Student Login

Q & A: How has COVID-19 affected dance?

By Admin User on December 9, 2020

Alyssa Stankey is a 20 year old dance teacher with a local dance studio in Sherwood Park. Stankey has been dancing since she was very little and adapting to the new changes that came with COVID-19 have been challenging. She is not only a dance teacher but she is also a member of MOD Contemporary Dance club at the University of Alberta (U of A). Her favourite types of dance are contemporary and jazz. Stankey is in her third year of her Bachelors of Elementary Education with the U of A.

Alyssa Stankey dancing

Stankey was joy to interview and she is so passionate about the world of dance and knows that the dance community can come together and overcome these new challenges and hurdles.

What has changed for dancers since COVID-19 began?

I think the biggest thing that’s changed is just you have to stay in your own spot. When you dance there’s no contact and with dance [being] such an expressive art form it’s hard to not connect with another individual or just do a movement with someone else. It’s hard to remain solely as your own dancer in your own spot.

Do you wear masks while dancing? If so is it hard to dance with a mask on?

Yes we do. It is very hard. Yes, but we just want to keep everyone safe. And and healthy. So mask wearing it is for the time being.

Are you and your students still competing this year?

Yeah, so it’s gonna be a very different this year. I know. Last year, they tried to do virtual competitions. So that was really nice so that students and performers can still put on performance[s] for loved ones to showcase all their hard work throughout the year. But definitely, it’s still kind of up in the air with how competition season is going to look for 2021.

Do you have in person rehearsals or are they done digitally?

No, we still have rehearsals in person. But it’s very different with mask wearing and [being] distance[d] and hand sanitizing 24/7. It’s so awesome to be back in the studio but [it] definitely looks different this year.

Has choreographing been harder with all the new rules and regulations?

Yes, it is difficult, especially with formations because everyone has to be so distant. And then that makes transitioning harder. And trying to maintain that distance at every single second in the dance. As a teacher, I’ve just had to plan it out more and really know okay, where are my students going? Okay, how much room is there? How will this look in the studio?

Have class sizes been reduced?

Class sizes haven’t changed too much. I think we’ve got them capped at eight or nine. So not too big. And we can still still space everyone out nicely. So it’s not too many people.

What have been the biggest positives you’ve noticed that have come from these changes?

So one positive that I’ve certainly noticed is on social media, and just the dance community as a whole. There’s so many online platforms and people doing zoom calls to still connect and still move with others. And so that’s really awesome to see that even though it’s so hard right now we know that we’re still all in it together and that we’re not dancing alone.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced with the new regulations?

I think biggest one has been just distancing, making sure you’re always, sanitizing and staying far away from others. I think that’s been the biggest thing. It’s just been a learning curve. We’ve been having to adapt with that. It is hard not to connect with someone else, or you can’t do lifts, you can’t [have] any contact. So it’s just harder to perform as a group.

Have you noticed more dancers turning to apps like Tik Tok to showcase their talents?

Yeah, I have actually noticed that. I think that it’s a really very cool way to still connect with everyone and still have a virtual performance or demonstration of their skills. So I think that’s awesome.



Follow Us!

Like Us On Facebook!