WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Monica and Jerome Johnson grew up dancing here, attending UNC School of the Arts and thriving on the biggest stages around the world.
The award-winning brother and sister team would go on to teach at some of the biggest dance schools. Then in 2015, they brought their talent back home.
“We basically said we’ve been around the world, danced in many places, let’s come back home and get closer to family,” said Monica. “Let’s get back to our community.”
When the pandemic hit, they started something new — teaching dance online.
“It was miraculous, it gave us the zeal and children logged in,” she said. “It brightened our day; despite the missing hugs it was a positive that we could still connect.”
Word of the brother and sister team now teaching online spread and the classes grew.
“We invited our past students who are now professionals to teach and that drew people from around the world.”
Students from Russia, Italy, Saudia Arabia and across the United States logged on.
“The students can do it in the comfort in their home,” she said. “It kept them physically fit because they sat in front of the Zoom camera all day.”
Monica says they are starting to teach in-person again but once things get completely back to normal teaching online will continue.
They made great connections with students from all over the world who will participate in their June concert, “The Life of the Lion in Prideland.”
“It’s a big deal to get everyone together on Zoom and then get everyone together,” she said. “We have one student coming from Houston, Texas, to participate in this program and for those still online we will edit them in.”
Growing their classroom to students around the world has become one example of some good that’s come out of a tough season.
“We are going to keep teaching online because we have so many friends who say you have to do that.”
You can watch the concert online in June by visiting mjide.com.