One of the things that has really struck me over the course of the last week now that all dance studios in my area are shut down is how much I never really planned to practice dancing at home.
I moved a while back for a variety of reasons, as you could probably tell when the backgrounds in all the pictures I have taken changed magically. My old place had a large front room that had hardwood floors. Because I tend to be a minimalist who doesn’t collect stuff, a short time after I took up dancing I ended up clearing everything out of that room. By leaving it empty, I could use it as my own personal at-home dance hall! That space wasn’t huge, but it gave me plenty of room to work on various figures and routines that I was learning over the years.
In my new place, I don’t have anything even close to that. This dwelling is much more compact, so I don’t have any rooms that are big and open that I could clear out easily like I did in my last home. That really limits what I am able to do while I’m stuck here. When I picked this place as my new dwelling, I didn’t think it was such a big deal – after all, there are a couple of dance studios within a short drive of here where I had been going to practice anytime I needed. I didn’t anticipate what I would do if those places were closed to the public for an indefinite period of time.
So I’ve been thinking about what it is that happens from here. The obvious first answer that I have been kicking around is to start focusing my time on dances that take up less space. Let’s face it, anything that falls under the International Standard or American Smooth categories is not going to work. Standard is what I had been focusing on, and Smooth is what I would do for fun because the two are related. That was great when I could go to a studio whenever I wanted and move around a lot. Trying to do that here… I think I would either end up using teeny-tiny steps while making a loop around my couch, or barreling into the furniture as I moved. Ouch.
What kind of dance styles are better to learn in a confined space like I find myself in now? Well, I first thought that I could spend the time working on my International Latin, but that… feels like a bad idea. Taking the virtual classes on Latin Technique has shown me that putting serious effort into working on the technical aspects of dancing is painful, as I mentioned last week. That’s probably my fault, since I still haven’t brought my dance shoes inside to use them, and have instead been relying on socks to help my feet slide around. So maybe that’s still a possibility. But my knees really do not like whatever it is that I did to them, so I have to not do that anymore… whatever it is I did.
But maybe this new era means that I should learn something new. A style that I’ve never really done before, perhaps. Argentine Tango? That doesn’t move around the room a whole lot, from what little I know of the style. Then again, the frame for Argentine Tango doesn’t leave me much distance from my partner’s face, so once the dance world opens back up I would be right up in there with whatever sicknesses my future partners may have. Kizomba? That’s a dance style that I have only heard rumors of in this area of the world. I think it has the same problem though, so while I would look super cool if I could train my white boy hips to dance like that, who knows what the long-term repercussions would be if I have to dance super close to people when society is allowed to congregate again. Polka could be fun, but travels too much, so I would have the same problem practicing Polka as I do with any Standard or Smooth dances. Hmm…
I really get the feeling that there is going to be a push to open the country back up for business before this outbreak is eradicated, thus we will still be looking for ways to keep ourselves protected while we dance. Do you think that line dancing is the way of the future in this new physical distancing era we are living in? Or are we going to start seeing dancers show up to parties in protective gear? Gloves and face masks can look classy if you get them in the right colors, don’t you think? I would think that the face masks should be black, but the gloves probably would look better in white. Far more elegant, right? I almost feel like I’d have to wear a bow tie if I were out dancing with gloves and a face mask on. That would really accentuate the whole ensemble.
And that’s the thing I keep thinking about right now – things are going to have to change. How do I want them to change? Try and fit in the things that I used to spend all my time doing into this new reality? Or find new things to start working on in this new existence that is in front of me? That’s a tough choice, and I don’t know if I have a good answer yet.
I suppose, if I start to go a little crazy from having to avoid people so much, that I could always take up training cats to dance. Do you think my cat would like it if I tried to train her? Oh, I see that her claws are out… maybe she’s telling me that she wants to learn tap dancing instead? That could be it, right? Right?
We’ll see what the future holds. For now, there’s a virtual lunchtime Waltz class I heard about that’s happening tomorrow at lunchtime. That gives me something to look forward to, whether I can actually dance along or not.