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stepping it up Due to the covid-19 outbreak, band, dance and theater performances have been put into a halt. However, Dance Company is finding ways to keep on dancing.

by: Beverly Regino

Motivation has been a treasure hard to come by in 2020. Students everywhere have been struggling with their work with school sports, performing arts and bands coming to a screeching halt. Without their performances and with the uncertainty of the end of the quarantine, many of the performing arts students have lost their mojo practicing.

However, one group continues to strive, practicing for an invisible performance to hone their skills: Dance Company.

While Dance Company students were disappointed to learn that all performances have been cancelled due to the outbreak, Dance Company has been keeping up with their dancing routines virtually since the beginning of the quarantine.

Getting a new assignment at least once a week from the Company's instructor Ms. Diane Hula, the Company has been able to retain their skills. These assignments varied from analyzing the other dancers, creating their own choreography, and dancing to others’ choreography to written reflections on different dance classes, dance companies or styles. They have also been working on different projects, expressing certain themes with their dance.

These online video assignments help the dancers focus on themselves and their own pacing, according to students.

“Dancing alone allows me to reflect on myself and do something that makes my mind and body happy," said junior Steven Kim.

Videos courtesy of Dance Company students.

"Working alone gives us time and space to really focus on the detailed movements and the benefit is to really refine the art form at your own pace,” senior Yejin Do adds.

Many dancers also agreed that dancing alone has helped them refine the details in their performances and reflect on themselves as a whole. They can explore new things they wouldn’t otherwise learn in their regular dance classes.

“I think there’s joy in recalibrating not only your body but your mind as well. When you’re focused on dancing and creating certain “frames of pictures,” you don’t really think of unnecessary things. Plus, it’s a good way to get some sweat out, and just overall super therapeutic,” Do said.

Dancing online, however, prevents cooperation and lacks the physical camaraderie that comes in the dance classroom.

“Our company works best when we’re together- that’s when the most energy is created," said Do.

Furthermore, not getting the critique of other dancers kept them from progressing at their usual rate and the energy in each dance has depleted. Dance Company students agree that it’s just not the same practicing by themselves--and being together always made each dance whole.

"Dancing with the rest of the class gives it more flavor and hype that I won’t get if I dance alone,” Kim said.

Videos courtesy of Dance Company students.

“There is certainly always a need to practice on your own time in order to maintain and grow your strength and technique. But to never attend dance class where you are able to get critique from your teacher and peers makes it difficult to even know where to begin sometimes,” says Emma Berman, a senior in Dance Company.

Despite this, Dance Company students remain dancing outside their classroom through their efforts and the dance teachers’ encouragement.

“Obviously, we can’t dance together and the space is not ideal but the dance teachers have both been encouraging students to dance in any space they have,” junior Mianna Abramson said.

They may have temporarily lost their dance studio on campus. But through their efforts, they’ll return as motivated as ever.

“This year's dance company did many wonderful things and I would not rule out us coming back together as a company at some point in the future.” Ms. Hula says. “Until that time, we are thankful for the moments we had, and all of the growth that took place over this year. It is still continuing, just in a much different way.”