The essential measures that have recently been undertaken worldwide to support our overall health and well-being have resulted in a lot of changes to the lives we have been used to living. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still share our love and passion for the things that bring us joy. Despite not physically being able to go to your dance class, watch that live show or perform in an event, you can still immerse yourself in the art form. Below we’ve listed six ways you can still get your ‘dance fix’ and remain emotionally connected while socially distancing yourself.
To preserve the health and safety of their students, dance schools have closed their studios and suspended their physical dance classes. However, as an alternative, most schools offer live-stream classes or recordings of classes that you can download and watch later. This is a great way to still progress with your dance technique and maintain physical activity, plus also interact with your classmates and teachers! If your school is unable to provide these classes, there are still plenty of other excellent sources of dance classes you can do online. YouTube has an endless supply of videos. Instagram and Facebook are other excellent sources, especially with their live videos. It could be a time to get creative and make your videos to learn and share with others – TikTok, anyone?!
Exercises to Improve Strength and Technique
Sure, you may not be able to perform the regular exercises at home in the classroom, but you can still work on other aspects of your strength and technique that you may only sometimes do in class! There are ways you can adapt exercises that you do in class to perform them at home. No ballet barre? No worries. You can use the back of a chair as your barre and then move that to wherever you have space at home. A Theraband is another excellent way to improve strength and flexibility, and you can use a Theraband in countless ways. If you’ve used them in class, you can repeat those exercises, or there are videos on YouTube to guide you. You can also refer to the Energetiks blog and the ‘Theraband exercises for the Dancer’ article, which will talk you through some Theraband exercises. If this sounds like something you’d want to try but need access to a Theraband, you can find them here. Remember to utilize this time to also work on your flexibility! This is the perfect moment to stretch and work on muscle tone and flexibility. Ease into it and then build up the intensity. You can refer to the ‘So you want to be flexible…’ blog for some ideas if you get stuck!
Read and Learn
Sometimes when we are busy, reading becomes the first thing to get neglected – especially if you are at school or uni and you feel like all you do is read! However, with the reduced social contact and activities available now, this becomes a great time to immerse yourself in all formats of text and literature. Picking up a dance magazine is a great way to keep up to date with what’s been happening in the dance world, locally and globally. It provides information about garments, events, and interviews – plus, you can also read most of them online! Online blogs are another format that provides you with interviews, health and dance tips, show reviews, and event information. If you still need to check out the rest of the Energetiks Blog, now is your time! If you’re after something a little different, you could also read biographies and autobiographies of dancers’ lives and dance journeys. Our favorites include ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ by Li Cunxin, ‘Fosse’ by Sam Wasson, and ‘Dancing on My Grave’ by Gelsey Kirkland and Greg Lawrence. You can also try audiobook versions of these!
It becomes more challenging to find that creative spark in times of heightened stress and uncertainty. But don’t despair. Take this opportunity to find something that inspires and motivates you. In moments like this, when you don’t expect to find something that excites you, your best ideas and creations come to life. Tune into podcasts to gain that dose of inspiration (they can be dance or non-dance related), turn to social media and see if you stumble across that person who ignites that creative fire within, watch videos of performances and shows, or sit down with a good old dance movie and allow the moment to wash over you (Centre Stage anyone?). Finding your inspiration can come from something other than dance-related content too. The calming effect of mindfulness activities (such as belly breathing, meditation, drawing, coloring in, and journalling) has allowed your mind to go on autopilot, encouraging inspirational ideas and thoughts to filter through.
Support Local Businesses
While we don’t encourage waste and support recycling and reusing where possible, sometimes those hole-y tights can’t be sewn back together one more time. If you need to invest in new dance pieces to brighten your wardrobe (and your day), try to shop locally to support local businesses. In uncertain times, these businesses are often the first to face difficulties and any support that can be given is greatly appreciated. Energetiks prides itself as an Australian-owned and operated company with 98% of garments made in Australia using Australian fabrics. By choosing to purchase quality dance wear from Energetiks, you are giving your support to the Australian economy.
Self Care and Connection
The social distancing that is currently being experienced can lead to many feeling shut off and isolated. These times, we need to make more of an effort to reach out and connect with others. Use this time to call or FaceTime not only your dance friends, but any of your friends or family who you may not get the opportunity to talk to as often as you’d like. You could also send them an email, text or video message to bring a little joy. Maintaining connection is essential for mental health and sustaining a sense of community. It’s a form of self care that sometimes gets overlooked but is integral to our well-being. Having this down time can be an adjustment if you’re used to always being active but it can be just what your body (and soul) needs. Use the time to cook or bake something you’ve always wanted to try (head to ballerina bites if you wish to some delish recipes), start a creative project, research a topic you’ve always been interested in or do a bit of self-pampering by having a bath, doing face masks and allowing your body to rest.
Even with these recent changes to our daily routines, we need to be grateful for our age. We have access to the tools that still allow us to connect with others, despite not physically being able to. The online platforms that are so readily available enable one’s creativity and expression to be still shared and appreciated with others around the world, continuing that emotional connection that is so important throughout these times. We’re all in this together so let’s continue to support and look out for each other. Be kind, give air hugs, and wash your hands.
Learn more: Simple Tips to Become a Great Gymnast