I will admit, at the beginning of Lockdown in the UK, I fell into the trap of attempting to "learn a new skill", "come out of lockdown a more skilled human", "develop physically and mentally".
Social media was awash with memes and posts suggesting that everyone, during times of Corona, should be overtly productive and engaged with podcasts, reading, writing, exercise and learning to juggle or whatever took your fancy. In the end, this is unrealistic given the "unprecedented" times and individuals should conduct themselves however they feel best in order to ensure that they remain healthy and safe in the current climate.
The Dance world took off with online classes, instagram live sessions, professionals offering tutorials, local Dance schools moving all their timetabled sessions to Zoom and University and Vocational Dance programmes commenced a full term of online Teaching and Coaching.
Every single Dancer became engaged and connected! It was incredibly inspiring to see.
There is much talk of how the performing arts industry will cope following lockdown. In my mind, for what its worth, I see Dance, Music, Live Theatre and all other things under our umbrella rising from the ashes of closed theatres and empty studios and rehearsal spaces. Mass gatherings may be a long way off, but smaller productions may be able to capitalise on the resounding enthusiasm that the general public will have for being able to witness live events. The world will no longer take events for granted. If there's a show in town, people will want to see it before its no longer there. Dance, Singing, Acting will thrive once more in its resurgence. One thing thats for sure, during the age of Corona and amidst the devastating impact on individuals, families, businesses and the world, we have continued to Dance, Sing, listen to music to keep us upbeat and mentally well during this period of isolation. Online Classes, Webinars, Courses are full of individuals passing the time in a way they know how.
With everyone so connected, all be it virtually, will we continue this level of connection post-lockdown? Saturday Nights of Quizzes, Pictionary and frivolities over FaceTime has people chatting more than ever. If this level of care and communication continues in the "real world" maybe we can aim to diminish the number of mental health cases and incidents by "looking out for the fellow human".
One thing is for sure, people will Dance and Sing their hearts out when they get back in the studio. Take nothing for granted and, where possible, enjoy yourself.
We may see some changes in the coming weeks that will allow us to integrate back to "normal life". I am fortunate to be part of a number of processes that discuss and plan the return to studios safely. We can expect some slightly altered procedures. For example, in Germany, from Monday, Dancers will return to taking one class per day in major companies. These classes may be less than hour just once a day but from the point of view social distancing as well as dancer training load management this is a good thing. It gets people moving in slower increments which will have a positive impact on injuries. Normally when everyone returns to Dance, they throw themselves into everything they have missed and as a result we get huge spikes in fatigue and its a bit of a shock to the system. This results in injury. So its probably a win-win.
As ever we are here to support Dancers in this difficult time.
If you haven't already please check out our latest Podcasts!
Life as a Pro with Gina Scott of SemperOper Dresden
Life as a Pro with Katie Deacon (Westend Performer)