A say ‘howdy’ drive-thru

Dance school stages distance greetings

By Lindsay Halpin
lhalpin@americanpress.com

nwrh_0404_cathy_kurth-2

Cathy Kurth Dance Academy students drive through the parking lot of their school to exchange greetings from a distance with their teachers.

Rick Hickman

MOSS BLUFF — Cathy Kurth, owner of Cathy Kurth Dance Academy, and her team of instructors said they have been really, really missing their students since having to close their doors a few weeks ago due to the COVID-19 crisis. So much so, in fact, the staff decided to host a “drive-thru” of sorts to be able to see some of their smiling faces again.

For an hour Saturday morning, students and parents were invited to drive into the parking lot of their beloved dance school so they could wave to their teachers and at least lay eyes on those who have become such an important part of their lives.

“It was such a sweet time,” Kurth said. “We had at least 30 cars come through and the kids had actually made their own signs for us, which was such a nice surprise.”nwrh_0404_cathy_kurth-1

Faculty and staff at Cathy Kurth Dance Academy in Moss Bluff greeted students from a distance Saturday in the school’s parking lot.
 

Rick Hickman

Kurth said she and her staff normally see students on a daily basis so when word came they would have to shut down temporarily, it was very emotional.

“We have some students who have been with us for 15-16 years; since they were 3 years old,” Kurth explained. “We spend a lot of time with them and we wanted to find a way to see them but to also keep them, and ourselves, safe.”

Dance Academy secretary Dee Dee Orsak, who has been with the studio for five years, said the event was great for both staff and students alike.

“It was very emotional,” she said. “We all just miss them so much; it doesn’t matter how old they are, or how long they have been with us — we just miss them.”

Typically at this time of year the dance academy would be entering recital season soon, so the team has been offering students alternative learning methods to keep them on their toes and engaged during this prolonged absence from classes.nwrh_0404_cathy_kurth-3

Faculty and staff at Cathy Kurth Dance Academy in Moss Bluff greeted students from a distance Saturday in the school’s parking lot.
 

Rick Hickman

“Our teachers have come into the studio and recorded their classes, which they then send to their students so that the kids can do classes on their own time, and when it is convenient for parents as well,” Kurth said. “We are all trying to adapt to this new normal.”

Not unlike the majority of small business owners, Kurth said she is worried about what the future might bring, but feels tremendous gratitude that overshadows her worries.

“I’ve got such an amazing group of parents and kids,” she said. “I am so fortunate and blessed to be able to work with such great people that I know we will get through this period of uncertainty, and if we keep looking for the plusses, and there are some; if we keep looking up we might come out of this even better than we were before.”

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