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Edmonton dance studio emphasizes community support essential during COVID-19

Edmonton dance studio finds success amid COVID-19 with community support
WATCH ABOVE: It's been a difficult few months for many Edmonton businesses. For some, things are finally turning around. Community reporter Morgan Black has more on a local dance studio that is staying open thanks to some local generosity.

It’s been a tough few months for many small businesses in Edmonton due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Now some are beginning to turn a corner, thanks to community support.

Edmonton’s Dance Code Studio was preparing to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in October. The COVID-19 pandemic put that milestone in jeopardy.

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“Our studio’s journey during the pandemic has been a bit of a rollercoaster,” explained owner Sarah Torkoly. “We switched to an online business model. We had to adapt to Zoom.”

Quick thinking has helped many businesses stay afloat, but Torkoly also credits the community with helping keep the studio running.

“It was over-the-top overwhelming what people were able to do just to keep us alive as a company during these times,” she said.

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Trinity Hopf has been a member of Dance Code Studio for the past six years. She chose to keep paying her membership, even when in-class sessions were on hiatus.

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“This is my home. This is where I come to forget about my day. It’s my outlet. I’ve met super inspirational and like-minded people that I would not have had the chance to meet anywhere else,” Hopf said.

“Being able to continue to support the studio was important to me. They’ve supported me for so many years and I wanted to continue to support them.”

The studio’s landlord also agreed to provide a break on rent.

“Our tenants couldn’t wait to hear what was going on with government programs,” said Giordano Morgulis. “We communicated with all of our tenants and found a way to make it work with everyone.”

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Hopf took her first in-person class in months this week. She said if you have a spot in Edmonton that’s close to your heart, help the business if you are able to.

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“It’s actually quite an honour being able to support the places you go to. The places you love and cherish,” said Hopf. “I honestly can’t imagine coming back to a world where Dance Code doesn’t exist.”

Though the studio isn’t back to its normal financial status just yet, Torkoly is hopeful they won’t miss a beat.

“We’re not through COVID-19 yet. I do believe we will make it through but we need all the help we can get through community support.”

On Wednesday, Alberta Health confirmed an additional 46 cases of COVID-19 in the province. To date, 8,436 have been confirmed to have the virus.