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Outdoors or on Zoom, Newton’s dance students are back on stage

All That Jazz Dance Studio is getting ready for their dance recital with hybrid classes.
All That Jazz Dance Studio is getting ready for their dance recital with hybrid classes.Suzanne Crow

After a year of virtual and hybrid classes, Newton dance studios are preparing for a second round of recitals during the pandemic — for some dancers, last year was canceled completely, and this is the first chance at performing publicly since COVID-19.

Deb Vogel, owner and director of All That Jazz Dance Studio, said they are having both Zoom and outdoor recitals this year. Although it will be different, Vogel said, it will still be meaningful.

“I anticipate that it’s going to have the same special feel that all of our recitals have,” Vogel said. “Our theme is always smile and have fun.”


Last year, Vogel said, All That Jazz had a Zoom recital where students danced from home, and it was so successful they are doing it again. The virtual show will take place May 31, and there will be no limit to how many people can watch.

In addition to the Zoom show, Vogel said they are having outdoor recitals at a museum in Lexington June 6. Vogel said their choreography has their dancers spaced out and includes no partnering or hand-holding like it has in previous years.

Vogel said there has been a bright side to all the changes during the pandemic.

“This past year has really put into perspective, I think, what’s important, and our dance family is just really, really special,” Vogel said.

Michelle Shirley, owner and director of Creative Steps Dance Studio, said they are having outdoor recitals June 13 this year. Since they rent their studio space from the Boys & Girls Club of Newton, Shirley said, they are putting up a stage in their parking lot for the show.

“We are trying to keep the feel and the vibe the same,” Shirley said. “But we are in new territory with dancing outside in the parking lot and hoping it doesn’t rain.”


Creative Steps Dance Studio’s recital also will be live streamed. Since they didn’t have a recital last year, Shirley said, this year, they are using last year’s costumes, but with new choreography.

Shirley said social distancing “has changed a lot of the way the teachers are coming up with their choreography, which is nice, because now we can be more creative and come up with different ways to make the routines just as exciting.”

Erica Sperberg, director for The Dance Academy of Siagel Productions, said this year dancers will come in costume to record their pieces at the Marriott in Newton June 1–5, and then they will hopefully release the videos as a “live stream” recital the following weekend.

Compared to usual recitals, Sperberg said this year’s show is “almost more work because you want it to be just as good, but it has to be different.”

“I think there’s a uniqueness to it and something that we’ll always remember,” Sperberg said.

Since their recital was canceled last year, Sperberg said, they had a block party outside of their studio, and they plan to do that again this year in addition to the live stream show.

“I think what the pandemic has brought to us as dancers, as teachers, as choreographers, as students is just how important dance is for our mentality, and for everything,” Sperberg said.

Suzanne Crow can be reached at newtonreport@globe.com.

CAPTION: Dance recitals in Newton will look different again this year. 
CREDIT: Suzanne Crow
CAPTION: Dance recitals in Newton will look different again this year. CREDIT: Suzanne CrowSuzanne Crow