#stilldancingbutfromadistance As teachers, we're adjusting to being apart from our students, and as humans, we're all adjusting to being confined to our homes......and being together with our families all the time. Parents have to figure out how to do their work while the kids are around. Kids have to learn how to do EVERYTHING online - schoolwork, talking with friends, and even dance.
It's not easy! To top it all off, we're all feeling the effects of the uncertainty that surrounds the COVID-19 pandemic. For some of our students, this has spurred them to get into action and participate in as many videos as possible. Other students may feel paralyzed by inaction....they don't know where to begin, because they are missing their friends, they are missing the in-studio experience, they are feeling overwhelmed and don't know how to put that into words.
We would like to acknowledge how all of these dancers are feeling -- those that are jumping in and those that don't know where to begin. Nevertheless, we'd also like to encourage all of our dancers to START.
Dancers, start. It may take an enormous amount of energy to take that first step, but we promise you, it will be worth it. Dance is your happy place, dance makes you feel better. DANCE CAN MAKE US FEEL TOGETHER WHILE WE ARE APART.
So, with compassion in our hearts for how we are all feeling, we'd like to offer a few ideas and tips to help us make our online dance experience one that makes us feel a bit more like our normal selves again!
1. MAKE A SPACE THAT IS FOR DANCE
For our younger students, this would be a family space, where a parent can help them start the video and keep an eye out while they are doing class. For our tween and teen students, this may be a more personal space -- they will probably feel more comfortable practicing and taking the online classes in a space where no one else is watching.
2.SET A TIME
It may be helpful for your dancer to do the online classes during the time that they would normally be at the studio. For others, it may be helpful to do the classes when they need a break from online schoolwork.
For our dancers big and small, JUST DO A LITTLE AT A TIME! For our preschool-aged dancers, doing a full class without a teacher in the physical space might be difficult. Instead, do 10 minutes of the class, then press pause. Start again when they need another wiggle-break. Older students -- same! Begin by starting with one video, or just part of a video, then work yourself up to more. We have to build stamina in a different way in this online space.
4. TOGETHER BUT APART
Part of the fun of dance class is feeding off of each other's energy and enjoying our friends. Doing classes online feels different, because of this. But, in our new normal, we need a new way of trying to achieve something similar! For our younger students, keep taking pictures and sending them to us - we'll post them so our students can see their friends. For our older students, try this! FaceTime a dance friend, and do a class video at the same time as each other. (Bonus -- your teacher won't be able to ask you to stop chatting with your friend during class!)
We miss all of our dancers, but making our dance videos for them helps us to feel connected. Knowing that they are participating at home, and seeing their photos and videos, makes us feel connected too.
Thank you, and keep on dancing!