Booker T. Washington Staff and Students Get Creative to Hold Class During Pandemic

Booker T, Washington High School in Dallas is having to rethink how creative arts classes are held during a pandemic

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At Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, creativity is part of the curriculum, but so is geometry.

"We've actually gone ahead and taped down squares," Dance Conservancy Director Kate Walker said, referring to the dance studio. "Now they're staying inside those beautiful little squares."

Students take dance class in 8x8 foot boxes to stay socially distanced, while an instructor walks between the taped squares.

"It doesn't matter if I'm dancing in a box," senior Joziah German said. "I'm a firm believer that dance is one of those things that connects everybody."

Walker said instructors have had to get creative in the way classes that usually rely on actual human connections are run.

"So the physical connection might not be there, but it's challenging us to find other ways to connect as humans," Walker said. "Just finding time to make eye contact with each other in the space."

In one dance class, a bongo player kept the beat as students when through warm-up routines in their socially distance spaces.

"We've found lots of interesting ways to use inanimate objects as partners, whether that's to make a dance with a chair, or a wall," Walker said.

"You go deep down into your soul and you move with the music. It's very different now because you have to depend on your own energy, but I make it work." senior Alma Alvarado said. Alvarado is a remote student, taking dance class via Zoom. "I dance in my garage...I love that we don't really have to use words to express what we feel."

Students are getting a real life lesson in how the show must go on.

"I believe that I need dance and the world needs dance," German said. "Because it's in our blood."

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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