Living in fear, obeying stay-at-home orders and cancelling plans and life events has become the new normal. Wearing face masks and gloves have become the new fashion. Paranoia over people and places has become the new mental state.
This pandemic has taken a lot of the human out of humanity. Social distancing keeps you away from friends and loved ones. Home is the refuge and safety zone. Sadly, there is no set end in sight. As a dancer, it has upended my life.
Spring brings me out of winter hibernation, and is a harbinger of things to come. This would have been my second week of instructing group dance classes locally. July would have been my 13th year instructing dance at the prestigious Chautauqua Institution on New York State. This annual dance working vacation had been anticipated all winter. Wasn’t it bad enough that I had to cancel my private students? These student friends brought me weekly joy. How can one instruct dance wearing a mask, and keeping a social distance of over six-feet? Dance involves interaction and energy. My calendar has a huge void. I feel empty.
I often wonder if I will ever instruct and dance publicly again. Being an older dancer, this is becoming more of a reality. Scientists are predicting that this virus will rules our lives until 2022. A two-year interruption is a long time.
I mourn the loss of teaching and performing dance. I am saddened by not being able to share the joy. I grieve over not going back to my ‘happy place,” the Chautauqua Institution. I fear that life will never be the same.
Dance hasn’t left me, but I have been forced to leave the dance.