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Art professors overcome their own unique set of challenges as they continue their courses through an online format. 

As students and professors attempt to establish normalcy amid the transition to online classes, some have gotten creative as they continue their education in the COVID-19 pandemic. This week classes have resumed for LMU students, following a one-week postponement –– announced after spring break on March 14. All class time, assignments and office hours are now conducted completely online.

Via Zoom and Brightspace, LMU’s CFA and SFTV students have not only transitioned to online lectures and quizzes, but are also having to accommodate for classes that largely depend on physical presence. Associate professor and Chair of LMU’s Dance Department Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo is one such professor experimenting with her new formats.

“I am doing a fairly stationary warm-up that is geared toward strength-building, and then transposing as much of the technical work that would be full-bodied in a regular class, into upper body and gestural work,” Loo said.

Supportive of LMU’s promotion of social distancing, Loo maintains the importance of a “global effort right now to save lives” over alterations to her curriculum.

“Space is definitely an issue,” said Loo. “That doesn't mean you stop dancing, it just means you do a different dance.”

A freshman double major in dance and computer science, Kevin Carpio has continued his dance technique classes this week, finding what works through trial and error.

“It’s hard to get into the same mood when dancing by yourself since dance is very collaborative,” Carpio said. “I think it’s an interesting challenge that we’re all trying to work with and make the most of.”

Also managing without the element of collaboration are theater arts majors, according to Cassidy Jorgensen, a sophomore theater arts major and dance minor.

“I feel limited because I can no longer work with scene partners, and such a big part of acting is interactions and communication between people,” said Jorgensen. “My teachers have been so understanding and accommodating and are trying their best to make it work for us.”

On the front of the SFTV, modifications are also being made in SFTV to allow students to complete their assignments without the feedback from peers they regularly take into account.

“My animation class has taken a little time to get used to,” said Kelsie Constable, sophomore environmental studies major and animation and studio arts minor. “Originally, we met every week to critique storyboards and collaborate. Online there is less collaboration.”

Amid the changes, however, Constable is glad to be able to still take all of her animation and computer graphics classes. “I feel like the integrity of my education has been preserved. The power of technology has allowed most of my classes to remain relatively the same.”

Film students also continue their courses without in-person collaboration, but can take advantage of their free time to study more movies and write more scripts, according to sophomore film production and screenwriting double major Nathan Xia.

“When things happen you kind of have to roll with the punches and see what you can get out of the situation. That’s a very common theme that film students are exposed to. You just have to learn to adapt. This is a reflex I think a lot of people in our film school have picked up,” said Xia.

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