Updated: May 27, 2021

I think we’ll all agree that 2020 has had its ups and downs, (maybe more downs than ups), but as we approach the end of the year, I have realised that restrictions have actually helped to expand my creativity, and provided me with the opportunity to do things I wouldn’t have before.

Losing interest and enthusiasm in things that once used to bring us joy and act as an escape from life, has become a common occurrence for majority of people. Mostly because we haven’t been able to do them in the way we want to. We’ve all had more time than usual on our hands, and for a lot of people the things that used to be fun to do because they were done as an escape, have instead been done as a means of occupying us. It’s easy to forget to take time out to do the things that make us.

As a content creator and dance teacher, one thing ive recently had to think about is the difference between creating for purely the purpose of having to work, and creating work I’m genuinely passionate about. This is especially the case when you physically can’t create the work you want to, because of a global pandemic.

Even though you might not be able to do what you want because of situations out of your control, it is important to try and find the opportunity within the restriction. For example, if you couldn’t go outside, you’d find something to do inside. If you couldn’t go to work, you’d get more time to spend with your family. If you finished watching all the episodes of your favourite series, you’d then have the chance to start a new, maybe even better, series. If life didn’t give you lemons to make lemonade, you’d make something different to drink!

When it comes to teaching dance, social distancing has been a big hindrance on how we want to create. We love experimenting with different lifts, being hands on to help our dancers execute acro moves, and overall, just working closely together to bounce ideas off each other. Having restrictions upon our creativity defies the concept of being creative entirely, and it has been hard to adapt.

However, a big part of being creative is thinking outside the box.

While we haven’t been able to learn many new tricks and lifts, we have been able to work more on our individual flexibility and strength. We haven’t been able to be close together but splitting our dance groups into separate rooms and ages has brought out new friendships and allowed our dancers to be pushed more depending on their age and ability. We haven’t been able to work towards an end of year performance, and have our dancers work on the same routines for a prolonged period of time, but instead have been able to keep our dancers improving their skills up until the end of the year, and give them something new to work on each month.

Every flower needs rain to grow. It is important to take in the bad, and use it to our advantage, to bring out the good.

2020 has had me feeling very down, but it’s also expanded my creativity, given me great opportunities and increased my ability to progress in multiple areas. I think we all need to give ourselves more credit for finding the opportunities within restrictions. We’re all stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

Alishea Chanel

Member’s Secretary and Dance Tutor

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