A WORCESTER performing arts studio has kept going during lockdown, helping keep spirits up despite the coronavirus crisis.

All Sorts of Performing Arts CIC has been running online classes after putting a halt to its physical classes when all “non-essential” businesses were forced to close at the start of the lockdown.

The studio’s videos have amassed thousands of views and the organisation intends to expand its online work further.

The studio usually runs more than 20 drama, dance, fitness and arts and crafts classes each week for the Worcester community.

Principal Stuart Inglis said: “It was a difficult time, with no studio access, no classes and no income.

“But in the true tradition of the theatre we decided to take the classes online. The support of the freelance teachers was tremendous and within the first two weeks they contributed over 40 voluntary hours, producing 12 dance, exercise and arts and crafts videos for website and social media distribution, free of charge to the audience.”

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The classes are mainly targeted at children aged 3 to 12 but, following the receipt of a business grant, All Sorts has extended the range to include the whole family, helping entertain children in lockdown, provide fitness classes for adults and show off clips of previous shows.

Mr Inglis added: “We are very pleased with the response to our online activity with over 2,400 views by the end of April. We are extending our range of online classes further and considering an online talent contest. Whilst there is no substitute for the benefits of group activities, or the excitement of the production of a live onstage show to a real audience, I believe we will continue with our online classes even after lockdown has ended.”

Mr Inglis added: “All Sorts believe our classes contribute to physical and mental health and wellbeing and are particularly needed now. A recent poll reported that 44 per cent of people said their overall happiness had deteriorated, whilst 41 per cent now have weight issues and 26 per cent said their health was worse.”

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All Sorts students who had been studying for their medal examinations faced delay and disappointment due to lockdown, but it has now been agreed students can now submit their work online.

Mayor of Worcester Cllr Jo Hodges said “It is so important that our young people feel able to continue with their dance and drama at this difficult and challenging time. My sincere thanks go to all volunteers and teachers and to Stuart himself for ensuring that all Sorts students and their families have been able to stay active and involved.”