly updated as more groups join.
And join our Facebook group East London Coronavirus Updates.


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