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"We connect with people and our medium of connecting is dance"
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Cleo Parker Robinson's dance studios are empty right now except for the visits by the namesake of the company.

Virtual online classes have replaced the in-person experience.

Colorado Voices

Virtual Dance

4:27
Published:

Cleo Parker Robinson turns to virtual dance to stay connected with students.

"Well you know we haven't had anyone here. It's almost like the world stopped and I'm looking at things and thinking we actually just had to leave. It's a little surreal, but I do love just coming in and kind of bringing some energy into the space and there still is life. But, it is really surreal not having all of our students as we go into our 50th year for our organization, our company and our school, our academy. Our international summer dance institute - we're going into 30 years almost. So it's a little really surreal... this virtual life is very different."

Robinson says she and her instructors are learning through technology how to translate and how to transform dance with distance. It's a new technique for everyone.

"Virtual is never going to be a replacement for what we do as far as technique, and that education of the body in certain ways, but we are altering it in a way to still be able to continue our philosophy. We have a philosophy of one spirit, many voices, and that is what we try to do. We connect with people and our medium of connecting is dance," added instructor Amelia Dietz.

Robinson knows she needs to adapt to the change but she misses the experience of being close to the students.

"My natural being is to hug. I love people to feel their hearts together. I think that's the other thing, to feel their heart. Their heartbeat is very difficult and so I have to encourage those kinds of things to happen in the most safest space. If they're with their mother or their father or their grandfather or grandmother or their puppy, they have to still have contact so even in our teaching we're going to encourage that where it's natural and safe."

Robinson says virtual is "very not her style" but she knows everyone had to grow and change.

"This sort of expands it in a way I never imagined. I never did Instagram. I never did Facebook. I never did all that because I thought 'no,' I want the real deal. I want to be able to feel. But, we're going to learn something really amazing about being online and that is that we can zoom in on each child singularly, differently than when we are in the room because we have 30 kids at one time.... This way we can also have more international children and that's important and that's what the program is about."

Robinson misses the "little ones," children as young as 3-years-old. She says she just wants them and everyone to be safe.

https://cleoparkerdance.org/academy/

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