Dancers with Academy of Dance Dynamics in Valrico have continued dance, albeit in different ways, during the global pandemic. Its dancers have performed outdoors at local nursing homes for residents stuck inside and with chalk, as shown here. (Photo credit: Jim Siedlack.)

Many organizations have been forced to change, close or adapt during the global pandemic. This time has been especially difficult for places like dance studios. The owner of Academy of Dance Dynamics in Valrico, Renee Melanson, has truly shown resilience and an ability to change.

Melanson said, “Our focus now is creating a safe and secure place for the dancers. We want them to have a sense of normalcy and be themselves.”

Melanson added, “In the past, we focused on competing and performances. This year, we have been going to nursing homes and assisted living facilities and performing outdoors for the residents. This teaches the students to have empathy and learn to give back to the community. We will one day return to events and competition, but I never want to lose the positive things we have focused on this year.”

Jim Siedlack’s 11-year-old daughter, Addison, has been with Academy of Dance Dynamics for over two years. She performed with the performance team. Recently, she and other dancers took part in a photo shoot at Stearns Park where the dancers used color chalk.

Siedlack said, “The world has been a challenging place as we have all been dealing with COVID-19. The dance studio struggled during the height of the pandemic. I believe Renee Melanson did an amazing job keeping her studio open and the students dancing despite the challenges. Renee is an incredible person who values and develops independence, leadership, personal growth and confidence as much as the skill of dance. She is truly an amazing person who treats every dancer as her own daughter.”

The performance team was nearly shut down due to the pandemic, but, Siedlack said, “Renee was able to find unique and creative angles to keep this team performing and giving back to the community.” This included creating a short video to help fight human trafficking, performing outdoors and the aforementioned photo shoot.

The Academy of Dance Dynamics continues to accept new students, but all must wear masks. Melanson has installed video to have Zoom in all of the classes so that parents can check in and see that their child is safe.

The Academy of Dance Dynamics is located at 4383 Lynx Paw Trl. in Valrico. For more information, please visit or call 655-8277.

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