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Norwich performance space back in the groove as studios reopen for first time

PUBLISHED: 17:52 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 18 September 2020

Dance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The Garage

Dance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The Garage

Archant

Music and dance is back at a Norwich venue as classes resume in person for the first time in six months.

Dance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The GarageDance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The Garage

The Garage reopened on Monday and has seen users of all ages pass through the doors to experience its new covid-secure set up.

During the lockdown period, the venue has been able to offer classes via Zoom.

The venue has restricted class numbers and set out distancing markers in its studios.

There are staggered start times and each participant is asked to place their belongings in a container which can be wiped down.

Ivy Wogan, 2, attended her first My First Music class at The Garage, which she attended in the first week since the venue reopened after the lockdown period. Picture: ArchantIvy Wogan, 2, attended her first My First Music class at The Garage, which she attended in the first week since the venue reopened after the lockdown period. Picture: Archant

Norwich resident Frances Hall and her daughter Ivy Wogan attended their first ever My First Music class on Friday which earned a thumbs up for the two-year-old.

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Her mum said: “It’s the first time we have been, we have not been to one before. It was nice to be out and for her to be in a class with an instructor and not Mummy freestyling it. During the pandemic nursery was off and she was unable to see other children her own age.”

The over 50s contemporary dance class was also busy as they took part in a class on Friday.

Dance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The GarageDance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The Garage

Katie Snell, general manager, said: “The Garage just isn’t The Garage without the vibrancy our participants bring to the building. Although things will feel massively different for our autumn term, at its heart it will be the classes programme people have come to know and love and we’re incredibly excited to restart it all this September.”

Some classes will continue online to ensure those feeling unready to return to classes in person can participate.

Hand sanitiser stations have been installed around the building and each studio is equipped to be wipe down between classes.

Adam Taylor, executive director for The Garage, said: “We know people are really worried, however we know creativity is important for people’s health and wellbeing both physical and mentally.

Dance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The GarageDance lessons at the Garage pre-coronavirus. Picture: The Garage

“We were not stopping our activities we were continuing, it was a different way of working. “We haven’t had to make redundancies we have been really well supported by local trusts and foundations and Arts Council England and community foundation.”

The performance space has also announced a new Saturday dance academy for four to 16 year olds.


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