Even sports are going online to compensate for the ban on mass outdoor gatherings. For example, Netball Australia said it would deliver live and free online netball workouts and programs.

Marian Street Theatre for Young People in Gordon, on the upper north shore, has developed a suite of online classes for the upcoming Easter holidays.

The Marian Street Theatre for Young People is one of the many children's activity providers pivoting to online classes.

The Marian Street Theatre for Young People is one of the many children’s activity providers pivoting to online classes.Credit:Louise Kennerley

“Ultimately, we’ve got to be flexible and responsive and if kids can’t come to class, it is how we have to do it,” said general manager Jessica Blaxland Ashby.

“The big thing for us is none of the classes can be your boring seminar, it’s got to be interactive. A lot of what drama is about the back and forth between students.”

As well as re-purposing regular programs as online classes, Marian Street Theatre was planning to offer Dr Victoria’s Laughatorium, a humour class for 9-12 year-olds with performer Victoria Nicolls (who is not actually a doctor), plus classes on making a YouTube channel and in-depth study of the HSC drama and English texts.

Ms Blaxland Ashby said the silver lining was the theatre normally took enrolments from the local area, but online access would extend the opportunity to children from all over Sydney. She has even had enrolments from the state’s central-west.

“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “A lot of what we’re worried about is that people will get isolated and not have time to spend with other young people, so if our classes can be a medium for people to be together, then that is going to be so valuable for young people and kids,” she said.

In the inner-west, Dance Domain in Tempe has notified all parents it will make its classes online for the rest of term one.

Studio owner Elena Lambrinos said the classes would be pre-recorded so children could play them any time or even multiple times, as she was aware many families would have to alter their regular schedules.


“As a leader, I feel it is my social responsibility to minimise risk and lower the chance for human-to-human spread,” Ms Lambrinos said. “This is a time to be flexible, work together, and come out of this stronger than ever.”

Ms Lambrinos said she founded Dance Domain when she lost both her jobs – as a fashion buyer and a dance teacher – in the space of two weeks, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

“If the studio we know and love today could be built out of those circumstances, I have no fear that we will survive and thrive going forward,” she said.

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Caitlin Fitzsimmons is a senior writer for The Sun-Herald, focusing on social affairs.

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