Community Dance Day is still on — even if you’re just twirling in your bedroom. This July 25, DanceCleveland hosts the flagship event of its Summer Dance Festival virtually, alongside a roster of prerecorded classes and workshops across genres dropping the same day on its website and social media platforms. Performances from companies such as Chicago’s Lucky Plush contemporary troupe will also be released, as well as interviews from national artistic directors and choreographers. “If we’re able to do virtual programming, people are not geographically tied to being able to get to the theater,” says Pam Young, executive director of DanceCleveland. “This can go out and farther away. We’re hoping that people all over the state of Ohio and the country might be able to pick this up and watch.” Here are three reasons to get in on the action.
Get Some Fresh Moves For Your TikTok
Pick up a few steps for your favorite quarantine platform. The Summer Dance Festival offers different beginner and intermediate classes in styles such as ballet, modern and contemporary, hip-hop and jazz. For advanced dancers, two master classes will be led by dance company professionals. Community dance classes will also be available to all, including courses in Zumba, African drum and dance (which Young notes is one of the most popular options) and line dances. “That’s an opportunity to learn that sort of fun dance that you look at everybody on the dance floor and go, ‘I wish I knew how to do that,’ ” says Young. “Now you can learn it in the comfort of your own home.”
Get a Great Workout From Home
Dancing is a perfect way to stay active, especially during this socially distant period when you might not feel comfortable going to the gym. It’s a cardio activity, and versatile enough to be an accessible exercise regardless of your skill level. Dr. Yufang Lin, an integrative medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, says dancing is beneficial for cardiovascular health and lung capacity. “You’re naturally required to take deeper breaths, which will support your ability to take a deeper breath and take in more oxygen,” says Lin, “and then develop a better lung capacity to support your body’s needs.” Lin notes dancing is beneficial for mindfulness practices and energy flow in your body, as well.
Support Dancers During A Challenging Time
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the arts industry has been among the hardest hit, with tours canceled and health benefits and full-time employment in jeopardy. The fest helps support the industry by paying companies for video rights, such as the African dance and drum course from Djapo Cultural Arts Institute. DanceCleveland is also paying for instructor interviews, including talks with Lucky Plush choreographers. Viewers can donate directly to DanceCleveland on its website to support its programs. “We won’t have that art and creativity going forward. If the local dance community can’t thrive through this, we’ll all be poorer for it,” says Young.