We are beings who need touch, and are drawn to create community though safe and fun avenues. Dance has been a gift for so many people. You'll come to a dance class, and leave with real friends who share the love and passion for connected movement, beautiful understanding, and learning to dance. In our classes, we strive to help people fully trust and honor each other, to be kind and sensitive in the journey of the language of dance.
It is hard to believe that it has been 4 months since I last social danced. It has also been 4 months since I have taught a partner dance class. The requirements for everyone (except those that live together) to be six feet apart, at all times, makes it near impossible to dance any form of partner dancing. *sigh*
I think about dance a lot, and how much it means to us. My personal favorite styles are bachata, salsa and zouk. I have also been a long time lover of swing styles, blues, and fusion. 6 feet apart? If I'm doing footwork, sure it is possible. But footwork is only a fraction of the whole of dance. The point is to dance with someone. When I'm dancing with someone, I give that person my entire focus, for that entire song. The person I am dancing with is the most important person in that moment.
As a dance teacher, I teach that partner dancing is more than just the physical connection that each style requires. It is about trust, non-verbal communication, surrender, joy, understanding, and taking care of each other. Dance builds community. Dance creates friendships. When people come to our classes, they leave smiling, fulfilled, and with new found confidence. Yes, we must learn the steps and yes, we must hold our frame, but what is more important is that we dance together to create a deeper understanding of ourselves through each other.
So did Covid-19 kill partner dancing? I think we will need dance more than ever. I realize that it may take a while for us to dance like we used to, and we look forward to when that time comes and trust in everyone's own journey back to class and back to partner dancing!
"Nothing eases suffering like human touch" ~Bobby Fischer
As of today, this website and blog is brand new. I'm looking forward to having this platform to share ideas about dance! Currently all of our dance classes are on hold because of the corona virus. It is bizarre to say the least that after 11 straight years of teaching salsa on Fridays we just stopped. Without any warning. It was a hard moment for me. I hope we will be together soon though! Maybe with masks? After 3 months of no dance, I am certainly feeling the loss. Many dance teachers have created online content. I dabbled with Zoom IG and FB live, but it didn't feel right, for me. My dance classes are more than just the lesson. It is more than the technique of steps. With out all of my students in the room, it lacked the beautiful energy that partner dancing can create. There is a verb in Spanish that describes the feeling in my regular classes: "convivir" . Do not use google translate for this verb! This verb, as it was described to me, embodies the idea that one's community is at the heart of life. That people come together to celebrate each other. To coexist with trust and respect. To be together without the distraction of the next item on your calendar. Anyway, this conviviality is what my classes is all about. During Covid-19 I have decided to skip the digital substitute for classes and do some writing, and some planning for when we can be together again!