Give! 2020: Ormao Dance Company

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Ormao Dance Company is in its 30th season this year. They have dance schools for youth and professionals as well as community engagement programs.

Ormao provides an inclusive environment for personal expression and growth for all ages and abilities through the art of dance.

Their programs are Dance for Parkinson’s Classes for elderly and Hands are for Holding school assemblies addressing bullying, boundaries, and consent.

“Dance is not for one type of kind of person, it’s for anyone with a heart beat and a passion to dance,” said Prentiss Benjamin, a teacher at Ormao Dance Company.

Benjamin used to teach dance as a side hustle.

“It really filled my artistic hunger,” Benjamin said.

Dance class during coronavirus looks a lot different, teachers like Benjamin have moved to teach classes on zoom or through a hybrid model.

“We have large flat-screen TV’s and the zoom platform allows our teachers, to not only access music remotely, so they can stay focused on the screen they can also highlight dancers so they can go one at a time,” said Janet Johnson. “It has worked out very well.”

Benjamin thought it would throw off her rhythm at first, now she believes students might even learn better.

“I thought at first using the physical touch would be disastrous, but it isn’t. The student’s minds can turn verbal corrections into physical ones,” Benjamin said. “It teaches dancers and ballet dancers in particular to really know their bodies.”

Though the energy in this hybrid class seems muted, benjamin believes her students strive to make every point perfect

“Its hard being is not technical, it’s being apart from the energy when everyone is in the study is electric and dancer feed off of that,” Benjamin added.

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