West Side Studio

MISSOULA, Mont. - Local dance company, bare Bait Dance is already leaping into the new year,  moving management to the West Side Theatre in Missoula. 

It's been a long time coming for staff and dancers, but now with a new COVID surge changing how the dance company operates for rehearsals, classes, and their concerts. The show must go on, but it could look little different than what we're used to seeing.

Much like other businesses adjustments to work space, social distancing, and body-count in any confined area has proved challenging over the past two years. The local studio is navigating these changes by adjusting choreography and spacing along the dance floor. 

Executive director Joy French says her dancers who've grown accustom to the changes as they continue to roll with the punches.

"Sometimes in rehearsals where half the dancers are in quarantine because they were even a close contact, so I think we've had to and I think the dancers have really learned to be more accountable to each other, like okay I'm holding this space, I'm going to help that person when they get back into rehearsal with us versus assuming everyone is there and present 99 percent of the time,' said French. 

French says one of the shows they've been getting ready for was cancelled due to Missoula's new COVID surge. They're hoping to put on more shows later this year, right now she says the safety of her dancers and the Missoula community remains her top priority. Local businesses are strongly encouraged to check in with county guidelines, as COVID-related protocols could change in the coming weeks.

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