If you’re anything like my husband and me, your days are split between the anxious cries of “Mom, the computer just did that weird thing again, but don’t you DARE come into the room because my camera might still be on!” and, “I only have 30 minutes for lunch, that’s not enough time to eat AND make my own lunch!” and, my personal favorite, “actually, this was so much better in the spring…”
We are the lucky ones. I guess. Our kids, Matty and Gabby, are in 8th and 11th grade, so they can at least do most of this without our help. I can only imagine what those of you with young kids are going through. It’s all exhausting!
And, on top of everything, there is the constant worry of how all of this will affect our kids in the long term:
•Will my toddler learn how to share? Be kind? Relate to others?
•Will my 6 year old be able to make friends? Respect teachers?
•Will my 11 year old be able to transition to middle school? Be empathetic to others?
•Will my 15 year old have a normal high school experience? Have fun hanging with friends? Gain confidence?
Obviously, I don’t have all the answers, as much as I wish I did at times! However, I will tell you what I have learned (and been told over and over by our dance families) during these first 3 weeks of dance classes at All That Jazz in Newton. Our dancers are so happy when they are in dance class. Period.
Whether they are taking dance class over Zoom or coming in-person to the studio, they are loving life. We call it smiling eyes (behind their masks!) and you just can’t hide their happiness.
And, a happy bonus is that our All That Jazz students are able to have some sense of normalcy when they are taking their dance classes.
The hours spent in dance classes (either on Zoom from their homes in Newton, Belmont, Watertown, Waltham, Brighton, Wellesley, or Needham, or at the dance studio’s location on Watertown St in Newton) are a time when the answers can be YES to all of those above questions!
In addition, I am hearing (and seeing!) so many of our students come up with creative solutions to maintaining their dance friends connections during this time of social distancing. From outdoor movie nights watching old recital videos to taking dance classes in small groups outside to family pods dancing together in basements, there are so many ways to keep our dance family together and strong!
There is no substitute for real school and all the important social and emotional life skills that kids learn there. However, participating in dance classes right now at All That Jazz Dance Studio still provides our children with safe, healthy and fun social alternatives. I promise your kids will thank you for enrolling them!
~Deb Vogel, Director of All That Jazz Dance Studio