Zoom has become a household name as people continue to stay at home. Whether it is to chat with a friend, join a meeting or to take a class, almost anyone you ask will say they have used Zoom at least once since the COVID-19 breakout. Professor Susan Perlis and her students are just a few of the many.
Perlis is a dance professor at LSU who has continued to teach students over Zoom. She has some students from her class at LSU and some that she knows from the dance community in Baton Rouge.
“When I finished teaching my last class at the end of April, I just kind of kept doing it, you know. I was used to getting up and teaching the class at eight,” Perlis said.
The class Perlis is teaching is bar ballet. Since students do not have a ballet bar in their homes, they use things such as stair railings and chairs in place of them.
During the upcoming fall semester, Perlis will be teaching her class mostly from Zoom to limit the contact with students. All of the excursion that usually takes place in class will now take place at home over Zoom.
“We are gonna cut way down on the number of students,” Perlis said. “They are gonna come to campus so I can show form but none of the exertion that causes huffing and puffing and sweat.”
The class is definitely not for beginners as it is very fast-paced. Most of the students are familiar with Perlis’ teaching style, so there is no need to slow down for questions.
“The people that come to the class are kind of familiar with my ways so I can talk in shorthand or they can surmise what happens if I don’t say it,” Perlis says.
Student Sofia Greenwood likes that she is able to keep practicing while she isn’t able to go to an actual class. While there is not a lot of things that need her attention, she can really focus on dance.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to stay active and keep up with your technique while we’re in quarantine. We’re not on campus and in the actual studio, so I think it’s a good opportunity to utilize that time,” said Greenwood. “Helps lift our spirits and keeps us moving while stuck inside.”
They have the class every morning and the students and Perlis all have come to love starting their day off with dance. Student Irina Kurcina also loves that she is able to spend so much time improving on her technique.
“I really improve my technique and feel it in my body because when you only have two or three classes a week, it's not quite the same,” Kurcina said. “It has been a great way to start the day because it’s a great accomplishment in the morning.”
Perlis has come to enjoy her new Zoom class so much that she even hopes to continue it as the fall semester starts. It has become a great way to stay active while stuck at home.