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Dancing Through A Quarantine

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

By Kyra Alvarez for The Due Influence

There’s never been a more challenging time for dancers to execute their art. Dancing is all about group work and collaborating with other dancers. Being a fusion of art and sport, the dangers of COVID-19 do not stop at doorsteps to a dance studio.

According to the CDC, indoor exercise increases the risk of spreading infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Imagine--- a group of dancers huffing and puffing in a closed room, as opposed to soccer players running about in an open space.

Dancers thrive on the physical push of pulling their hair back into a bun, slipping on a fitted leotard, and entering the professional atmosphere of a mirror-plated room. Former competitive dancer Max spoke of her struggles of finding inner motivation to flip on the computer screen to take a class. The ease of being in her own home led to flexibility in dress code. Instead of a leotard and tights for ballet, she wore spandex shorts and a thin workout shirt. She didn’t even put on her ballet slippers. Being a 15 year-old teenager, she had a hard time focusing on the instructor through such a small screen.

However, even nine year-old competitive dancer Emory took class through the small screen. She dressed in her dance attire even though she wasn’t in the studio. Her legs lifted in succession with her other fellow zoom dancers, afraid her foot would crash into the entertainment center. She begged her brain to focus, but even her determined mind couldn’t block out the distractions of being at home. Dressing in her professional ballerina clothing still didn’t give her the experience of being face to face with an instructor.

Dancers as young as Emory need the corrections and leadership that live instructors give. She stated how it is easier to engage her being surrounded by other dancers and an instructor. Though dancers are taught to self-correct, it is much harder to do so without being able to look at themselves through the big mirrors in dance studios.

The life of a dancer has gone from dancing freely in studio space to salvaging any living room space. Part of the dance workout has become moving furniture for the ability to freely dance at home. Dancers all around the world have been using couches as ballet barres, zoom sessions in place of live classes, and living rooms as dance studios. The live video service, Zoom, was widely unheard of in the dance industry until the pandemic changed life as we know it. The need to stay connected, as well as the overflowing love for dance, are what keep these athletes strong. Like the rest of the world adjusting to a new normal, we dance together, even at home.

#dancing #quarantine

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