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Celebrating 2020: reflection and gratitude!


This year our after-school and in-school sessions were hit with a few challenges including COVID 19 and a teacher injury. Compared to other areas of the world I realize how grateful we are to keep dancing! However, as I reflect on the challenges faced even here I realize that to every cloud there are silver linings and ConnectEd dance has certainly learned from those. Here is a short recap of some of these growth areas.


Challenge:

COVID 19 shutting down term 1 classes, dance classes going online ALL OVER THE WORLD.


Silver Lining(s):

Motivated out of necessity, I along with dance teachers all over the world took to Zoom to teach site specific (i.e. lounge) dance classes through the internet. What an experience. It was stressful, scary, uncomfortable and disappointing at first but became creative, innovative and connecting for those who participated! Thinking outside of the box to teach inside the box was a growth promoting challenge for myself and the dancers. I observed growth in confidence of online dancers, increased listening and communication skills, and engaged skill development for those who could focus. It wasn't for every child, but for some it was a winner!


Prior to lockdown, with hints of needing to cancel the term early, I created worksheets and filmed video tutorials for our dancers to continue dance education online. These became useful quickly with classes shutting down only a day later, and lockdown beginning only 4 days after that! This inspired worksheets in term classes and a growing video library that supports sick days or those who just want to practice. A valuable resource to add to our offerings!


In addition, I (Miss Lia) had time to tackle some PD (professional development) and really enjoyed the extra time to read, listen, learn and grow in some areas. This included completing the Intellidance Kids Certification programme and the Intellidance Brain Moves programme, increasing my knowledge of using music elements (music education) to support under 6s and also brain dance patterns to better integrate all age dancers' skill development.


I also had a great time dancing for myself with CLI studios. Our CLI partnership has been an awesome resource for our senior dancers to expand their dance education too with additional age appropriate video tutorials in several genres at their fingertips.


Lastly, I saw the kindness and support of our dance community with several dancers willing to give online learning a try, others donated their credit from covid cancelled classes to the company, keeping contact during our time apart and I am still so touched by your support.


Challenge: I (Miss Lia) almost break my foot landing on a declined surface.


Silver Lining: Though at first I worried Term 4 classes would need to be cancelled, ConnectEd was blessed with the additional support of Miss Olivia! We had a wonderful 5 weeks with her awesome, kind, and bubbly personality, graceful demonstrations, and exciting showcase choreography. As an artist and as a professional I really enjoyed having someone to collaborate with. This experience also forced me to learn about employment processes, contracts, all that good stuff! This gives me confidence for the future and excited about growing a team.


And, a shout out to my schools who patiently waited for the foot to heal enough to return and for the teachers who danced extra hard to role model for me while I taught in the boot! You rock!


Through this experience I value my feet so much more. I tore several ligaments in the lateral mid foot as shown below and they are still healing over 3 months later.


Challenge: August COVID 19 cluster Level change.


Silver Lining: Dancing at Level 2 is hard work! There was a significant amount of cleaning and checking to make sure things are safe and protocols are met. But it was worth it to be able to dance and our parents and dancers followed the rules, with a great attitude, to keep us all safe. Even the youngest children happily learned to make handwashing a habitual part of class. It was a little strange to avoid the floor, dance in our own space with very limited contact, but we made the most of it with a unit in Jazz and even some Tap for our wee ones. And, now I can mop a floor really fast!


Now for the sun rays... not silver linings just rays of pure sun… we happily celebrated our FIRST BIRTHDAY in August and experienced a wonderful creative dance workshop (T3), amazing Showcases (themed to the "Sun'll Come Out") and a Christmas ballet workshop (T4)!


Grateful for the opportunities we had to dance together, in person this year and for finding solutions to challenges and things looking brighter after each storm. I sure am! Thank you for all your support of ConnectEd dance co. this year!


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