James Madison University’s newest faculty member, Matt Pardo, was recently featured in Dance Magazine for his ingenuity of handling COVID-19. With dance being such a hands on skill, the typical staggered class doesn't cut it for handling around 25 students per group. For Matt, innovation was necessary. He decided to disperse his classes across campus, staging students in dance studios, the Forbes mainstage theatre, and some even traversing over to UREC. With a series of cameras and projectors, Matt was able to pull it all off. Sophomore musical theatre major, Oshie Mellon, weighed in on how helpful Pardo has been with handling COVID-19, stating that he is someone that educates his students on the industry and is there to make sure everyone is safe in these uncertain times. Senior dance major, and dancer of the VA Repertory Dance Company, Ammara Shafqat, talked about how Matt is not only emotionally supportive to his students, but keeps dancers’ minds and bodies sharp and consistent throughout this “special” semester. Rather than pushing for shows split between different ensembles, this year, the entire department will be combining forces for one giant performance. This performance will be coming to a campus near your around March or April of the 2021 spring semester.
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