Stepping it up: How Dance Company keeps on performing in quarantine

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.

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THE MIRROR | IVAN DELGADO

Dance Company performing before the Homecoming game

By Beverly Regino, Staff Writer

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: VNHS’ Dance Company.  

Performing students were disappointed to learn that all performances have been cancelled due to the outbreak, including Dance Company. 

Though since the beginning of the quarantine, Dance company has been keeping up their dancing routine despite the obstacle of social distancing and online work. 

Getting a new assignment at least once a week, 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’ve also been working on different projects, expressing certain themes with their dance.

However, while these online video assignments helped the dancers focus on themselves , it also hinders their progress as a group. 

“Dancing alone allows me to reflect on myself and do something that makes my mind and body happy. Dancing with the rest of the class gives it more flavor and hype that I won’t get if I dance alone. Both have benefits,” explains Dance company Junior, Steven Kim. 

“Our company works best when we’re together- that’s when the most energy is created. However 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,” Yejin Do adds. 

Furthermore, not getting the critique many of the dancers need kept them from progressing at their usual rate, and the energy in each dance has depleted, resulting in the loss of motivation. The Company unanimously agrees that it’s just not the same practicing by themselves- and being together always made each dance whole. 

“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. 

But there are still benefits to their work, and each member strives to cultivate their motivation.

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 work at their own pace and explore new things they wouldn’t otherwise learn in their regular dance classes. They’ve also been encouraged by the assignments given by Ms. Hula and retain that motivation for their return to dance class. 

“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 says.

They don’t want to fall behind in dancing and it really shows thanks to 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” says Mianna Abramson, a junior in dance company. 

Many students suffered during this quarantine, including VNHS’ Dance Company. 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.”