No matter how big or small, it is an absolute fact that COVID-19 has impacted the lives of everyone around the world. Whether it is wearing masks everywhere we go, or having a completely different lifestyle after this pandemic, everyone has their own adjustments they need to make in order to adapt to this new environment.
The competitive dance community has been affected, especially in terms of their ability to convert their art from the studio to home. Sofia Borromeo, a competitive dancer of nine years, explains the struggles of quarantine and its effects on her dancing. She states, “Due to the pandemic and quarantine, I noticed that I didn’t push myself…I had the struggle of having space to move around and to not be distracted by my surroundings.” Others like Samantha Chin, a competitive dancer of eight years, also claims that her technical abilities could not advance due to staying at home. These almost life-long dancers have clearly expressed the negative impact that COVID-19 has had on their normal dance lives. Dancing on Zoom made many competitive dancers, such as Sofia and Samantha, lose their drive and motivation, due to the energy draining hours on screen.
However, even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the show must go on. Angelina Lee, who also experienced dancing through this pandemic, explains how the only option left to perform was on-camera. What was thought to be unusual and unheard of was widely explored, as thousands of dancers learned how to capture angles, movements, and the overall entertainment factor using only a camera’s lense. Performing in this new way, instead of a live audience, truly broadened the stage for dance, as it provided many new experiences and opportunities.
Recently, as places have started to open up, events like dance competitions finally agreed to be held in-person, just like before COVID-19. After asking these dancers what it was like to come back from such an overwhelming break, their responses vary in positive ways. Borromeo answers, “Not going to lie, I was kinda nervous, the thought of being onstage again performing in front of a crowd after a year rattled my nerves…I was a bit rusty. Even though I had some nerves that day it didn’t stop me from having fun!” In addition, Lee elaborates on how coming back to dance competitions really felt like she was back where she belonged.
Ava Ko, Grade 10,
Orange County School of the Arts