Xtreme Cheer & Dance co-owners Lisa Bosch and Karen Hall recently arranged to deliver what Bosch referred as “care packages” to some of their youngest athletes.
“Sparkle and shine” students got scarves, tiaras and wands, items that they would normally have in class, so they could have a similar experience to their in-studio sessions.
Langley-based Xtreme was forced to move practices online as a result of distance restrictions imposed because of COVID-19.
Bosch said the competition shutdown has been hard on the athletes.
“They want to compete,” Bosch said.
“They’ve worked very, very hard.”
Xtreme has close to 200 students, ranging in age from two to 18, as well as the adult classes.
Currently, the highly regarded cheer gym, that is also a specialized competitive dance studio, offers 14 classes a day online with five teachers, but is planning to adjust the schedule to avoid conflict with online school classes, when they begin.
It is taking measures to prevent hackers from “video bombing” their workouts, Bosch explained.
“We’ve been setting up waiting rooms (online) and making sure kids are safe.”
One online Xtreme video by Pilates and conditioning coach Brittany Ginnever shows how athletes can improvise a work-out with a weighted grocery bag.
Xtreme managed to get in one major competition before the full extent of the COVID-19 outbreak became apparent and events had to be cancelled.
At the Peak Invitational dance competition at the Bell Centre in Surrey from March 9th to 14th, organizers kept it below the then-limit of 250 people by having parents follow it by live-streamed video, rather than attending.
The Xtreme team did “really well” coming back with armfuls of awards,Bosch said.
Immediately after that, crowd limits were tightened, and all classes at their 204 Street studio had to be called off.
“We were supposed to be in Hawaii [at a major competition by now].”
Bosch and Hall issued a statement on their Facebook page that said “we are sad to have their season end so abruptly, but so proud of the work ethic, perseverance, and positivity they (our students) have all shown this week in their online classes.”
Some upcoming April events have been cancelled, but they are waiting to see how the coronavirus crisis plays out before calling off events further down the road, Bosch said.
“We’re on a month-by-month basis.”
Among their many awards, in 2006 an Xtreme team were international champions in Oahu, Hawaii.
In 2014 they had what Bosch terms an “exceptionally successful Dance World Cup “winning overall studio.
Xtreme will be offering a weekly beginners cheerleading virtual class starting April 15th.
Information will be posting their open facebook group, but anyone interested can call Bosch at at 604-512-4840 or Karen Hall at 604-613-4090.