‘[T]he biggest part is getting to dance’

Queen’s Dance Club opens registration for online classes

QDC has moved its classes online for the year.
Credit: 
Bryn Harvey-Raymond

Queen’s Dance Club (QDC) opened registration for a remote year of classes on Monday.

The Journal spoke to Lee Adam and Bell Viel, co-presidents, and Bryn Harvey-Raymond, co-marketing director and director of branding, about QDC’s operations for the school year.

QDC typically holds classes in the ARC’s dance studios, but due to COVID-19 regulations, all classes will be taught via Zoom this semester. Mid-year and year-end recitals, conventionally held at Duncan McArthur Hall, are canceled.

“Our main priority for this year was ensuring that we are still a resource […] being there for all of our club members to support them and their love of dance,” Adam said. “We wanted to ensure that we continued to offer the same quality [of] services, just through a more COVID-19 friendly platform.”

QDC normally charges fees on a per-class basis, but Adam said the club is charging a flat membership fee of $45 for access to all 21 classes for the semester to ensure an “ethical, equitable way of delivering classes.”

According to Adam and Viel, in place of full-length recital pieces, classes will focus on exercises, combinations, and techniques. Dancers can also expect additional workout-style classes and small, in-person workshops later in the school year.

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“It’s different and disappointing that we can’t dance in the studio, but I have high hopes,” Viel said. “We’re the dance club and recitals aren’t all that we do […] the biggest part is getting to dance. I know QDC is a club that a lot of members join just to relax, destress, and have fun for a couple of hours on a weekday.”

Viel said QDC has taken dancers’ space limitations at home into consideration and has discussed the issue with teachers as well.

“[Adam and I] personally have quite limited space in our houses, but enough to make it work,” Viel said. “If you’ve got enough space—it doesn’t have to be big, we encourage [joining QDC].”

“Our staff are aware of that and there will be modifications,” Adam added. “If [a teacher] notices that someone is in a really cramped space, they might suggest that instead of doing a battement all the way, do a développé so you’re not kicking stuff.”

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Harvey-Raymond told The Journal that due to the ARC’s delayed reopening plan involving recreational clubs, QDC condensed four months’ worth of preparation into three weeks. This process included preparing for registration, revamping the QDC website, taking staff headshots, creating promotional materials, and scheduling classes.

“A lot of our marketing typically surrounds events like the Sidewalk Sale, Queen’s in the Park, and having our advertisement on TVs in the ARC,” Harvey-Raymond said. “We’ve definitely had a ton of challenges [ … ] trying to adapt, making sure that everyone was still hearing about our club without those huge staples.”

Despite obstacles, Harvey-Raymond said she’s “happy and excited” about what QDC has produced.

“I have very high hopes for this club. The passion this executive team has is insane and we all care so, so much about this club, and we want to do what’s best for it.”

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