Businesses that have been forced to close due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak have been scrambling to come up with plans on how to move forward through the crisis. Most restaurants and eateries are keeping afloat, but for everyone else, it’s a much more challenging problem to solve.
For two local business owners, they’ve been passing the time by coming up with a unique and fun idea to keep their customer base engaged. Joanne Nizolek and Jackie Lukas, co-owners of DANZhouse Fitness in Shrewsbury, recently shot a series of short videos and stitched them for social media that had people dancing from their homes — all while still respecting the rules of social distancing.
Call it an on-the-go mobile dance session of sorts that had Lukas driving around to the homes of some of its members and performing choreographed dance sequences for the camera. “It’s just for fun and just to kind of see their faces because we haven’t seen them for over two weeks,” said Lukas, who was inspired to proceed with the idea from a virtual Zoom happy hour she was participating in. “It was nice to give back and it was good to see everybody’s faces. Everyone was really happy.”
It was nice to give back and it was good to see everybody’s faces. Everyone was really happy.– Jackie Lukas, DANZhouse Fitness
Nizolek was thrilled about the idea, which initially planned for them to visit a few people, but after posting them on social media, it snowballed to include several more visits. “People were messaging us saying that was the highlight of their week, that they were just so happy to see a familiar face and get to dance,” said Nizolek. “It brought them out of their house, yes only to their front porch, but still, that was something that in the two weeks of being locked in their houses and getting into a funk of not working out. It brought them so much joy and excitement.”
As small business owners, the duo were scrambling to figure out how to proceed after the state mandated non-essential businesses to close. Their situation is no different from others we’ve spoken to about the situation, but they’re conceiving new ideas to adapt. These visits are just one way for them to give back to the community, spreading as much joy and fun during this time of uncertainly.
People were messaging us saying that was the highlight of their week, that they were just so happy to see a familiar face and get to dance.– Joanne Nizolek, DANZhouse Fitness
Asked about what can people do to support them? Lukas’ response can be shared by other business owners who have been adversely affected. “Definitely by watching our videos on Vimeo, Instagram, and Facebook.” Nizolek added, “Follow us on social media and stay with whatever we’re posting. The best support we can get is by just knowing that you guys are taking the classes at home and still are excited about coming back when this is all over.”