Why I’m Still Dancing: A Virtual College
After the pandemic pushed us to move our classes online, The Dance Hub launched a social media project called
#WhyImStillDancing to celebrate dancing even when we can’t be together in the studio. We invited our students and teachers to submit pictures of themselves dancing at home or outside with a statement about why they’re still dancing. Now that all the photos and statements have been posted, we’re proud to present “Why I’m Still Dancing: A Virtual Collage”.
The Dance Hub is a non-profit program of American Dance and Music, Inc., a California 501(c)(3) public benefit company. Donations are tax-deductible and much appreciated!
The moment I step into the studio (at home or at The Dance Hub), the crazy outside world disappears. Joining with the music being played, I focus all my energy on getting centered and balanced, strong, confident, integrated, and free to express something of beauty. This often leads me to a state of pure joy and feeling fully alive.
The reason I take class is because it’s still fun, and it keeps both my mind and body challenged, enhancing my strength, flexibility and mental acuity.
I dance because I love dancing, music and think it is important to keep moving for health. I have taken Nia classes with Ken Gilbert; since we have the same last name, we have a nice connection! I have also done dancing with the Tribe and love it.
I am still dancing because dance brings me to the inner world. It reminds me to be present in the moment with grace, joy, and hope.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.” I dance for both of these reasons: to remember the joy that dancing brought my younger self and to forget all of my worries in life today. I love the virtual classes at dance hub because they allow me to take the class from New York City and reconnect with my dance family in Santa Barbara.
Indie took lessons from Susan Manchak and continues to practice what she has learned. She and her big sister and cousin put on a "socially distanced" performance for her grandparents. She is eager to go back to real classes instead of teaching her sister and cousin what she has learned from Susan.
Carrie Stein Hill
I'm still dancing because ballet fills me with joy, makes me feel alive, and it is just so much fun!
I’m still dancing because DANCE nourishes my body and soul. For me, teaching is also dancing, and I love teaching dance! I give to others through my classes, while the dancers give joy and love back to me, and this sharing is of central importance in my life.
I am still dancing because it makes me happy, keeps challenging me, keeps me in shape to perform when we can again and because Susan A is teaching on Zoom!!!
I continue to dance because it is my life’s pursuit. I have dedicated myself to choreographing, dancing and presenting dance. And am thrilled every time I rehearse, take a class, perform or see a performance!
We love dancing and we miss the studio so much. Miss Susan was our ballet teacher and it was our favorite class. We’re hoping the world heals quickly so that we can get back.
I dance because I love the transformation that happens when I’m teaching my students. As we explore classical movement we step out of regular time for these moments into the ambiance of the music with the awareness of each other, filling the forms with ourselves and experiencing the joy of our true expression
Dance makes me happy! When I’m dancing, I feel focused and present in the moment. It allows me to stay active and it improves my mood. In these strange times when much of my life seems to be on hold, taking dance classes gives me the opportunity to make progress and work towards goals. My dance classes keep me connected to a community of friends, so I don’t feel so isolated. Overall, dance is my lifeline to sanity and happiness!
I enjoy teaching virtually for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly I take immense pleasure in watching dancers tackle movement within the confines of a frame. Dancing is a brave and rigorous discipline and the gathering for class, the stoic work together in the face of huge limitations is a heart-strengthening time. The dancers I get to work with inspire and encourage and entrance me.
My name is Pat Sorensen and I take Carrie’s Ballet Fitness and Fundamentals class. There are many reasons I study ballet. Certainly it’s very helpful for maintaining strength and mobility, and personally I believe it’s good for my aging brain. But those things are true of many forms of movement and fitness. For me, the true reason I continue to dance relates to something I read many years ago. It said that as an adult, when searching for a form of fitness or movement that would be meaningful to you, to reflect back on what you loved when you were young. As did many girls of my generation I took ballet classes as a child and continued for over thirty-five years. And now after a twenty year absence I’m back and still loving it! Even on days when I’m tired and feeling old, the moment I have my hand on the barre and the music starts I know I am where I’m meant to be.
I'm still dancing because I still can. Dancing IS life and as long as I have it in me, I will do it. If it takes replacing a hip, going through PT, lifting weights and doing strength training, I will in order to have more time in the studio (or in my living room) doing this beautiful life affirming art form! And it's even sweeter when you're with beautiful friends you've danced with for decades AND a wonderful teacher who is also a dear friend!
I keep dancing, because there is something special about classical ballet that fulfills me like no other form of dance ever has.
The physical and mental challenge, the beautiful music and that joyful exhaustion at the end of class. It’s my happy place.
I keep dancing because it's good for body and mind. Virtual ballet helps me feel better physically and stay prepared to return to the studio when the time comes. Moreover, joining Carrie and other students to take class (something I've enjoyed and valued for many years), helps me feel less isolated and more like myself during this strange and stressful time. Many thanks to The Dance Hub for providing this opportunity!
I am still dancing even though a senior citizen, because I still can! Woo-Hoo!! Also continue because I love physical movement & self-expression to music. Love the mind/body/soul experience. Dance has always saved me, through every phase of life. Especially now during this crazy pandemic. Don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t do my own dance workouts alone 3x/wk. at SB Dance Center, where I work when our Governor lets us be open! Keep on dancin’!!
I’m still dancing because I love the art and grace of dance, the exercise, and the challenge of strength and coordination required. Then there’s the opportunity to express oneself in the art of dance.
I keep dancing because it makes me happy, and Susan Alexander’s modern dance class is one of the highlights of my week! Susan was my teacher and mentor at Denison University, where I graduated with a dance major in 1974. I feel very fortunate that she’s teaching via Zoom at the Dance Hub because I live in Boulder, CO, and wouldn’t otherwise have this opportunity!
Ellen Pasternack, Sadeekhat
I dance because movement is life; it reduces strife; nothing brings more joy into my life.
"There are Shortcuts to Happiness....and Dancing is One of Them" Dancing is too much fun: whether ballet, tap, jazz, Balkan folk, ballroom, Spanish, Irish, folklorico, East Coast swing, Balboa, or choreographing musical theatre or opera, I find it is such a natural high to mate movement with great music. After years away from the barre, I started taking ballet again two years ago with Carrie and Susan (who introduced me to the Dance Hub!) to further my happiness....!
Dance brings joy!
Dance has grown to be an important part of my life in the last couple years. I intend to study musical theatre in college and pursue a career in the arts after university. Therefore, it is imperative that I continue to train and grow as a dancer. However beyond the “necessity” of training, I continue to dance because I have grown to love and appreciate the joy it brings me. I find dance to be physically and emotionally freeing; a release from the pressure of outside life.
Susan’s class has really saved me during this pandemic. I have been fortunate to participate in her class and also keep connected with my old friends in Santa Barbara. It is my favorite part of the week. So important to keep moving. I have even been able to dance with my daughter! Thank you Dance Hub!
Dancing has been one of the greatest joys in my life for as long as I can remember. I’m still dancing because online dance classes are what’s keeping me sane during the pandemic. Besides boosting my endorphins, taking online classes has helped me stick to a daily routine and stay connected to the dance community.
Hannah Ruth Brothers
For me, dance is a form of research, an investigation. I enter with curiosity and dance to discover more about this body I have been given. I dance to try on new ways of being, new ways of feeling, and new ways of expressing. The best moments come when I find myself completely immersed in what I'm doing - and dancing has always been one of the easiest ways for me to experience that. Mary Oliver wrote, "As long as you're dancing, you can break the rules."
I’m still dancing because it makes me feel more human. At a time when everything seems out of my control, dancing grounds me and makes me feel more in control of my life. I worry less and feel more present when I channel my energy towards dancing!
Carrie Diamond, Artistic Director
As the artistic director and a ballet teacher at The Dance Hub, the (virtual) connection with my students has kept me smiling and gives me hope and purpose during this trying time. My students and others return for online classes week after week, inspiring me with their dedication and reminding me that better, sweeter times are ahead. But until then, I am grateful we can meet on Zoom and I can keep an eye on their pliés and tendus.
I keep dancing because it keeps me in touch with the little girl inside and that’s very important to me during these challenging times.
I am a student and friend of Ken Gilbert for over twenty years. During most of this time I took his Pilates and Nia class three times a week. For me, the weave of Pilates and Nia is magical. I plan to continue this practice with a unique community of friends. I'll be ninety in June so I'll listen to my body and modify the moves. Carrie and the Dance Hub...Continued success as you share beautiful arts with the community.
I dance to breathe, to find joy, to listen to poetry and song, to be alive.
For all dancers, it's important to maintain the art form that you love - whether you can be in a studio or are dancing in your kitchen, the act of involvement and concentration will sustain you in a time that can feel disconnected and lonely.
— Molissa Fenley , Postmodern dance teacher, choreographer and performer , New York and Santa Barbara