OLDSMAR, Fla. – The arts have been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • Oldsmar performing arts teacher moves instruction online
  • Reshearsals and classes are now done through video conferencing
  • Coronavirus has caused many events to be canceled or postponed

With the global call for social distancing, concerts, plays and recitals have been cancelled or postponed worldwide. 

In Oldsmar, dance and theatre teacher Suda Yantiss-Colon has decided to continue to hold classes and rehearsals, but instead of in-person, she’s holding them online. 

“My heartstrings were tugged when I realized we weren’t working together and I immediately started looking for ways besides Facebook and Twitter that we could do some interactive rehearsing time,” Yantiss-Colon said. 

Zoom video conferencing became the stage for online theatre rehearsals. 

“It’s challenging,” Yantiss-Colon said. “I think the best thing that I’ve found is that I need an assistant teacher in front of the camera and I stay behind the camera so to speak so I can watch each of the students and make correction.”

“I’m very grateful because its being with everyone even if it’s on a computer screen at least I’m getting the full practice,” Christopher Naples said about the online rehearsals. He plays the role of Aladdin in the upcoming production. 

Napes was one of 14 students halfway through learning the Aladdin Jr. production when in person rehearsals got cancelled.

"I was very, very devastated. I didn’t think they were going to have anymore and I thought the show was going to be cancelled,” Naples said. 

“I just really was concerned that we were going to lose all of this time and we would have to come back and almost start over again,” Yantiss-Colon said. 

Yantiss-Colon wants to keep the students lines and dance moves top of mind. The recital and Aladdin Jr. performance will happen eventually.  It is showbiz after all.

"The show will go on, it just might be further down the road,” Yantiss-Colon said. 

She hosts the classes and rehearsals twice a week online.