What is a dancer when everything has been taken away?
When regular classes to train in, rehearsals to be in, performances to prepare for, jobs to be certain of, and a community to be part of are… all gone.
I was in class the Saturday before the quarantine was put into place and it was eerie. We didn’t know if this was the “last one”, what was going to happen to classes or to the studio itself. The instructor thanked us and said, “I’ll let you know what ‘s going to happen.”
And that was the last class in a studio.
12 plus weeks later we are still shut out of our “homes”, which is what studios really are to dancers.
I am a positive person. Been through a lot and really nothing can get me down, at least not for long. The first week of the shut down was a feeling of shock. By Thursday there was a feeling of gloom and helplessness. I realized if I am feeling this way, everyone is. Friday morning, I woke with a thought and a plan.
We have to move! We have to keep moving and we are going to do this together.
I began to invite family and friends to send videos of themselves doing home work outs, dancing, training, stretching, being positive and being healthy.
It was fun and a way to connect and make something out of this situation, and a collaborative video titled “Let’s Move” was created.
A few dancers had missed the deadline, but wanting to share their videos, a new campaign began and so we have “as we wait…Let’s Move 2”
And then a new campaign began- to utilize the home and surroundings in creative way and to keep moving, and “Let’s Create” was launched.
After a short break, a new thought emerged, and this time it was to collaborate dancers across the Untied States and abroad in a professional dancers only video of home workouts, trainings and performances titled “Let’s Unite.”
A final video idea was conceived to make a statement representing the emotions this crisis has been creating for probably most people. This performance was represented by a single male dancer in the desert trying to sort things out titled “Whatever it Takes.”
Each video is represented by the music of talented cover artists who also collaborated to be part of these special projects.
I want to say for anyone reading how proud I am of our dance community here in Los Angeles. I am proud of the dance instructors who immediately began implementing online teaching and the dancers who have stayed committed to their craft, taking classes, doing their workouts, staying fit.
This shut-down has allowed time for reflection and deep thought. With this is a new found determination and mission to create with these amazing dancers of courage, strength and grace.
All videos were created during the Coronavirus shutdown 2020 and are meant to inspire and motivate not only the viewer, but everyone involved and to be part of a community.
LA Dance Moves is a company of visionaries who create works of the human spirit through dance, art and excellence.
as we wait…(Let’s Move 2)
Let’s Create (Let’s Move 3)
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Nancy Paradis, Artist, Educator, Choreographer, Artistic Director, Inspirer, began her career on the east coast performing with the Washington Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Louisville Ballet Companies. As a principal and soloist, she danced roles ranging from classical, neo-classical and modern ballet.
In Los Angeles, Nancy performed and choreographed in the commercial world including NBC Must See TV, A&E Promo, Fox Fit TV, the Hollywood Bowl and the MTV Movie Awards. As a Madonna impersonator, she performed in China on a national tour.
She worked in the fitness market as well, and appears in over 60 episodes of The Method Show on Fox TV – a Pilates, Yoga and Dance based fitness show. She appears in Power Core Yoga Videos and Crunch Fitness.
Nancy was a guest speaker on Fox 11 News titled “Posture”
Currently, Nancy is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University and Moorpark College where she prepares dancers for a commercial career in the performing arts. She’s an instructor, choreographer and co-producer of concerts. She also mentors young artists by collaborating with the music, theater and film departments.
She is thrilled to be returning in fall 2020 to her home company, Richmond Ballet and choreograph a new work/world premier on the company who gave her so many opportunities as an aspiring dancer and artist.
Nancy is artistic director of her company LA Dance Moves, an art, dance, music, and media company. She helps composers and musicians reach new audiences by collaborating with dancers and creating beautiful works of the human spirit for film, concert and media works.
Despite our current challenges, she is more determined than ever for LA Dance Moves to move your soul!
Written by Nancy Paradis, June 15, 2020.
Featured image: LA Dance Moves – Photo courtesy of Nancy Paradis
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