When the Covid pandemic hit, it's no secret that everyone had to learn to live in a much different environment. As dance instructors and creative arts leaders, we knew how essential it was going to be for children and adults alike, to continue to engage in artistic expression through the months of isolation that were to come.
Doing so, we determined, would be just the right remedy to curb feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety of the unknown and lack of will. With the desire to lift and inspire the community through online creative arts and dance, we set out to learn how to make magic virtually.
Navigating Dance Online
When we set out to create a dance program remotely, we were stumped! It's not easy learning directions, shapes, and techniques when not in the same room as the instructor, especially if you're a novice or starting to expand into a different style of dance. So we knew teaching it was going to be a challenge. We had to learn to shift our physical explanations and form adjustments to highly descriptive verbal ones.
As a team, we discussed, planned and changed gears many times as we worked out how our students could get the best possible experience from our virtual program. The results were nothing less than magical.
Our Incredible Students
Using a piece by Quincy Jones, from The Color Purple, our beginner students were challenged to express their experience with the pandemic through dance. We encouraged them to reflect on what life was like, their feelings and limitations before and during the pandemic. We couldn't be prouder of what they did!
One advanced class cultivated a piece on finding trauma and getting through it using the song Blue Ocean by Justin Timberlake. What developed was a whole mind, body, spirit adventure as students learned to honor and release trauma through dance. While teaching and observing, it was clear that the students felt this in their bones!
Another advanced class focused on Night Song by Noel Pointer which encouraged making adjustments in the midst of chaos to prevail and thrive. Their effort, attitude and dance performance was absolutely stunning.
As you watch each of the dancers in the video below, we encourage you to try to feel the emotion expressed through the arms and legs, styles, shapes and rhythm of their movement.
Watch as you see the results of the dedication of our staff and students learning to come together during a pandemic remotely, in the best way possible. We couldn't be more excited about the amazing work that was done to lift the spirits of our community and make magic virtually through dance!