Backstage at the Ballet

By Sara Komatsu

The Pandemic Has Radically Changed Dance — Maybe For the Better

Dance is physical in a way no other art forms, and not many jobs, are. In a world that demands that everything be done virtually, dancing became virtually impossible in the ways that it has existed before. When dancers can’t share space in studios, training is limited to what can be accomplished in living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms — on unsuitable floors with obstacles in every direction. Without peers, coaches, or the promise of performance, it is easy for a dancer’s motivation to falter.

As dancers’ primary purpose — to perform, to tell stories, to bring joy — has been almost entirely stripped away, we have, alongside the rest of the world, found ways to evolve. Like those of many other industries in the COVID-19 pandemic, some of these adaptations have turned out to be positive developments that we should carry forward. One of the most beneficial shifts has been increased accessibility for students and audience members alike.

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