Dancing Back Into Society: The First Dance Lesson

Happy Fourth of July, dancers! Does it feel different to anyone else? Well, to be fair, every day of 2020 feels different than the years before. But this Independence Day in particular feels significant because it follows a month of protests and demonstrations over the fact that so many citizens of this country still don’t enjoy the freedoms that this country is so proud of.

The energy has quieted down on my social media feeds as people return to their “regularly scheduled programming” after expressing support or solidarity for social justice for a week or so. And now it’s Independence Day! It feels like a prime opportunity/symbolic transition point to commit long term to evolving into a better country that believes that all are created equal (no qualifier necessary).

For my part, I’m continuing to work to evolve into a better dancer and person overall. As we go through this series, I’ll share different parts of my vision for my future self. Something that the last few months has made me recognize (and I can’t remember if I’ve already shared this with you) is that our ballroom bubble is an illusion.

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It’s ok if you don’t feel like dancing right now

Officially two weeks in with this new “stay at home” reality (technically it’s been about a week and a half by order of the state but I started earlier). Week 1 was stressful and surreal, like “crap, is this really happening?” Week 2 was more contemplative. Yes, this is happening and it could be happening for a long while.

It’s been interesting to see how the dance community has reacted to their entire industry essentially being put out of work until further notice. Some reacted quickly to shift their services online and minimize disruption of their business. Some have shifted to giving away their services and asking for donations to keep them afloat. Others are simply showing up online frequently with inspirational messages and short dance demonstrations to encourage people to keep moving. The common thread is no one is ready to give up.

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Dancing in the Time of COVID-19

We are living through some crazy times right now. I received official orders from the day job on Friday to work from home until further notice (we haven’t had any positive cases, but the company decided to play it safe). I went to five different stores on my way home and none of them had a single roll of toilet paper (I’m down to two “mega” rolls so I’ll be fine for a little while, but yeesh!). Major sporting events and huge theme parks are shutting down. Even the ballroom world is being hit hard with dance competitions being cancelled or postponed, and group classes and practice parties at local dance studios being cancelled until further notice.

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Is it worth competing if the game is rigged?

As a rule, I avoid dance politics, gossip and the like. Things like these do nothing to improve my dancing or my life in general; they only distract and upset me. Sometimes though, they can be hard to avoid. When I hear more than one of my fellow dancers questioning whether it’s worth competing at all because of the politics, I feel compelled to say something.

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