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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet returns to dancing

The company lost about 30% of their dancers through the pandemic and had to cancel all of their in-person performances for their 75th anniversary last year.

SAN DIEGO — The pandemic stopped many things in their tracks, but the show must go on. That is why the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet is now dancing under the San Diego sun.

12-year-old dance student Miranda Silva told News 8, “I feel free when I'm dancing. I really don't think about anything else. All the stress and worries go away.”

Saturday marked one of the first dance classes Silva had done in person in a long time. A dancer at the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Silva has been dancing in front of a computer screen for the duration of the pandemic. Not an easy task for an art form that requires proper technique and hands-on training from a teacher.  

“They can help us. They can show us correctly how to do it. And it does get pretty confusing on camera... like sometimes the teacher has to mirror themself. So that way we're able to get the steps correctly," Silva said.

On Saturday, many young dancers were back together masked up, spaced apart and performing outside in the courtyard of Casa De Prado in Balboa Park. Although it’s not what you’d call a normal class, it’s a sign that things are moving in the right direction for an organization that has been training young people to dance since 1945.

President and CEO of the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Molly Terbovich-Ridenhour said, “We ended up outside. Once we were given the green light to dance outside together, obviously distance with masks. It gave the chance for the dancers to see each other face to face.” She added, “And so being together is one of the aspects that we miss the most.”

Terbovich-Ridenhour said that the company lost about 30% of their dancers through the pandemic and had to cancel all of their in-person performances for their 75th anniversary last year.  

Even though classes in Balboa Park are coming back slowly but surely, Terbovich-Ridenhour wants those to know that this is an art form for anyone, to be shared anywhere.  

“Dance is for everybody and that really is one of our true values and that you can truly dance anywhere, whether it be your backyard, in the park, in a classroom, in your living room. But everyone has a chance to be a dancer," she said.

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