Working in Lockdown

Sep 16, 2020

Our Learning and Participation artists have shown a huge amount of dedication, flexibility and kindness in supporting us to continue taking dance to our communities, even during these unprecedented times. We can’t thank you enough – Anusha Subramanyam, Archita Kumar, Emiko IshiiGeorgia CornwellHiten MistryJesal Patel, Priyanka Chauhan and Sophie Holland!

We commissioned the L&P artists to develop and produce bespoke digital dance activities for their individual Dance Well groups, as well as devising professional development opportunities for them to enhance both their practice and the programme itself. Through a combination of creating, reading, discussing, planning and online learning, we’ve tried to ensure that when our classes start again, in whatever the ‘new normal’ looks like, we’re ready to inspire even more older people to Dance Well.

Some of our L&P artists have shared their experiences of working differently during lockdown with us. You can read their reflections in the blog posts below.

Jesal Patel | Working in Lockdown

Jesal Patel | Working in Lockdown

Creating the Dance Well digital films for the older adults’ group I work with was a bit of a challenge for me. Firstly, I am not a fan of being in front of/talking into the camera. However, the more I did it, the more relaxed I felt. I managed to figure out how to position the camera, where to look and …

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Hiten Mistry | Working in Lockdown

Hiten Mistry | Working in Lockdown

I found this lockdown very challenging as I hardly ever work from home. I have only ever majorly done my dance training and regular practice outside of the home envi-ronment. I often struggled to get the work done. As dance artists we are so used to working outside of our home that…

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Archita Kumar | Working in Lockdown

Archita Kumar | Working in Lockdown

For me, lockdown has been a great opportunity to think about and discuss what exactly we are delivering through Dance Well and why. Creating the Dance Well digital films was a new experience for me. In a face-to-face setting, participants contribute to the direction in which an activity can go and…

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Sophie Holland | Working in Lockdown

Sophie Holland | Working in Lockdown

It goes without saying that the past few months have been a period of huge change for us all. As a dance artist who works a lot in the community, if you had asked me back in March what my new working life would look like, I couldn’t have guessed. Some of my teaching went online but I couldn’t see how my Dance Well hospital sessions could…

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Priyanka Chauhan | Working in Lockdown

Priyanka Chauhan | Working in Lockdown

I am grateful for Akademi’s dedication to reaching out to our community groups of older adults throughout the lockdown period of COVID-19. Not only did this mean that as a free-lance community arts practitioner I was able to continue to work but it also meant that we could soften the abrupt end to the sessions that we and everyone in our classes faced. The group I was working with had a performance planned…

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If these blogs have piqued your interest, then you can learn more about…

…our Dance Well programme here
… ​the Dance Well digital resources here
 The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel van der Kolk here
… the UCL Future Learn Dementia and The Arts online course here

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