Back to the Marley
A Dancer’s Experience Transitioning from Online Back to In-Studio Classes
Submitted by Blythe Truhe, CCD Pre-Professional student.
We asked CCD student Blythe Truhe to talk about her experience training online when CCD pivoted to continue classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic. And then, what was it like getting to come back to the studio?
Going from online dance at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance to in person, and vice versa, was a complicated transition for both students and faculty. As a student in the PPP division of CCD, I am very involved in CCD and its classes. Therefore, online dance greatly affected my day to day life, physically and mentally. However, CCD handled the situation with a lot of decorum. The faculty was careful and immediately put us online when the lockdown occurred. Teachers were extremely understanding and sympathetic towards dancers of all ages and tried to make the best of the situation. Complete with online performances, the past seasons have been engaging, even though we were online.
Of course, Covid brought a lot of dismay and online dance wasn’t the same as being in person. I missed the social interaction that comes with moving with people who share the same intense passion as you. As a result, dancing online became less enjoyable and more of a chore. I found myself feeling disappointed having to go dance in a small space alone, for hours every night. Dancing just didn’t seem as fulfilling. Not to mention, the restrictions that come with having a small space and unsuitable dancing flooring. I remember that first day back in person at the studio was one of the happiest days I had felt in a while. I was so excited to see my peers, teachers, and have ample space to demonstrate my artistry. Once restrictions were lifted, we were allowed to dance in person with masks, but we couldn’t use the lobby or locker rooms. We continue to wear masks, social distance, and remain six feet apart when we have our masks off outside. The only time we take them off is when we go outside for breaks to drink water and breathe. This easy-to-do task was immediately a wonderful shift that improved my quality of dancing and reminded me how much I love it. Still, CCD remained professional and took extra precautions in scenarios where a student was possibly exposed to Covid. However, being back in person to dance was so exciting, I forgot all about the mask mandate. I remember feeling overjoyed when I stepped back into the studio. I almost immediately forgot about being online.
I feel that the precautions were well thought out and the gradual reintroduction of more students in a studio at a time was an important step. Once we were back in person, it was disappointing having to go back online as a result of a Covid scare. But once we got back to a regular in person schedule, dance immediately became the highlight of my day. The reintroduction to dance at CCD was a long awaited process, and I am so glad to finally be back in person, with consistent classes with all of my teachers and peers.
CCD continues to have restrictions in place to provide a safe environment in which our dancers can train.