Dancers saunter back to the dance floor

Since the beginning of quarantine, many dancers have sustained their practices through Zoom calls and recordings. However, as the cases decrease, many competitive dancers at NPHS have started moving back to the dance floor. With many accustomed to the months of virtual practice, the change to outside performance has made quite an impact on dancers.  

Linda Diaz, sophomore, has been an avid dancer for 12 years, currently training at Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts. Studios around our community have been taking many precautions, allowing many of their dancers to dance outside as a group.“We did a lot of Zoom classes [at the beginning of quarantine] and everyone was dancing in their living room or in their bedroom, and now we have classes outside where we have to wear a mask and social distance. They set up tents in the parking lot with Marley floor so we can dance on it,” Diaz said.

Due to the changes COVID-19 has brought this year, competitions have also changed drastically.“Each studio has a set time to perform and you have the option to wear your mask on stage or not. After that you go home and awards are live streamed so there’s not a bunch of people on stage at the same time,” Diaz explained. “With conventions, the number of people per class is limited and they also have an online option where you can livestream and take class from your house. You can also record and submit your competition dances and solos on the internet.”

With limited options to practice, many other dancers struggled a lot during the beginning of quarantine. Marisa Canepa, sophomore, dances at Academy of Dance Westlake Village and has also faced the same struggles as Diaz when practicing online. 

Although many studios are trying their best to help dancers practice, many have had their fair share of hardships with learning new choreography. “It’s hard to choreograph the pieces because we can’t really be in formations because of social distancing. It’s really hard to dance in masks as well because it does limit your breathing but obviously we need to wear masks because coronavirus is very real,” Canepa said. 

Brielle Anderson, freshman, has not let this pandemic ruin her love for competing. “My first convention is in January, but there’s a lot of optional competitions that you can do during the fall, like you can go to any of the optional competitions,” Anderson said. “[I’ll miss] the bonding experiences of the competitions…conventions are fun when everyone gets to eat dinner together and I’ll be sad I won’t be able to do that this year.” 

Although many adjustments were made, these dancers are still hopeful for the rest of their season. “Even though I miss my friends and dancing in the studio and competing, I’m really glad to be able to dance outside safely while socializing and wearing a mask,” Canepa said. 

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