Dancing Toward the Next Normal

Happy Mother’s Day! Before I jump in, I want to give a shout-out to all of the biological, adoptive, fur, dance and other moms who freely give their love and support to those they care about. 2020 has certainly been a challenging year, but you’ve stayed strong and we love you for it.

I’m coming up on two months since my company ordered everyone who could work from home to do so. Since I danced instead of saved before the pandemic hit, I’m extremely grateful there hasn’t been any disruption to my day job income. Not being one to count blessings twice though, I am building up the savings account during this pause. Speaking of this pause, there was some news this past week.

The governor announced we are moving into the initial part of Phase 2 of reopening the state. Businesses in the retail, and related manufacturing and logistics industries are able to reopen with restrictions. I think dance studios fall into Phase 3, so solo practice at home continues until further notice.

While I know many are excited about this move and many others are frustrated that things aren’t moving faster, I find myself feeling reluctant to get back out there. I’ve enjoyed being at home with my dogs. It’s been nice to have groceries delivered. I never liked running errands. And frankly, I’ve been seriously put off by the ugly behavior exhibited by people lately. It takes enough energy for an introvert to socialize when people are being kind and considerate. After two months of not having to spend the energy to be around others, it’s not an expense I’m eager to put back in the budget!

This past week has had me thinking a lot about post-pandemic life. Do I really want things to go back to the way they were? Or do I want to make some changes that will serve me better? My dogs and I have all been more content with me working from home. Do I really need to go back to the office when it reopens? I haven’t missed grocery shopping in the least bit. Is there any reason for me to not continue having my food delivered?

Then there is dance. What do I want my dance life to look like post-pandemic? Do I want to return to what I was doing before? Or do I want to make some shifts?

This is the first time in modern society when we’ve all been forced to stop and step off the hamster wheel. It’s been an opportunity to take a look around and ask ourselves if this is really how we want to continue living, both as a society and as individuals.

For me, dance has to be taken into account because it’s part of who I am! What that means in the post-pandemic normal though is still to be determined. The ballroom industry has been severely impacted, no question. What changes will be temporary and what will be permanent remain to be seen. The fact that there have been and will be changes provides the opportunity to consider if/how we want to change as individual dancers.

If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you know how passionate I am about staying true to yourself. The best dances are the most authentic ones. Staying authentic can be difficult as a ballroom dancer when there is so much external pressure to look and perform a certain way. We don’t have those external pressures now though! So it’s a great time to tune into that inner dancer and decide how you’re going to let them shine through next time you’re on a dance floor.

Admittedly, with so much surrounding discontinuity and discord, it’s difficult to filter out the noise and hear what my own inner voice is telling me, which is another reason I’m in no rush to rejoin in-person society. It’s important that I transition to the next normal with clear intentions. This is a chance to live life better than before. To make a more positive impact on the world. To release the old distractions and focus on true purpose. To dance more as our true selves.

I’m excited to share that the next workshop in The Girl with the Tree Tattoo series will address how to do that. More details are coming soon. If you want to be the first to hear them, add your name to the workshop interest list here.

Happy and healthy dancing!

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