The dance community has become resilient during this time of uncertainty. From online movement classes through zoom & Instagram live, there is a sense of hope and love radiating those virtual rooms. And the most beautiful energy of all — sharing the practice of movement with human beings from around the globe. Though we cannot be together in a space, the joy of dance is always able to be felt amongst each other vibrationally.
Personally, quarantine has brought more ritual into my life and a deeper connection to power. After an hour of dancing around the kitchen with my mother or by myself in the backyard, I feel boosted in both mood and energy. Whether you are a professional dancer or first timer to dance, here are several movement classes that will allow you to research your body and/or just have a fun time — and a plus… you get an incredible workout!
Gaga is a movement language derived from Israeli choreographer, Ohad Naharin, and practiced regularly by the dancers of the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel. This challenging yet invigorating practice allows people to dive into research and explore physical sensation, imagination, pleasure, explosive power, and exercise stamina. The teachers carry much knowledge as they are past or present company members. Each class has an instructor who is leading you and moving with you the entire duration of class. Layers of research in imagination and pleasure is piled on as class is in session. For Gaga/People, the virtual experience is about 30 minutes in length and Gaga/Dancers is about 45 minutes. There are six classes a day including TLV and NYC time which lends an opportunity to groove as many times a week as you like.
Setting Up: Find any place in your home (small or large) that projects the energy you wish to receive. Lighting a candle helps set up ritual before the practice. Be sure to use a laptop because Gaga uses zoom! Visit the Go Fund Me page for the full description of class, zoom links, time, date, and to donate if you wish. Once you are all set up on zoom and have found your sacred space, warm up the body a bit, and please make sure you turn your camera on and video off before class starts. Lastly, the Gaga team asks you to not film class as they would state in a regular classroom setting.
A Reminder: Gaga is for people of all walks of life. Remember to stay present and find what moves you. If something hurts, take it easy! If it’s your very first class try to set up at least 15 minutes before so you aren’t stressed. As Gaga Online states: STAY GROOVY!
For more information on Ohad Naharin, is work, and the Batsheva Dance Company/Gaga teachers visit https://batsheva.co.il/en/about
For an in-dept diary on a non-dancer’s virtualGaga experience: https://gagadiary.com
DANCE CHURCH GO
Dance Church was created in Seattle by movement artist and choreographer, Kate Wallich. The movement class is designed for anyone and everyone and creates a fun attitude toward dancing. It serves as a communal space for bodies that want to move and be moved. Rather than listening to the pleasure inside of you, there is a curated playlist of pop music for listening during the session. Similar to Gaga, you follow a teacher and listen to their instruction. Dance Church Go is a live streaming event that is accessible on your television or computer screen. Now more than ever, we might desire gatherings and events. Dance Church gives you the opportunity to virtually dance with thousands worldwide from the comfort of your home. It truly is the dance party you desire, so take advantage while it is here!
Setting Up: Plan to stretch and do a light warm-up before the start of class. Find a large space (your kitchen and/or living room works perfect) to travel around. I recommend taking movement classes with your parent(s), partner, or roommate(s) if you are not currently living alone — and if alone, don’t worry because you will still have fun. Wear clothing you can sweat and move in as well as being barefoot or in socks. This experience will be roughly 55 minutes so hydrate and turn off any extra distractions. Hop on https://go.dancechurch.com for the live stream, schedule, donation link (if able), and to learn more (if curious).
Schedule found here
For their, Instagram visit https://www.instagram.com/dance_church/
For more information on Kate Wallich, her work, and the collaborative company visit http://katewallich.com/#/projects
SweatFest movement classes were created by and led by the award-winning L.A. based choreographer, Ryan Heffington. This hour-long sweat session serves as movement therapy and brings joy to thousands around the world. Class is taught from Heffington’s home on Instagram Live ranging from five times to once a week. As said in British Vogue, “it’s his infectious energy that grabs you the moment he appears live on Instagram.” That being true, Heffington is always cheering on the party members who attend his classes. As I put on the sexiest sunglasses I can find, a faux fur coat, and grab my hairbrush to use as a mic, the imaginary concert begins and he leads me with the right moves to make my performance spectacular. Can’t make it to class? Do not worry because he saves all of his classes to IGTV!
Setting Up: Similar to Dance Church, find a living room-sized space in which you are able to access your kitchen or bedroom, etc. Ryan will warm you up so all you need is your phone or computer screen, the Instagram app, and yourself. It is also helpful to have props on hands such as a hairbrush, broom, or spatula. Relax, have fun, and enjoy what the artist has in store for you!
For more information on Ryan Heffington himself and his work, visit https://www.ryanheffington.com/about
For his classes visit https://www.instagram.com/ryan.heffington/?hl=en
CONTINUE TO RIDE THE MOVEMENT
Now that you have several options to sweat during this lockdown, continue to let the movement meditation bring you where you want to be. Creating a ritual before each class will set you up for a beautiful experience and the new habitual pattern will bring joy to your regular routine. While we may not be dancing together in person,we are alone together and will get through this. Stay curious and excited about what movement may bring you during these uncertain times.