Hi friends. Right now I’m ‘Singing in the Rain’ and I mean that literally. It’s raining outside. The pandemic we are experiencing has us all hunkered down at home. Because of that, I want to encourage you with some good news and then share several practical ways to adjust to sequestered life.
This is the good news: On April 2, 2020, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) released a newsletter that featured DA:NCE. NCOSE is a wonderful organization that provides DA:NCE with support from personal interaction to the current health epidemic. Besides coronavirus, I hope you take the time to look at their website and understand the ‘hypersexualization pandemic’ that has flooded our world. You friends, are the reason that things are changing. Thank you.
Now on to the art of dance and its interplay with coronavirus. I view artists and the arts as second responders to the isolation of COVID-19. They are the common relief factor for all households (think about it). Drawing, dancing, playing music and many other art forms become both physical and mental healers because the arts provide an artistic outlet to the expression of feelings. Feeling engagement can channel depression and/or creativity into positive action points that don’t compartmentalize who we are. Coronavirus has revealed how important the integration of mind, body and spirit is to every human being. Let the arts work internally from soul to sole as you journey through this ‘strange time.’ It may be that the silver lining nationally will bring an awareness to the value and beauty of the arts, specifically dance.
And now on to some practical tips:
- How about using this time to enjoy some wonderful dance movies? And dance performances? Family choices might include Mary Poppins, Top Hat (Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire are terrific), Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, anything Shirley Temple (I’ve shared a link that shows her top 10 dances scenes and films), Music Man, Newsies, LaLa Land, and my personal favorite, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (Gene Kelly). Add some fun into your day?. Now take a look at a free performance of ‘Revelations’ by Alvin Ailey. Absolutely stunning. I promise you’ll like it.
- On another note, do you like to cook? Here are some favorite recipes from nationally known dancers.
- Now let’s ‘move’ into online interaction. There are dance educators all over the country that are teaching classes online right now. I’ve been privileged to attend several webinars and links from the National Dance Educator’s Organization (NDEO) along with online classes (mostly free): a. Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, b. NYC Lincoln Center, c. American Ballet Theater with 2 options: One, Two
- Local Studio Solutions: One, Two, Three
- Children: One (disabled children), Two, Three (improvisation), Four (daCi), Five, Six (elementary schools)
By the way, my husband and I are enjoying several online classes ourselves. We take pilates online 2 times a week. Then I use a treadmill at home to walk 3 times a week as I listen to podcasts. I do it for physical and mental health. It makes a difference. If I’m honest, let’s admit something: grief and/or depression. As I mentioned above, we’re all processing what has just happened nationally. We’re adjusting to a virus epidemic that we didn’t know about just a few weeks ago; we didn’t expect to stay home. I move forward when I admit and examine my true feelings. Then I can ‘zoom’ ahead with action points. So let’s focus on mental health: “move your mind into being positive….”.
a. Coping b. Mental health c. Sense of loss d. Tough Realities for Students
Then, of course, there is a faith-based perspective; personally, I believe that faith impacts and engages our hearts and our fears (1 Peter 5:7). Perhaps a link to a 5 day free online retreat would deepen your trust in God during difficult times. I would also recommend that you sign up for Alan Falding and ‘Unhurried Living’. I took a class from Alan during my master’s program. His organization says ‘Rest deeper. Live fuller. Lead Deeper.”
Last, some encouraging words from retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully (92 years of age). Now, I know that many of you aren’t Dodger fans but I am. I listened to Vin broadcast baseball games from 9 years of age until he retired a few years ago. LA Times writer Bill Plaschke interviewed him to get personal advice on the coronavirus. In the article, going back to the depression and relating those experiences to this pandemic he says, “Among other things I remember my mother would feed me something that would fill me up and didn’t cost very much, I remember having pancakes for dinner and a lot of spaghetti,” he says. “We didn’t have any money anyway … meat was hard to come by … we bit the bullet.”
“But then, he says, ‘From depths of depression we fought our way through World War II, and if we can do that, we can certainly fight through this. I remember how happy and relieved and thrilled everybody was when they signed the treaty with Japan, and the country just danced from one way or another. It’s the life of the world, the ups and downs, this is a down, we’re going to have to realistically accept it at what it is and we’ll get out of it, that’s all there is to it, we will definitely get out of it.’ Scully, as usual, says he tries not to focus on the gloom, but ponder the good.’”
During the coronavirus shutdown, let’s take this time to reflect and ‘ponder the good.’