Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pat’s Dance Studio in Baldwin was unable to host its annual recital, which usually takes place in the spring.
But owner Melanie Vaughan was determined to allow her students to perform in a way that culminated their hard work and training.
She teamed up with her staff — with help from her family — to create a safe, socially distanced, scaled-down version of the recital outdoors on a sunny Nov. 14.
“We’re going to make it happen for our people and our families, because they need this,” she said at the recital, where a temporary dance floor was set up underneath a large tent in the business parking lot on Church Street. “All these kids got everything taken away from them, with sports and everything at school and they need this — we need this finalization of the previous season. We all worked together and made it happen for everyone. And it’s a beautiful day today.”
Parents sat in folding chairs, taking turns watching their children dance.
It took about a month to prepare, Vaughan said.
About 80 students participated in the showcase performance, which ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Upon entering the parking lot, each person — all of whom wore masks — had their temperatures checked, and sanitization supplies were ample.
“I want to keep us all healthy, and I want us to keep on dancing,” Vaughan said. “That’s my biggest thing.”
She has also upgraded the cleaning system in her studio to ensure the safety of everyone.