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Dancing Through Covid-19 Lockdown: Tips from Dance Professionals

Now we are all stuck at home. More than ever we need to stay positive and make the most of a situation. Times like these bring new limitations and challenges. At the same time we discover fresh opportunities and creative ideas how to keep dancing through Covid-19 lockdown which we wouldn’t event think about under normal circumstances.

With most dance jobs being cancelled, the bright side now is that we are able to take online classes. We can learn from world’s top choreographers in the comfort of our homes (and many of them are free)! We also have much more time to focus on ourselves and our craft. It’s probably easier said than done, with hundreds of Netflix series available and the fridge stuffed with food…

Read about Nutrition for a Healthy Dancer HERE.

This week’s post is all about inspiration and creativity boost to help you keep dancing through Covid-19. I’ve interviewed several incredible dancers and dance professionals (who are not just passing time during lockdown, they’re making everyday count) to share their thoughts and approach to these challenging times.

So, get comfy and enjoy some wisdom from your fellow dancers!

Tips from dance professionals on how to keep dancing through Covid-19 lockdown:

Dancer, performer, choreographer and co-founder of Apex Academy TOM LOWE:

A black and white portrait of a dancer. Tome Lowe, professional dancer and choreographer, shares his thoughts on how to keep dancing though covid-19 lockdown

“During this time I’m trying to keep positive and focus on all the things that I don’t get to do usually and appreciating them much more, like spending more time with family, taking time to relax, playing games and quizzes with friends online. I’m also being active with fitness classes, runs and walks in the local area and taking lots of free dance classes online. These classes are great as I get to learn from amazing choreographers that I usually can’t.

I start each day by getting up and getting breakfast, having a shower and getting changed. It’s sounds so simple but it’s so tempting to just stay in your pyjamas all day, by getting up and ready it really makes me feel much more motivated to be productive during the day. Every morning I make my bed and keep my room tidy. I work in a separate room to where I relax, this helps me focus on work and not get distracted.

Setting yourself goals of what you want to achieve each day or even creating a little timetable for yourself including what times different classes are each day, setting yourself coffee and lunch breaks, and your daily walk into your own timetable can help you stay on task. But most importantly I make sure I also have days of rest. I just pace myself and make sure I’m achieving what I’ve planned for each day.

It’s easy to get caught up in social media and seeing how productive and how much everyone is achieving during lockdown.

As a dance lecturer at a college I’m still teaching online classes to my students so I’m prepping and planning for those along with their theory work. I’m also taking time to listen to more music and researching more artists to allow myself to be more creative and explore different movement in my own choreography for teaching my other classes when I get back to full time teaching. Fitness and dance classes are also preparing me for auditions, keeping me in shape and technically ready to try and book more jobs in the performing industry.”

Dancer, performer RIO MAYE:

“Music, live classes, YouTube, family, meditation, manifestation…. all of these things are helping me stay focused and grateful during lockdown.

Set yourself daily goals, things that you want or need to accomplish. Discipline yourself but also recognise when you need to rest and just have time to yourself.

I’m going to uni in September so I’m making sure I’m stretching, training and preparing as I’ll have to move down there… This is helping me prepare for when everything gets back to normal.”

Dancer, choreographer and director at Jigsaw Collective dance company NATHAN LAFAYETTE:

Dancer, Nathan Lafayette, doing an arm-stand. Keep dancing though covid-19 and stay safe

“Everyone has their vices but I don’t know if I could say that it’s getting me through. We’re all going through the same thing at once and we don’t really have the option of fight or flight so our body’s are bound to feel a little numbness. I feel I should be feeling more but I guess that understanding brings me a weird sense of comfort.

Follow your curiosity, but not through the pressure of staying productive.

Allow yourself to do things when you feel like it but use time in between creating to process what you need to. Build the habit to deconstruct the things you’re visually, sonically and physically digesting, whether it’s through movies, video games, TV or books theres an opportunity to build an understanding of how things are formed, there’s a lot to be learned from observing different parameters and approaches to creativity. It’s also a good way to keep the mind sharp.

I was fortunate enough to get funding, so when quarantine was announced I assumed the project would be cancelled but it all took place online. So now I’ve stocked up a bunch of r+d and footage to sit through and edit. I know that I can formulate a plan to take that idea further once I can get into a studio but also acknowledging that a space doesn’t dictate what you can make.

Sometimes it’s good to work with limits and figure out what the best possible work you as a person can make with them. But anyway… I’m more focused on self care and the way in which I treat myself, finding a sense of security in my work and how I make it.”

Dancer, choreographer, founder of Dc² Entertainment & Dance Co DANNI CASH:

“Exercising helps me get through lockdown. Working out every morning, even just for half an hour, and get a sweat on clears your mind ready for the day!

I’m staying productive by writing out a weekly plan of what I’m going to do: workouts, classes, learning something new. Even if it’s writing down when I will watch TV really helps to keep my mind on something, like I have a schedule.

I’m looking at life now, and as soon I get back to work I will make sure I am doing things that make me the happiest and not wasting my time on things that don’t. I do a number of different jobs and some of them don’t make me happy, so I need to focus on that and make sure my energy goes into something I know I am passionate about.”

Dancer, performer MEGAN INGRAM:

“What helps me get through lockdown is myself and learning that it’s okay for me to be in my own company. I feel it has taught me a lot about myself as a person although at times I definitely need to chat to someone otherwise I do go a bit mental!

Staying productive is obviously good for you, so I like to stay fit and active as I feel it releases any stress or worries I have. I also like to get creative to keep my mind busy like listening to music and free-styling or creating artwork, but also chatting to friends too!

You shouldn’t force yourself to be productive if you don’t want to.

Some days I find myself having a chilled day because I don’t feel like being productive and that’s okay too! I think the top tip for me is not to get inside your head too much, as it’s mentally draining. If you ever feel down or upset keep your mind occupied and be strong in yourself!

Let’s be honest we don’t know when the end is coming to all this, but one thing I know is I’m not planning, I’m living now and doing me. I fear plans change and will make me worry too much. So right now I will go with the flow once we’re out again! I hope everyone stays positive. We’ve got this! “

Dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Make It Happen dance company MARIO FERKO:

“If you see any negative as a positive you win – that’s how I’m looking at this situation. I’m keeping busy doing creative things like writing poems, spoken word and reflections, listening to music, talking to friends, and I lot of FaceTime! I do things I don’t get to do normally do due to my busy outgoing schedule.

Do the things you love doing but don’t normally get time to and don’t pressure yourself.

Find your passions & hobbies, watch films you been want to watch, read those books you don’t get time to. Also look into other creative outlets and spend time with family.

I’m not planing yet, I’m enjoying the freedom of doing what I want day by day. My normal life is always pre-planed. 2020 was booked & dated up till end of June. So having all this free time to focus on other things is a blessing. Planing will start once we have an idea on when lockdown is lifted.”

Dancer, performer KEENA CHOBBAH:

“What helps me get through lockdown is having awesome friends and other creatives around me that I can catch up with. They motivate me everyday.

Each day, I think of something I want to focus on, just one thing that I know I can do without putting too much pressure on myself. I’m also appreciate the time I have to do what I love, work harder on my crafts and relax!

Lockdown has given me time to think about new ways of running classes and new styles of dance I want to venture into. So I’m networking and doing the usual life admin daily, like emailing and scheduling to make that happen!”

Dance teacher and founder of Fusion Dance School NICCI COLLETT:

“Every morning I get changed and do a bit of make up. Making an effort makes me feel good. I start off with a bit of exercise: little bike ride, a run around the garden or using items to create a little gym.

Now I’m focusing on classes online, making sure they are fun and keeping our dance community in contact. I have a “to do list” and then a “2021 list” when we start to get back I just want to focus on classes and building that back up, maybe look at outside events and performances in 2021.”

Dancer, performer REBECCA MCCORMACK:

“My family helps me to get through this lockdown – with there being so many of us in our house. We can keep each other company and support each other through this weird time.

For staying productive, I would say do the things you don’t normally get time to do! Take the time for self care, mentally and physically; pamper yourself, watch films, catch up on sleep, socialise with your family, and meditate.

Teach yourself something new and just use the time in the best way you can because we don’t get it back.

I’m just remaining open minded to be honest, it’s so unpredictable how things are going to play out so its best to just go with the flow and take things as they come.”

Dancer, performer FLEUR HALL:

“Exercise, dance, creating and reading is getting me through lockdown.

To keep myself productive I respect how I’m feeling. So if I’m tired I rest; if I’m bored I find something to do.

If I have a down day I just acknowledge that, and don’t put pressure on myself to be anything or do anything. Otherwise that makes it last longer.

I am training, creating, and researching my interests as well as developing my artistic voice. This way I know where I’m going and what I want to achieve when life turns to whatever the new normal will be.”

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post! Keep dancing though Covid-19 lockdown! Be productive, but also don’t forget to rest and recharge. Speak soon!

A woman flicking her curly hair. Text saying: Dancing through Covid-19 lockdown: tips from dance professionals
Dancing through covid-19 lockdown, tips from dancers and dance professionals