“We are in this together and will get through this together”
As the numbers of Corona Virus continue to rise while many of us slowly return to class, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on getting through this together. I am not just an adult ballet teacher/dancer, I am also a Registered Nurse. While I no longer work in bedside nursing, the Nightingale Pledge I took to promote public health and safety as a new nurse almost twenty years ago sits in every fiber of my being to this day. The well being of my ballet students for me goes far beyond dancing safely and mindfully, but that they are mentally well too. I try to teach and live by example, so what I teach them I try to teach to myself as well. So how can we as dancers stay safe, happy, and healthy amid this pandemic? Here are just a few thoughts.
Wash Your Hands
It sounds like common sense right, but did you know that, Corona aside, over a million lives could be saved worldwide each year with proper hand washing? Nurse Florence Nightingale changed the course of history during the Crimean War when she saved thousands of lives by teaching hand washing-yet to this day, people are still dying because this basic skill is neglected. That’s how important hand washing is. It is key to the prevention of the spread of disease.
Wear a Mask
Wearing a mask is a proven way to safely lower the spread of Corona Virus. Bloch has the best breathable masks I and many of my students have been using since we started meeting for in person classes. Take regular mask breaks during class meaning when you grab a sip of water, find an open window where you can safely lower your mask to get fresh air.
Stay Home if You Are Sick
Stay home at the first sign of illness. This is a sign your body needs rest. If you are well enough, join a class online or warm yourselves up and stretch instead. Whether it’s a headache, mildly sore throat, or just general sense of malaise, stay home. I know how hard it is to want to get out of the house at every opportunity, but stay home and let your body rest.
Add a Few Things to Your Dance Bag
For those going back to the studio, protect yourselves and others. Bring a towel to class if you will be stretching on the floor. Keep your bag stocked with hand gel. Hand gel before and after barre work. Don’t forget your mask. Keep a bag to place your soiled, reusable face masks in when you remove them.
Nourish Your Immune System
There are several things we know about the immune system-how it functions, what happens when it is dampened, and how to optimize it. Exercise. Get plenty of sleep. Eat nourishing foods including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Breathe and relax. Start your day with a few moments of deep breathing while lying in bed or sitting on the side of your bed. A deep breath lowers and stabilizes blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels (stress hormones). Plan something weekly that relaxes you.
Take Care of Yourselves
I have read many posts in dance groups that so many of you have a hard time with online classes and dancing from home. It makes me so sad that many have stopped dancing all together. If you have put dancing on hold since the pandemic, try to find a way to move and breathe whether walking regularly or testing yoga, Pilates, or Progressing Ballet Technique. Learning to adapt and change with the new world we live in is so challenging, but so important for mental well being. Walk along the water with a friend or meet friends or family outside to fill your human need for nearness. Take care of yourselves.
Nourish Your Ballet Soul
Teaching and taking classes during the pandemic have saved me these past many months. My husband laughs because every free moment I have, I am filling with my favorite ballets, workshops for continuing education, and taking online classes with my favorite teachers. In no other time in history have we dancers had the opportunity that the internet has given us during Corona times. On any given day, you can take class with the greatest dancers on the planet. A side note, while there are lots of amazing free classes online, please donate to the teachers if possible. So many professionals are out of work and are struggling to make ends meet.
Time will only tell when life as we knew it will be back. Instead, try to shape a new normal for yourselves. Think positive and stay positive. Remember, you are not alone. Think of your ballet tribe around the world. We are in this together and will get through this together ❤
Until our next Plié ❤