NEWS: Social Disdancing – The COVID-19 Pandemic, Spring 2020

 

Social Disdancing’ is just one of the many unusual expressions that have been added to our everyday vocabulary in recent weeks. Since efforts were intensified to curb the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have become familiar with countries being on lockdown, adhering to social distancing, and complying with requests to self-isolate or quarantine. The reality of a pandemic and the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) is receiving unparalleled attention during the unprecedented outbreak.

This is new terminology for an unnerving new world.

Life under lockdown is predominantly characterised by the suspension of our normal routines, enforced by government guidance to “stay at home and away from others” (also known as social or physical distancing). It is a time of immense uncertainty for everybody and the repercussions on physical health, mental health, incomes, education, careers — indeed, the socio-economic status of entire countries — are undeniable.

Under normal circumstances, dance is part of who I am. I teach ballet students. I write about dance performances. I take class, thriving in a studio with like-minded individuals and time to dedicate to myself.

Whenever any aspect of my life feels uncertain, dance becomes increasingly important to me.

Under the current abnormal circumstances, schools, studios, gyms, theatres and countless other venues and businesses are closed indefinitely. But dance is still part of who I am. And times are categorically uncertain. So, I’m dancing through this crisis. At home. And I’m not alone because the wonderful world of dance has earnestly embraced social disdancing.

 

Social Disdancing. An illustration of Georgina Butler doing ballet at home by illustrator Gaia Leandri.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29th April 2020

 

Today is International Dance Day 2020, an occasion for people all over the world to express their appreciation for dance. Dancing at home is proving to be an essential way for many of us to keep our spirits up during the current coronavirus lockdown so if ever there was a time to advocate being swept up in dance fever, this is it.

The global dance community unites on 29th April each year to spread the message that dance matters. The aim is to urge governments, institutions and individuals who have not yet recognised the value of dance to do so.

Celebrations take place on 29th April because this date commemorates the birthday of French dancer and ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810). He is famous for liberating ballet from the formality of the dancing in royal courts and developing it into the elegant, expressive and emotive spectacle we know and love today. This made him a dance innovator. In fact, his achievements marked the beginning of efforts to advocate for dance to be acknowledged as a significant art form.

International Dance Day honours all styles of dancing and should be promoted to inspire everyone to get involved in dance. Involvement might mean participating in activities, watching performances, discovering new things about dance, or simply taking a few minutes out of a busy day to enjoy moving your body to music.

For dance devotees, today is an opportunity to engage with others, reflect on our personal experiences of dancing and share our enthusiasm with the world!

 

International Dance Day 2020. Georgina Butler writing while sitting in the splits.

 

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29th April 2019

 

The theme for International Dance Day 2019 is “Dance and Spirituality”.

When I am dancing, I am meditating. I am living in the moment: body, mind and soul uniting to make me “me”.

I have always used dance classes as an opportunity to escape day-to-day concerns and realign myself. My fondness for being productive means that I am inclined to treat myself like a machine, diligently getting things done — but no one can be industrious all the time. Dancing is the equivalent of pressing pause, switching myself off and rebooting in safe mode!

 

Georgina Butler. International Dance Day 2019. Dance and Spirituality.

 

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NEWS: World Ballet Day – Tuesday 2nd October 2018

 

Today is World Ballet Day, the one day of the year that balletomanes and ballet newbies alike are urged to press pause on their everyday activities and watch ballet!

American writer and dance critic Edwin Denby (1903–1983) is attributed to the quote: “You don’t have to know about ballet to enjoy it, all you have to do is look at it” and I support this sentiment. Simply witnessing ballet dancers do what they do best is enough to inspire admiration for ballet’s athleticism, aesthetics, artistry and amazing history and culture.

 

Georgina Butler. Journalist. Dance Writer. Dance Teacher. World Ballet Day.

 

♥ Happy World Ballet Day ♥

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FEATURE: Happy International Dance Day, 29th April 2018

 

Today is International Dance Day 2018, a day to celebrate the power and pleasure of dancing.

For as long as I can remember, dancing has been my escape, my entertainment and my education. I was fortunate to be taken to ballet classes as a toddler and was always the child that didn’t want to go home after the final curtsy. Ballet, tap, modern, jazz, contemporary… I lived for the next dancing opportunity while I was growing up and probably felt most alive when I was in class or on stage.

I still feel more at home in a dance studio than anywhere else. Whether I am taking class, practising by myself, or teaching, everything else is forgotten once I am at the barre or flying around the space. In fact, teaching helps me delight in dancing even more as it is all about sharing ideas, experiences and enjoyment with others in the hope that they will love to dance too!

 

 

“… we must always remember to dance a little every day.”

Ohad Naharin, Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company

 

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