How I’ve stayed dancing before and during the pandemic

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From a very young age, I have been a dancer. I spent several years dancing with a studio in my adolescence. I participated in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip-hop and folklorico dance classes. Growing up in dance gave me much more than just athletic ability though — it always gave me structure and an outlet to express myself. Dancing in the studio taught me discipline and accountability. From a young age, dancing made me comfortable with being on stage in front of crowds and that has translated into my adult life through my confidence during interviews, public speaking and when meeting new people.

During high school, I was part of a hip-hop dance crew that would perform at rallies and games. That group gave me so many wonderful friends and a reason to feel accomplished after every performance. The management style of the dance crew was nothing like I had been used to with my teachers from the studio in the past. The crew was much more laid back and open to suggestions from the dancers, which I always appreciated. In a time when everyone was dealing with high school drama and classes, dancing with my friends allowed me to escape by focusing on the hard work it took to make each dance amazing. I’ll always be grateful for that time in my life.

As a college student now, I still dance as much as I can and I’ve even given some of my friends dancing lessons. My two main forms of dance right now are ballet and hip-hop which are not only very fun, but also allow me to get a great workout everyday. These, along with jazz, are the types of dance I’ve given lessons in. When I work on dances with my friends, my favorite thing is to see them gain confidence just like I did. I would love to continue to give dance lessons once this pandemic has fully subsided. Dance has been greatly affected by the pandemic just like every other sport, and I look forward to the end of this crisis.

Studios have closed, performances have been canceled, tours have been put on hold and many dedicated dancers have been stuck at home, unable to do anything about the situation. I personally enjoy going to see ballets, musicals and concerts, all of which require dance performances that are no longer happening. COVID-19 has put out many people, but dance gives them hope and a way to stay active during this time. Many people have made dance videos and posted them to YouTube or social media and this gives me hope that people will feel a greater appreciation for the art of dance. I know that personally, dancing here at home during the quarantine has helped me keep my sanity along with helping me to remain active.

For me, the art of dance is so much more than just movement. Dancing is a necessity, a requirement and a must. Dancing brings me so much joy and it’s such a versatile activity. There are tons of different forms of dance and I believe everyone can dance, only some people don’t know it yet. My life would be very different if I didn’t dance, but I would never give up the way everything falls away when I dance. There is no other kind of chaotic peace like dancing.

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