Triad-area educators have spent the last few weeks adjusting to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many professors at the UNC School of the Arts, the transition has been particularly challenging.
Jared Redick, Assistant Dean of Ballet in the School of Dance, says the prospect of teaching his classes virtually was daunting in the beginning. The first hurdle was figuring out when to schedule a class for students now spread out in many different time zones. After resolving that, he developed a new routine.
“I go into the studio and I set up my laptop on the piano. I have an iPod where I stream the music from because it's adjustable speed so I can change the tempos, and then I Zoom all the kids in,” he says. “And so, I stand at a bar in the studio and I demonstrate the combinations. I give it to them a couple of times because that's one of the challenges, is for them to pick up the information quickly in that delivery system. And then I sit and we go.”
Redick says that while his students have adjusted well to the new setup, he's limited in the kinds of exercises he can teach them.
“We can't move. We can't do things that move horizontally across the floor. So, movement, which is not all of dance, but a big part of dance, is kind of missing from that equation at the moment. And that's tough,” he says. “So we try and do everything as vertically as we can.”
UNCSA officials say each one of the school's 1,200 spring semester courses are now being taught online. None were canceled due to the transition.