News & Blogs

27 May 2020
Author: The Place

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings”

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings” said Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzō. As dancers, we know of the need for an agile and flexible body, but the rapidly evolving, brave new online world we are having to navigate now also means being extremely flexible and adaptable in our thinking. Of course nothing can completely replace the act of physically watching, creating and dancing together. But adapting means thinking imaginatively and finding creative solutions to work within the current restrictions.

Since social distancing measures mean none of us can get to the dance studio, Zoom has suddenly become a critical part of dance education. Thousands of dance classes are now happening via the videoconferencing service, with dancers participating virtually from their living rooms. That gallery of squares is the lifeline connecting us to our dance community.

For our faculty and teachers at LCDS, this has meant going back to the drawing board and rethinking all the habits and preconceptions we may have held about dance and dance teaching. Students now have 2 - 3 classes a day, live via zoom, from ballet and contemporary to body conditioning, Gaga, Pilates, and theory lectures. Of course dancing in very small spaces can be frustrating, but with time teachers and students get better used to restricted surroundings, learning how to navigate them and even enjoying the challenge. For teachers, finding ways to offer crucial feedback through the new technology is a learning curve, but one that they explore together with the students, discovering this new world together. Watch our London Contemporary Dance School Online Q&A above to find out more.

Recreational dance classes are in high demand, as people are looking for activities during lockdown. Our online classes are on a pay-what-you-can basis to ensure they are accessible to all during this difficult time, and we now offer ballet, contemporary, creative contemporary for children and our ever-popular over 60s class. With participants joining us from all over the UK and beyond, it’s been wonderful to reconnect with our regular participants as well as meeting some new faces!

Our CAT students are learning to juggle school work with their creative tasks at home and we support them the best we can with individual training plans.

Our Partner Schools Programme has continued with Online Creative Dance Sessions created on video and sent out to the schools, with great feedback from the teachers. The Partner Schools relationship is a really valuable one, and creating opportunities to stay connected at a time like this, when so many children are learning from home, is particularly important.

Finally, there are a huge amount of theatres showing archive work online in a bid to engage and entertain audiences in isolation and offer some much needed relief. Our new digital programme 'The Place Online' has so far broadcast four highly successful shows with between 250 and 1400 people tuning in from all over the UK to Italy, Columbia, the US, Taiwan and Russia. We may be severely restricted in what we were used to offering our dance community but with creativity, imagination and goodwill, we can still fill the world with more dance!





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