• 32°

Dancers offer annual holiday performance

Video of outdoor Christmas performance will be available online

ASHLAND, Ky. — In a typical year, the Yvonne DeKay School of Dance in Ironton hosts their annual Christmas show at about this time, packing Ironton High School’s auditorium with hundreds of audience members, who watch a few hours of performances by dancers in a variety of styles.

But, with COVID-19 at a peak, organizers found that, like many events in our region, it was not possible to follow their usual plans this year.

“With this pandemic, we’re not allowed more than 80 people in the auditorium,” Yvonne Sinnott, owner of the school, said. “And that wouldn’t have worked for us.”

Sinnott said the students were disappointed that they would not be able to do the show for the school’s 55th anniversary and had inquired about doing a video for the community.

On Wednesday, dancers from the school went to Judd Plaza in Ashland, where they set up to do a half hour of performances for a socially-distanced audience.

Sinnott said this was made possible with help from her daughter, Mitzi, and Abbie Crowe.

The two groups of dancers wore masks for the performances, something Sinnott said she hoped would serve to provide an important message about preventing the spread of the virus.

“This is serious,” she said of the pandemic, noting she knows several people who have gone through COVID-19 in the past year.

Sinnott said she hopes the large–scale shows, which she hosts for Christmas and summer, can return before long.

“Hopefully, we’ll all get through this and be able to praise God together next year,” she said of the holiday show.

Sinnott opened the school, located at 612 S. Third St. in Ironton, in 1965, taking over from her former dance teacher.

She was forced to close up for a while this year, as many businesses were during the stay-at-home orders, but has since reopened.

“The students have worked so hard,” she said of the past year.

Sinnott said a video of Wednesday’s performance will be available on the school’s Facebook page.