What have I learnt in Lockdown? (ballet edition)

1. Surfaces are important 

Doing Barre on carpet is very hard, but a piece of hardboard  really helps if you are on a carpeted floor you just have to think about size and positioning, in an ideal world  you'd put a dance floor material over the board ...  and in a 'first world problems' world you'd have the floor laid into your spare room as per a studio floor ... 

However while that works for barre, even with modifications as many teachers have done for lockdown it doesn't really work for centre work, and I've found  that  centre work on the carpet seems to irritate my  hip, knee and/OR ankle joints at various times/

2. You can do pointe at home

However you need to think about the surface as discussed above and stick to the stuff you were confident with in the studio. Lockdown and on dodgy surfaces is not the time to be trying anything out ...  save that   for when we can get back in the studio and your teacher can at least see you  even if physical corrections  are still off the menu

3. Visual cues 

One thing I have realised in lockdown is that I am still reliant on visual cues in class  especially  those when I am pushing myself technically and that if i get lost in an exercise without visual cues or verbal reminders from the teacher - I'm snookered.

Improver type classes, I'm down with it or where Inter / Advanced type exercises are given in short sharp combos...  but Inter exercises in a long combo ... arrgh!

4. The 'Energy' of the Studio 

Absolutely one thing I have missed about classes in the Studio, is the energy that you get from being in the studio even if the people you are in class with are people you barely know (as happens with some of the classes I take on trips to London) and  it's also been something that  teacher have commented on in terms of their cognitive load and effort in teaching online.

5.  Opportunities and Threats... 

Lockdown has lead to the opportunity to take class with teachers you  normally can't take class with, or class with them is an infrequent treat - especially via  Zoom ( or other videoconferencing platforms) -  there's follow along classes on instagram and facebook but i'm not fond of those and  i'm really not a big fan of paid for  follow along classes ( and yes i have tried them ... ) 

As Lockdown continued it  became clear  that we were looking at weeks to  months , and a possibly much reduced studio capacity when we are allowed back ... which spurred a few more teachers to get on zoom (or other videoconferencing platforms) and start delivering classes that way, with the possibility / probability of 'mixed mode' teaching once  the studios  were allowed to open... 

There will be some people who struggle to come back to the studio after lockdown and  a lot of  us will face  the impact of an enforced layoff   as even with  classes over zoom   etc the number  of classes and the mix of  exercises will be different. 



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