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Name: Lexa Daniels
Title: Dancer, Louisville Ballet
At home by herself
Most Difficult Right Now
There are so many difficulties that people all across the world are facing: The vastness of the effects of this pandemic is staggering. I think the uncertainty is what is most taking its toll on me and the people I know. We are unsure of when we will be able to emerge from these essential hibernations, and what each of our individual lives will look like when that time comes.
Of course, we all hold a particular concern about our own personal corner of the world, it’s only natural. It’s what is most familiar to us, what we understand most intimately. I am a ballet dancer and normally our days are regimented, filled to the bursting with creating, exploring, and conquering. We are conditioned to push past any perceived boundaries, to rise above any limitations placed upon us. But this is something that cannot simply be pushed out of the way with willpower and creativity. And that realization has been hard for me to accept. This pandemic has universally stopped all of us in our tracks.
The only thing to do is to take each day one at a time. I am thankful for what I have, and I try to continue on in the best way I know. For me, that looks like doing what I can for the people I love, and attempting to maintain as much normalcy as possible with my career by dancing and teaching from my living room.
Most Positive Right Now
The most positive thing I have experienced throughout all of this is a renewed sense of connection, which may seem to be strange in this time of self-isolation. Part of the fundamental essence of dance is connection. So it is interesting to me that at a time when I am incapable of participating in any of these outlets, I would be finding even more connection. In being given a little more time and space (and believe me, it is not lost on me just how much of a luxury that is right now) I’ve become fiercely protective of the connections I had sometimes taken for granted. Each conversation with my parents and siblings is just a little bit sweeter. Video chats leave me completely awestruck by the strength and resilience of my friends sprinkled across the country. Watching my coworkers navigate around pets and plants, as we gather for virtual ballet classes in our respective homes, makes me laugh until my eyes water. And what all of this has taught me is that our connections to each other are too precious to ever be taken for granted.
Something that Helps You
Dance is so joyful! And we are all dealing with so many conflicting emotions right now that at times it feels insensitive to be finding my own personal moments of joy. But those thoughts are fleeting because I realize we all are our best versions of ourselves when we keep our own personal joys alive. For me, that’s been a little bit of dancing in my apartment, doing what I can with the limited space while trying not to bother my downstairs neighbors. It’s the daily routine I know best, the one that best clears my head and focuses me. It’s even brought me a new appreciation for my practice, making me realize dance is just as beautiful whether you are performing on a bright stage for a full audience or all alone just for yourself.
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