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Making Lemonade.....How the Dance Community is Pulling Through a Pandemic

Unless you are living under a rock or perhaps just woke up from a coma, you are aware of the current state of the world and the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Businesses have closed, many have been forced into their homes and hospitals and clinics are being overrun with the stress of the virus. Many have been forced to try to think of new ways to continue to work to feed their families that does not require being amongst the public.

In my previous blog, I discussed how realistic it could be for dance classes to go completely digital. If you haven't read my previous blog, please check it out! Although my original statement still remains that I believe in the long run working with a profession in-person is best, I am starting to double back slightly after witnessing what the dance community is doing with the lemons we've been handed.

Something awesome is happening....

What I am seeing currently is that there is a need for dance now more than ever. It's more than just a pastime or a hobby or even a career. It is the lifeblood of creativity, the culmination of expression. Dance is art and art is and will always be important, as it brings meaning and purpose to humanity. Humanity needs healing right now.....

so humanity needs art right now.

Thousands of dance companies, studios, choreographers, teaching artists have joined together to create a virtual dance experience that can be reached by millions. It's a truly astonishing!

Live classes hosted on Instagram from Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Bloch USA.

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater has uploaded many of their works online for viewing. Pacific Ballet Northwest streams a ballet class live everyday. Martha Graham Dance Company also streams a modern dance class daily. Hip-hop dancer Lee Daniel has been going live on Instagram teaching many of his combos.

Dancer Lee Daniel streaming a hip-hop class via Instagram

Hop on almost any social platform any time of day and you can find a class to take for free....most with seasoned professionals that dancers have never been able to take class from. Not to mention, innovators like Debbie Allen have turned her classes into a virtual world of training. The Debbie Allen Virtual Dance World has a number of daily class that are conducted over the Zoom conferencing app. To participate in classes one must register and pay a very small fee per class.

Online Teaching Makes Dance Instructors Better

I have also implemented an online training program that is pushing myself and my students to be able to acclimate to new circumstances and really be able and open to train in environments that may not be what we're used to. But I must say that overall, I am learning so much about how to be a better educator, as I have to be able to communicate things to my students through words that I would normally be able to just physically correct in person.

Me training a student online

To sit back and watch the dance community spring into action to ensure that not a single dancer is without training has been so amazing to watch. And being apart of that action has been more than fulfilling. It's a learning experience that will live with us forever and I believe we are just getting started.

So yes, the lemonade is sweet over here. How's yours?

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