The PACE Program Persists Through a Pandemic

Social-distancing makes it difficult for PACE students to perform. How is the program adapting to a hybrid model?


Fatimah Khan

PACE students rehearse outside of the Palmer building.

Kate Solomon, Editorial Managing Editor

The Coronavirus has had a major impact on the performing arts whether it’s Broadway or local productions. The PACE program at the high school has also been deeply affected in many ways. The PACE Dance teacher Mrs. Parsley explains how significantly the virus has affected PACE. As a performing arts class, PACE is accustomed to working closely with one another on dance, music and theater activities. Now, the classes are mostly meeting outside and students have to maintain 12 feet apart. Parsley explains how, “It is challenging to dance and sing in a mask and near impossible to see facial expressions during theater activities.” She also highlights that COVID-19 has changed what the PACE teachers teach and how they teach.

With all of the shows getting pushed back to the spring season, the PACE program is focusing on creating digital content in the senior classes. They plan to release the virtual shows of each of the senior classes by the end of 2020. Each class is doing something different and meaningful to them. The PACE 4 Dance students are choreographing their own dances in small groups which will be filmed on the PACE stage, the PACE 4 Theater class will rehearse and record a digital play called The Wilderness, and PACE 4 Music is creating a digital show that includes students original work and arrangements.

The PACE program is hopeful that they can begin to start rehearsals in small groups by January 2021. While the future is unknown, the classes will have to wait and see what they can participate in, given the current situation. Parsley says that the program will “emphasize our yearly play and Kinesthesia, our dance concert.” They also hope to include Musical Revue, the Broadway style show, into the calendar if they have the room to do so.

As you can imagine, performing virtually is a difficult task and it is always a work in progress. Right now, the classes are in the “creation phase” so they have yet to start working on the technical aspects, but they will in a few weeks. PACE is hoping to work with LMC Media again this fall as they did in the spring. Parsley mentions that they were a great partner in helping them share their work with the community.

PACE has been such a building block in the Mamaroneck community and even with the hardships that they are facing right now, the program always exceeds expectations.