NEW YORK - Ashley DiLorenzo is a Junior at the Frank Sinatara School of the Arts in Astoria. Now that students who are studying the performing arts are no longer able to physically step inside their school’s rehearsal halls and dance studios - how will they continue refining their technique?
"It's been a weird week. Definitely," DiLorenzo said. "A bunch of my friends were like, 'Oh yeah, no school', but after Monday we want to go back and we want to finish a lot of what we started. We just got an email last night from our Principal about how exactly we're going to go through with online learning. And he said we're going to have to be especially creative with our arts classes. But those for me are the teachers that have been reaching out the most and definitely trying to make the most of the situation. So I'm not worried. It's different and it's something we're all gonna have to get used to."
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However, it’s hard to imagine not being physically present to learn performing arts when so much relies on physical use of space. Ashley explained some of the adjustments they were implementing.
"For my acting classes, we're still FaceTiming with scene partners and getting some rehearsal done," she said.
Parents like Jennifer DiLorenzo are also feeling the effects of having the city’s performing arts schools shutdown.
"We're just gonna do what we're told and hopefully come out of this in one piece. I am literally praying that this does not take the rest of the year away from them and that they get to go back. Luckily there has been a lot of interaction with the school. They're figuring it out little by little," Jennifer DiLorenzo said.
Last weekend Ashley was set to star as Tracy Turnblad in her school’s production of "Hairspray". Unfortunately it, like all Broadway shows, had to be canceled. Ashley said this shutdown has even given her second thoughts about pursuing a career in this already competitive industry.
"I was like, wow, I had to step back for a second. But this is [a] once in a lifetime type thing,” Ashley DiLorenzo said.
Jennifer has no doubt though her daughter will be able to persevere and doesn’t question her desire to become a performer one bit.
“When I see her on stage, she just shines,” Jennifer DiLorenzo said.