Stay afloat in a pandemic (and in the winter break)

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Hello BroadwayWorld readers! I’m coming to you and I’m excitedly waiting for my first dance class (!!!) in years (!!!!!!!!) tonight. I will update this experience soon. My stomach is currently suggesting pure emotions, but I hope it’s going well! But some other updates …

My theater group’s Winter Intensive cannot take place as planned because of the current increase in Omicron cases, but also because MTI simply … didn’t come back to us in time to produce. Part of what I think is my fault; the rights were restricted in NYC and I should have known better than to request them so late in the preproduction phase. I’m almost glad it didn’t work out because I would have hated putting people in danger at this crazy time.

Fortunately, however, I think that we can produce something in the summer. I applied for a really cool show and I hope we can secure the rights. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and toes that this swell in the pandemic will level off by then. I think we are all sick of it now and it’s really hard to keep going like nothing is wrong! So don’t be too strict with yourself if you’re not working at 110 percent right now.

Otherwise I take a “break” for the winter, where “break” is only in quotation marks, because I still work part-time from January to February when classes start again. With that in mind, however, here are some ideas of activities to do during your free time to help ease COVID stress! Mind you, these activities are best for those who: A. have been vaccinated and refreshed, and B. comfortably wear a mask around other people.

TO DANCE!

I live close to a dance studio and have not attended a course since moving in over the summer, which is a shame, as I have danced with competitions and in school for over 15 years of my life (I attended a high school for art magnets, for Context). Basically, dance has been shown to help build cognitive skills that are involved in learning more quickly and to physically reduce stress through movement. Humans were designed to move, so our very sedentary lifestyles only build up more stress energy. We’re just that giant knot with so much potential Energy wasted from sitting around all the time. So take a few courses! Even if you’ve never danced before, there are plenty of studios that offer drop-in classes for adults at relatively affordable prices.

If you’re in New York City, Broadway Dance Center is a great studio. They have an app that lets you buy packs of classes or individual drop-ins. Personally, I can’t guarantee how the experience will be there (at least not still ;)), but their schedule is filled with basic and beginner courses in all possible styles. The price per class is around $ 25, but if you think you will be dancing more than a few times a month, booking a package of 5 or 10 classes is a good idea! The price then drops to $ 23 and $ 22, respectively.

If you’re more experienced, be sure to check out BDC’s schedule for advanced courses, or check out Steps on Broadway! You can find a lot more seasoned dancers and industry professionals at Steps, but it’s still a super workable place to go to class if you want something more intense.

I’ve also heard good things about ballet at the City Center! They too have drop-in classes 7 days a week and charge $ 22 per class (only $ 12 if you participate virtually!). Lots of people swear by these courses, so I’m sure you will like them too!

TAKE OFF AN OLD (OR NEW) CRAFT!

Another thing I try to do during my “break” is do more visual art! It’s been a while since I’ve consistently worked artistically, so I think another dive into a series I’ve worked on before will help keep me on track and stay motivated to do things do! I have to say that I started drawing a little more rusty than I remembered, but one of my roommates and I had a lot of fun seeing how unbalanced this work was last night. This portrait has been through quite a bit Interesting Teenage stage but I think things are looking pretty good now!

Student blog: Staying afloat in a pandemic (and winter break)

I also found some really cool crochet patterns that I think might be fun to try out. I haven’t crocheted for a long time either. I guess all I want here is that you should take this time outside of school to pick up some projects where you left off!

If you’re looking to learn a new craft, consider taking a virtual or in-person class! A simple google search will bring you many results in your area. If you can’t travel then by all means dive in to find an online course or two! Or try a service like Skillshare or MacGyver yourself by watching videos on YouTube.

Whether artistic or technical like my interests or something completely different (e.g. just taking a few new books with you to read), it is important to find something stimulating for you during this time. Inactivity leads to boredom, which causes you to sink into your own thoughts and scroll into doom.

If you feel lonely during the ongoing pandemic, you know you are not alone. Stop by a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while; Perhaps arrange a time to FaceTime or Zoom together so you can chat and have some company while you work on your new hobby. While many of us isolate ourselves for safety reasons, even more of us isolate ourselves due to psychological complications or brooding in our own heads. Remember, you don’t have to go through it alone – we have technological talent ready to connect with others.

I’m going to dance – you can look forward to reading about it on the next blog! But in the meantime, you can exercise or do handicrafts or read or, well, whatever really excites you! Here, too, you are not alone in this time of isolation. So many people struggle to remain optimistic during this time, but it really is a virtue. Try to keep your chin up!

Until next time,

Brighton xx

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