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Adjusting To The Virtual World Of Dance

One of my favorite aspects of dance has always been the community and performance of it all. Being able to go into the classroom, forget all the stressful things happening outside of the studio, and just move. Online dancing was never something that I had imagined I would ever have to do. Having to switch to this forum due to COVID was a very new experience that we obviously had no preparation for and are still adjusting to. Using Zoom has helped in certain ways, by teaching new things and bettering skills. I feel as though I have had to be more flexible with my work space in whatever room I’m using to take class. The majority of my professors have been very understanding, accommodating, and helpful when it comes to this new way of teaching and taking class. This transition was not easy at first and still causes some slight challenges. When going home in the spring, multiple classes decided to continue in different ways. Some we met synchronously through Zoom, others required videos of us dancing to be emailed or uploaded to YouTube. Overall, we worked together and I felt like we accomplished our goals and still were able to complete the semester on a good note. 

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Having summer break and coming back into classes that started off completely remote, I was curious to see what similarities and differences there would be from the end of last semester. So far, the professors have provided adequate and clear expectations for the class but it is still a lot to manage and keep up with. With certain classes being fully online (both asynchronous and synchronous), others are completely in person, and a few remain hybrid, it will take a lot of time management, resilience, and organization to keep a level head and be successful this semester. Instead of our normal meeting in class where we would congregate before, engage in a warm up, do center work, and learn combinations while interacting with one another, receiving feedback, and tactile aid from teachers, we now have to find different means of corrections. Since the teachers are no longer allowed to touch and adjust us, we must rely on strong clarification through wording and imagery to make sure we are understanding their message and intent. As someone who is currently studying Dance Education, it goes to show that what we are learning about in those courses regarding dealing with adversity is extremely beneficial and will help us in the long run. 

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Despite the struggles, as long as we stay positive and continue a clear path of communication, we will get through this while learning new things and growing as people as well as dancers. They say you never understand what is important until you have lost it, now that we have faced that, we hope to return to normal soon and have gained even more of an appreciation for our lifestyle as dancers.

 

Gracie King

Winthrop '22

Gracie King is a Junior, Dance Education major from Charleston, South Carolina. Although teaching dance is her passion, writing is one of her guilty pleasures. She chose Winthrop University because of their strong Arts Department, College of Education, smaller student body, and the welcoming environment. When not at school or dance, Gracie enjoys spending her time at the beach, serving in the community, and watching Grey's Anatomy.
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