By: KENNEDY PLUMMER
It is no surprise that athletes all over the world have struggled maintaining their sports through quarantine. The shift of normal life to a virtual reality has been a drastic change for everyone. Different sports have had to go virtual, having things like conditioning through Zoom. It’s not as difficult for sports that regularly take place outdoors to continue their training as it is for indoor sports. A perfect example of this is a dancer.
Here in Benicia, there are several dance studios that have been in business for a long time. So many kids and teens get dropped off at the studio by their parents, and spend hours learning, training, and having fun with their friends several days a week. The dance studio used to be a place for people to learn new styles like Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and more. Dancers also had the amazing opportunity to express themselves through movement on stage and in front of an audience. That is no longer the case. Since March 13, when the president of the united states declared a National Emergency, the dance community changed like never seen before.
After March 13, the majority of dance studios in Benicia took a while off. It was a time for dance teachers to come together and think about how they would keep their studio alive. Shortly after this period of time, many dance classes went virtual. This meant that during what normally would have been your time spent at the studio, was now spent with you taking a dance class through Zoom. This caused difficulty for many families because they had to find a space in their home for their kid to jump, turn and leap in front of a computer. Most dancers don’t have fresh Marley dance floors just sitting around at their house. That would be like having a football or a baseball field just sitting in your backyard. It’s not realistic. Now people had to make a hardwood floor or a carpet work as a dance studio.
Dancing virtually wasn’t as awful as it may seem, but it wasn’t always easy. Some of the struggles include trying to dance and move while still being seen on camera, maintaining your endurance, and improving. Along with that, dance competitions that studios spent months preparing for…canceled. Recitals and shows that you spent months anticipating… canceled. Some studios were able to make the most of the new reality, like doing virtual recitals, summer class and camps, and virtual intensives. Not only were the main events taken away, but the excitement of dress rehearsals, choosing costumes, getting measured, were all gone.
Now that the new dance season of the 2020- 2021 year has begun, studios have brainstormed new effective ways to teach. Along with being virtual, dancers are now dancing outside! This may seem different, but the joy of being in person had brought studios tremendous waves of happiness. Different studios have designed their outdoor learning in different ways. Some dance studios have spent hours creating outdoor dance floors and massive tents, while others have taped up the floor making sure to keep a six foot distance. This new form of dancing seems to be much better than zoom. Kids are getting to see their friends again, their teachers, and be around more people than just their families.
It will be super interesting to see what the next move for the dance community is to keep the love of dance alive. With the future undecided, it is up to us to make the most of it, and continue to leap to new bounds.