'Baseball Ballet' performers keep dancing during COVID-19 pandemic

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- In June of 2020, we told you about a dance company that turned a Central Park ball field into a studio in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alison Cook Beatty Dance Company's "Ballfield Ballet" were introduced to us by Eyewitness News anchor/reporter Lauren Glassberg, who observed that Beatty "calls them a team, and she is very much their coach."

Since then, the group has kept dancing all over New York City, with Beatty determined to keep performing at a time when most venues were shut down.

Dancing into what she calls "unknown territory," she has brought joy to her community and bonded her dancers closer together.

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Their beauty and grace has given us hope during a pandemic that paralyzed so many others. I found them dancing on the snowy steps of a brownstone in Harlem to the music of the classic tune. "My Favorite Things."

"I worry about them getting hurt and slipping," Beatty said. "And the cold, you know, it affects their muscles. We have to bundle up, but we just keep dancing."

The home for the rehearsal belonged to Carolyn Adams, who danced with the legendary Paul Taylor Company for 17 years before going on to train generations of younger dancers.

"(Beatty is) an innovative, determined, wonderful artist," she said. "And the bottom line is I also love the work. It comes out of a lot of collaborative effort, but she has a wonderful imagination."

That imagination, along with the trust of her dancers, sustained the troupe al through the pandemic, and they bonded as a result says their leader.

"It kept us together, and then it also allowed us to give back to the community," Beatty said. "We were able to share something positive with others which is part of our mission."

For more information, visit AlisonCookBeattyDance.org/.

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