by Allie Kondracki
Dance has always been a way for me to control my emotions and express myself. When Covid began, my classes transitioned to being online. Although it was great still being able to dance, there were a couple of changes that made it difficult to adjust.
The first change was spacing. When I was in the studio, I was able to take up a lot of space and dance from my heart, but in my house, I was confined to my dining room which was very compact. The tight spacing made me feel like I couldn’t move freely, and it was hard to express myself emotionally through dance.
The second change was that the classes were on Zoom. Although I knew I was with my class, being on separate little rectangles of the screen made the classes feel extremely less social. My teachers made an effort to talk to everyone to help eliminate the awkwardness of being online, but it wasn’t the same. The social aspect felt like it was missing, which made dance feel lonely.
The next change was the comfort of being home. It was so easy to get ready for classes that it felt like I never was fully ready. I noticed myself going from wearing leotards and tights to wearing leggings and a baggy T-shirt to ballet class. This was bad because it allowed me to change my mentality from being driven, to feeling lazy during my classes. The last change was not being able to dance pointe. When classes switched to being online, we stopped doing pointe because some of the floors in our houses were unsafe. We did pre-pointe instead, which was good for strengthening, but I missed doing my ballet class on pointe. This made me feel sad because I worked hard over the years to perfect pointe, and out of nowhere, I was no longer able to do it anymore.
Overall, Covid made it harder for me to enjoy my dance classes and let out my emotions. My mentality switched from being serious about dance to feeling lazy and undriven. That made me extremely glad when classes returned back to being in person.
Allie is currently a Freshman at ECU majoring in Neuroscience. When everything shut down in 2020, she was a sophomore dancing with Dance Project, in Greensboro, NC. She started dancing at age 2, and her favorite dance memory is her first Nutcracker, where she played the role of Clara at age 6. College is keeping Allie very busy, but she is continuing to explore movement through Yoga and other workout routines.