Dancing through the pandemic


Patterson dancing in a show pre-pandemic

Ruby Hollis, Staff Writer

The pandemic has made it very difficult for dancers to be in the studio doing what they love. Dance studios have had to accommodate social distancing guidelines in order to make sure the dancers are safe and healthy. Before COVID-19, dancers were allowed to practice in bigger groups and have longer rehearsals. 

“Before the pandemic, we had large classes with people of different dance levels,” said Elin Escobar Forsberg ’23. “Our practices were much longer, often including rehearsals for performances.”

At the beginning of the lockdown, dance studios were forced to shut down but it did not stop dancers from doing what they love. Dancers were able to practice via Zoom. “During the spring all our classes were online which was next to impossible,” Livvie VanEss’ 21 said. “I had to do classes in my bedroom which was definitely not easy.” 

Other dancers also struggled with online classes. 

“During quarantine, we did Zoom classes. They were not fun at all. It was really hard especially if you didn’t have a big space to do them in,” Gwen Patterson’23 said.

While many dancers struggled with virtual classes, some dancers thought it was easier. 

“Virtual classes are a little easier than normal classes to accommodate for the lack of space and equipment,” Escobar Forsberg said.

When the lockdown was over, dancers were able to get back in the studio and do in-person classes. However, practices look very different now. 

“Now we are socially distanced and not allowed to do any partnering,” Patterson said. “We have to check in with a sheet saying if we have had any symptoms and take our temperature. And obviously, wear masks.”

Along with having to do Zoom classes, shows were canceled. Canceled shows come as a big disappointment for dancers because they have spent many hours rehearsing and learning choreography only for them to not be able to perform it.  “My show last spring got canceled and it was sad at first. I knew it was more important for everyone’s safety to be canceled,’’ Maggie Fauble’ 22 said.

For some dancers, they were supposed to have a lead role in a show because they are seniors. However, with canceled shows, they were not able to play the role. 

“So we’ve had all of our shows for the season canceled which has been really hard for me because seniors always get the principal roles,” VanEss said. 

Luckily some studios are allowing small shows to be rescheduled. “We’re doing excerpts from Giselle and the Ugly Duckling in February so we’ve started to prepare for that. I’m really excited because I cast as the Ugly Duckling,” VanEss said.