Dance company to showcase hard-won pandemic progress in film

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A dance company in Grand Rapids that was founded right before the pandemic in March 2020 figured out a way to still get together for class, even when they weren’t allowed to meet in person.

It will show a film Saturday to showcase its progress throughout the season.

“It is amazing to see just challenge after challenge after challenge, and we adapt, we’re flexible,” Arye Shannon-Carmichael, the founder of Atelier Dance Company, said.

Atelier is for dancers who have chosen a different career path but miss creating and performing. They come together for practice once a week.

“(I was looking for) more than an adult dance class but less than a professional career in dance, and when I couldn’t find that, I decided to found Atelier Dance Company,” Shannon-Carmichael said. “It’s very open and inclusive to any and all.”

Shannon-Carmichael said that during the pandemic, she and her dancers found any way possible to practice: online Zoom calls, pre-recorded videos, in person outside and even going through the motions in their own living rooms.

“After some trial and error, we found a virtual platform that did work for us,” Shannon-Carmichael said.

Now at the end of the season, the dance company will showcase its journey by showing a film of routines.

Shannon-Carmichael said the resilience shown has been inspiring.

“Being able to find a way for us to experience and share our art and I find that absolutely wonderful,” she said.

The Atelier Dance Company film will be screened at 6 p.m. Saturday at Vander Mill of Grand Rapids. It will also premiere online at the same time. Ticket information can be found online