Family-friendly non-essential businesses try to manage kids having fun and staying safe

Coastal Dance Center hosts a rehearsal while socially distancing the dancers.
Coastal Dance Center hosts a rehearsal while socially distancing the dancers.(WMBF)
Updated: Jun. 12, 2020 at 10:40 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As the country gets into the full swing of summer, parents may be trying to find ways to keep their kids busy and safe at the same time.

As local non-essential, family-friendly businesses start to reopen after COVID-19 closures, they’re coming up with ways to keep kids safe while still offering summertime fun.

“This is not something in my 30 years of teaching I ever had to do before,” said Painting with a Twist manager Chris Heatherman.

Heatherman made a career out of teaching in schools, and now teaches art at Painting with a Twist. This is the second year the business has offered kids summer art camps, and preparing has been a little different this time around.

“We can only offer to about half the amount of kids that we normally do," said Heatherman. "Gloves and masks are requirements from our home office. If you take a peek around our studio, you can see that the easels are six feet apart.”

If Heatherman’s students need help, she asks them if she can come within six feet to fix their paintings. Alternatively, she’s having the student move away while she works on it.

Meanwhile, Coastal Dance Center in Myrtle Beach has also had to make some changes before letting its students back in.

Dancers have their temperatures checked at the door, and parents have to wait outside during rehearsal.

The virus has even made directors change the choreography.

“No touching, and as much as possible they are maintaining the six feet dancing, where as before they could be lifting," said Coastal Dance Center Artistic Director Liza Mata. "No lifts. No partnering, so all of that has been changed.”

The staff has marked out socially distanced squares on the floor to make sure students keep their distance while they learn the revised choreography.

The students are just happy to be dancing with each other again.

“Not being at the studio for so long, you just want to go up to everyone, but it’s really different. But it’s so much more normal than dancing at home through Zoom," said Coastal Dance Center dancer Siena Espana.

Coastal Dance Center is still hoping to have its Summer Festival of Dance. It’s currently scheduled for July 25, and that will feature the social distancing they’re practicing with.

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