Dear Students, Parents, Staff and friends of Danspace,
There is not much I can say that hasn’t already been said in the media in the past few days, and now weeks. I’m writing this from my heart in a very personal way, to let you know how much I appreciate you all, for what you bring to Danspace, and for what you take from Danspace out into the world. Believe me, I hear about it, especially in circles where I am not known or recognized, which is more all the time as I gradually step back from the day to day operations and from teaching.
Danspace arose, nearly 50 years ago, from a deep desire to pass on my experience as a professional dancer and student of some very fine teachers along the way, and I became dedicated to the proposition that children, adults…anybody really…might learn to dance under the guidance of a knowledgeable and GENTLE teacher. I am proud that we have developed a following over the years, not only of students, many of whom are now teaching, but of parents whose children have found benefit from learning in this manner.
We find ourselves today in unusually challenging times. Dance is meant to be a group activity. The energy of a class supports learning in ways too numerous to list, but now we are held to a different value system. We must all “shelter in place” and keep our distance. Enter technology. I myself, at my advanced age, often rail against the complexities of our sometimes mind-boggling world of computers and cell phones, but here we are now, almost completely dependent upon them. We are going to ask our wonderful teachers to transform our teaching model to meet the times. I am anxious to see how it works out and thank each of you, from your different positions, for participating as you can.
Parents, there will be “Private Lessons” in your living room for your child (with you, the parent or guardian in constant supervision). They will be taught by our wonderful staff whom you already know.
Teens and adults will also be able to dance in their living rooms while also being encouraged to “attend” Ernesta Corvino’s online classes held daily. You can find more information on the Corvino’s website.
Bless you all. Take good care of yourselves. Keep dancing in anyway that you can and know that we look forward to all being together again in the studio.
Elbow bumps to all,
It can be challenging to create the right conditions to study dance virtually, while in our own homes. One important consideration for ballet students is figuring out what will suffice as a substitute ballet barre. Consider all of the things that you remember hearing from your teacher about the barre. Imagine yourself standing in the studio with your arms in second and how they fall up on the top of the barre, so that you can press gently down triggering the oppositional forces to inspire you to rise from the top of your head. The position of your designated barre ideally would be of a similar height.
Standing in first position next to the barre, is only a precursory relationship to the barre, since we often tendu to the front or the back and find ourselves either in fourth position or through a temps lié or a chassé, we are now a little forward or a little back from where we first started the barre combination. Consider the length of your ballet barre and how ideally your hand would slide either forward or back in relation to the torso. The hand should be able to move forward and back so that the elbow does not rise behind the shoulder. The upper arm should remain in outward rotation and in second position to the side and slightly forward of the torso. Designating the right height and length of ballet barre for your body may be a process of trial and error (ie two chairs together to create more length to your barre or two sawhorses on some wood blocks and a broom stick). It’s a creative problem solving project for sure!
I would love to see pictures of your at-home ballet barres!
What kind of floor am I on? Is it slippery, sticky, or carpet? What happens when I move in different ways on this kind of surface, and how can I be safe dancing here?
How much space do I need in order to do a certain movement? If I have less space than I need, how can I adjust the movement or adjust my body so I can dance safely?
What obstacles might be in my path? Is there furniture, cords, toys, siblings, or pets that might end up in my path while I dance? How can I pay attention to both the stationary and moving obstacles?
Our registered students have been contacted about participating in online classes for the remainder of the Spring semester. You can find our schedule of virtual classes for children and youth on our blog. If you have questions or need more information, email us: email@example.com. Please double check that our email address is in your address book so you don’t lose communications to the spam folder.
Summer 2020 poll for classes and workshops
Fall 2020 information about enrollment
In the Community
Many in the dance community are suffering lost income at this time. If you’re interested in supporting the Bay Area performing artists, you can learn more about the COVID-19 Performing Arts Worker Relief Fund, administered by Theatre Bay Area, Dancers’ Group and IntermusicSF. Donations and applications for support are being accepted now.
The future is uncertain, but we are hopeful to continue to offer classes and programs during this time of physical distancing. We would love to see photos or videos of you dancing at home! If it’s ok for us to share them, please note that when you send them to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual high fives and celebrations for all the ways you’re continuing to dance during this time,
The Danspace team