Sweetwater Performing Arts Center set to re-open


ABILENE, TX (KRBC/KTAB) – Once filled with dance music for over 24 years, now quiet. COVID-19 silencing the echoes of counting that once filled the halls of the Sweetwater Performing Arts Center eight weeks ago.

Forced to tell her pupils to hang their dancing shoes up. A financial burden owner Maggie Dickey said was worth it in the end.  

“Honestly it wasn’t easy,” she said. “I was alright. I could handle it for probably another month. But our community, we need to get back running as safely as possible.”   

Hip hop dance teacher of six years Soli Rivera said she excited to bust a move with the kiddos again. But it’s also a second chance for her own small business.   

“Well right before everything shut down, I had my grand opening scheduled, my ribbon cutting on April 4th,” she said. “And before my doors could even open, they were shut.”    

With both businesses opening back up Monday, May 18, Maggie said it’s going to come with some changes from social distancing stickers on the floor to face masks available for dancers.  

“I invested in a pretty much high dollar thermometer; temperatures will be checked,” she said.    

Normally by this time of year, recitals are coming up. But Maggie said she’s not comfortable with have one big recital.   

“So, we’re going to do four small recitals, two classes at a time at the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium,” she said. “They have been grateful to use their auditorium.” 

Just hoping her students haven’t forgotten how to dance, she excited for the show to finally go on. 

“As we like to say,” she said, “a five, six, five, six, seven, eight.” 

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