It’s January 2022. When we thought the light at the end of the tunnel was near, we’ve now been hit with another provincewide lockdown. Schools are operating virtually, malls are opened at half capacity and theatres, recreational facilities, dance studios, and gyms are closed. The roads are empty once again.
So, what does this mean for the dance world?
As dancers, the time we spend in class is the best part of our day. When we head into the studio, we can leave all our problems behind and enter this beautiful, fantasy world. There are so many reasons why we choose the studio like getting a workout, creating friendships, perfecting a performance piece, or supporting our mental health. We can develop our skills, improve our technique, and strive for success – but unfortunately with this new lockdown, it can be tough when COVID has us stuck between the four walls of our home.
While there’s nothing comparable to the incredible energy that comes with getting sweaty together, there are still lots of ways we can continue to work on our dance skills while keeping our Markham community safe by staying home.
Here are 8 ways to achieve your dance goals during lockdown:
Use this opportunity to build up muscle and increase your endurance so you’ll be ready to go when it’s time to head back into training. Try methods that work for dancers like bodyweight exercises, Pilates, or High Intensity Interval Training. Check out our virtual BollyFit classes!
Hold your stretches for at least 15-20 seconds as it will help build elasticity and muscle control – both super important for dancers. You can try this at home by holding your stretches during warmup for slightly longer. Always remember to do some quick cardio to prevent injury. Work on it a bit everyday to see results. Be patient. It can take time.
The easiest way to keep working on your dance skills is to groove to your favourite Bollywood tracks. You can nod your head, shake your shoulders, twist your hips, spin in a circle, or just bounce your knees. It’s a simple and effective way to get your body used to moving with a groovy vibe. Try this every day after with your stretches!
There are so many different dance styles practiced all over the world, each with a rich history and culture. Afterall, it’s said that dance is a universal language. As dancers, it’s important that we educate ourselves about the styles we love.
Check out YouTube to get inspired. Did you know that waacking was born in the Los Angeles 2SLGBTQ+ community in the ‘70s? Or Zaouli is from the Ivory Coast or Ori Tahiti.
When you learn the history of dance, it helps you have a greater appreciation and respect for the art. Try following choreographers and dance studios from all over the world on social media.
Our lives tend to get busy, and we forget to set aside time to reflect on our strengths and the areas that we want to improve. Take advantage of this time and think about what you want to achieve through dance and come up with a plan. Maybe you want to master your spins, start creating your own choreography, improve your posture, or work on your facial expressions. Clearly defined goals can be broken down into steps – this is an effective way to focus your efforts and take on that next level in your dancing. Start by rewatching your dance videos and pay attention to what you do well and what you are struggling with. Get the opinions of others and build a strong set of goals during this lockdown!
Dancers don’t like breaks – accept it! That’s because dance is often considered the best form of stress relief and a huge part of our social lives. Take advantage of the forced break from the studio by giving your mind and body some extra rest days during lockdown. Catch up on your favourite shows and remember that rest days are a vital part to training. Your body will thank you!
Proper breathing can take your dancing to the next level. Many dancers find themselves so focused on choreography that they ignore their breathing, or hold it. Our bodies need a steady flow of oxygen to properly carry through steps with energy and full extension. Try relearning an old routine and planning how to most effectively breath while dancing it.
Focus on proprioception (our awareness of our body position) as it helps with improving control when dancing. Tai Chi and qi gong are excellent ways to practice moving with awareness and intention. Work on your breath and body awareness at the same time by trying guided meditations. This will support your mental health too, something everyone needs right now!
It can be nerve-wracking to freestyle in front of other people! For some it’s an anxiety trigger but for others, it’s a great way to practice their dance. Try dancing to music that you enjoy or have never heard before. Dance like no one is watching and move around your home as an animal, or even an object. Don’t worry about how you look and stay away from the mirror! This is about getting to know your unique style of dance and how things work most naturally in your body. With time and practice, you’ll be able to build up your own movement vocabulary and gain confidence in your freestyle.
There’s no doubt that we’re all looking forward to getting back into the studio as soon as possible, but we can keep up with our dancing at home. You may even be able to get creative as you train and become a stronger dancer. We will get through this! Our family at Dance Expression can’t wait to dance again!
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