Once upon a time before this pandemic; dancers, dance instructors, dance students and the dance community from all over the country would get together any day or night of the week to take dance classes for fun, fitness, social interaction and experience a good ole natural endorphin high! Dancers from various dance companies, schools and colleges would also be training and rehearsing for gigs and shows.
It is evident that dance in Ireland had become hugely popular in recent years. There are many factors that contributed to this; not only does dancing make people feel great but also, dance reality TV shows, dance on Youtube, dance films, musicals, concerts, dance in TV commercials and the overseas success of shows such as Riverdance had a great impact on the widespread love and growth of this art form.
Not so long ago, I hosted a dance show twice a year spanning over a decade called 'Dance Fusion'. It was to showcase the high level of dance talent in Ireland. The show demonstrated a diverse mix of cultures and ethnicities in every age, type, shape, size and background. There were performances in various styles from contemporary, ballet, ballroom, commercial, latino, ballroom, swing, breakdance, street, freestyle, tap and Irish. It was an inclusive non-competitive show for everyone who loved to dance and perform on a stage. The Dance Fusion showcase was an opportunity for dancers to come together and perform. We would support and cheer each other on, mix and mingle, feel inspired, laugh, clap and make some noise with no judgement; only good vibes.
Despite the pandemic, dancers and every artistic creative human (that means everyone) now need to find alternative ways to keep up the love and passion they feel for their art or hobby. It is important for us to do this, not only to get through this difficult time, but also to stay connected to what makes us feel truly alive. If we find a way to keep that spark alight, we will come out stronger, better and wiser.
It is not easy to self motivate but if we don't keep on moving and searching for ways to power through this, we will feel dead inside and get left behind. Life is impermanent, nothing stays the same, things are always changing, so if we cannot dance together right now, maybe consider playing the best ever music and dancing at home, create fab fresh music playlists in all kinds of genres and crank the sound up loud (headphones are a good solution here too!) explore unique fresh freestyle ideas, catch up on inspirational dance on youtube, take a dance class on zoom, check out old black and white dance films, 21st century dance films, the Royal Ballet on Sky Documentaries, challenge your brain to learn more about your art, play and goof around while dancing. By the way, the same principal could apply to any passion, pastime, hobby you enjoy.
This is really the perfect time to literally dance like nobody is watching, a chance to let go, lose all our inhibitions and take any pressure off ourselves to 'do it right'. Practice makes us better at whatever the task at hand is, so why not strive to do just that?! we sure have no excuse right now as we cannot go anywhere. If we apply ourselves and decide to do this, we will not only increase confidence, our overall self esteem but we will also improve our skills and be so ready to cease the 'dancing moment' with our tribe and new opportunities when the world opens up again. Imagine j the craic of busting out moves at a club or party with pals again having a laugh. In the meantime, until we meet again, please hang in and keep on believin' movin' groovin, shakin, stompin' shimmyin' ..