2020 – A year like no other

Reflections by Kellie Seaye

 

2020 was a difficult year for everyone and it’s easy to focus on the negatives, however, we also need to remember that Dance Dynamics did some pretty amazing things as well!

 

The year started as any other, except Dance Dynamics was preparing to celebrate the opening of a new studio! The Hampton Studio was newly renovated and waiting for dancers, it was off to an awesome start with opening night taking off and bookings through the roof! We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better result.

 

Spirits that were high, however, were quick to fall with the announcement of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of businesses. However, the Dance Dynamics team and community wouldn’t let this stop them from their regular dancing and fitness.

 

Therefore, within record time, (2 weeks if I remember correctly), we launched our first Virtual Studio so that our members could enjoy classes from home. Sure, like any new attempt at something there were a few hiccups, but with Katherine and John-Paul on the job, nothing would stop this from being anything but a success.

 

We were able to get our members back on the dance floor, albeit from their homes, but we stayed true and continued our inclusive support with fitness that ignites the spirit.

 

So, we celebrated the success of the Virtual Studio for a while and things were pretty awesome, but they could be even better and because Dance Dynamics doesn’t just stop at ‘awesome’, we had to one up ourselves. 

 

This led to the creation of the Virtual Studio 2.0 which was awesomeness incarnate. The studio had a new look, some new classes, couch concerts and came with live classes to enjoy too. We backed all this up with our bi-weekly Dance Dose which gave everyone the latest news. We’re talking classes, updates, activities, blogs, recipes, you name it, we had it in our Dance Dose!

 

Our Dance Dose was heavily supported by our Facebook content. Dance Dynamics has never been one to leave the socials high and dry and in a time when social media was our main source of entertainment and communication, we had to have some fun there too. This led to our Facebook lives (which seem to have a decent amount of JP’s dad jokes backing them.)

 

 

We branched out into health and wellness to support our community in a time when we all needed that extra push. The amazing Dance Dynamics instructors really came together here in a time when lockdown was dragging on. Alex provided us with our weekly mindfulness through yoga and meditation, Cass delved into the intricacies of smoothie making, Rita showed off her skills with some easy culinary delights, we had some sweaty strength classes complete with dad jokes curtesy of JP and Kyle danced our Thursdays away as only he can.

 

When you look back, we really had it all going on and you’ve got to wonder how we all kept up with it! But I guess when we’re all in our houses all day, it was that much needed support and entertainment that kept some of us going.

 

For those who weren’t morning people, the Zoom party nights supplied all the fun and entertainment you could ever need! You remember right? Those awesome themed discos, a trivia night, wacky costumes, a cocktail/mocktail or two and Rio anyone?

 

Never one to end a good performance, we introduced the Couch Concerts! We all dearly missed our chance to be on stage this year with the annual concert, so bring on the rehearsals and performance from the comfort of your couch instead. Another wonderful success, especially the Mature Movers Le Freak with Rita. That one especially took off…

 

Energy was high for our brief reopening in June and the chance to regain some freedom on the dance floor. So, the second lot of lockdown hit pretty hard for everyone. Especially at stage 4 restrictions. 

 

This wasn’t the time to get down on our spirits though, so with a bit of brain storming, the Dance Dynamics Power Challenge was born. 

 

The Power Challenge was to run for six weeks so that we could all come out of the second lockdown happier and healthier than ever. We wanted victors of lockdown instead of victims and those who participated achieved amazing results! With weekly check-ins with JP and a regular Fitness Test to see the improvement, the Power Challenge and it’s extra 15-minute workouts pushed everyone to their limits, only further building our inclusive sense of community with the regular Sunday zoom calls.

 

The Virtual Studio 2.0 was still awesome, but Dance Dynamics had a secret project in the making that shook the socks off everyone. You guessed it, bring on the Interactive Classes!
Much like the original Virtual Studio, there were a few tech hiccups, but within a week, the teachers had it up and running and we could all enjoy the social aspect of classes we had been missing so much. (Yes, even if you were a ghost during the class, you were still fantastic.)

 

We’d already covered our fitness fanatics within the community but felt our dancing superstars were a tad left out. This brought in the 28 Days of Dance, challenging our dancing community to learn a routine from a variety of our styles, such as Groove, Hip Hop, Salsa and many more! With a new routine released each day it was the perfect time to shake it and learn some new moves.

 

Thank goodness lockdown dancing didn’t last forever, so with dancers biting at the bit to return to physical classes as soon as possible, the big decision was made in record time to introduce classes outdoors in local parks. Dance Dynamics needed to return as soon as possible and the best way to do this was by starting outdoors first! 

 

 

Celebrations of returning outdoors didn’t last long, as one week later we received the amazing news that we could reopen at our studio locations again! So, schedules were reviewed, dance floors were cleaned, and speakers were tested. Things were getting real and in a true Dance Dynamics fashion, the orange balloons were brought out and the doors were opened for the first class back on November 9th, nearly 7 months after we closed them in March.

It’s been a year to remember and when Dance Dynamics looks back at 2020, we won’t be looking at the negative, we’ll be looking at the amazing achievements of the staff, community, and especially of Katherine and John-Paul, the proud owners of Dance Dynamics.

Kellie writing in her ‘working from home’ setting during 2020