We’re Back! (And the Website is getting a over haul)
Portland Dance Eclectic is adapting to COVID to keep dance alive!
(until we can dance together again)
Although we had to cancel all physical partner dances in March 2020, some of us never stopped dancing! We’re dancing alone, with trusted partners and pods, outside, in our hearts, and on Zoom! As the prospect of having in-person dance events gets closer, we want to reactivate the web site so that people can find our dances and keep up on the current Portland Dance Eclectic (and partners) activities.
What we’ve been up to in 2020:
When physical partner dancing was abruptly stopped in March, 2020, it was a shock and loss to us all, but we’re resilient! We found other ways to keep our community alive, together and moving. We learned how to use Zoom and stretched it to its limits as we slowly developed a format that is working for us – until we can dance in person again. We started having Zoom get-togethers for the dance community on Thursday nights, our usual dance night. We added music and experimented with ways to maximize zoom dancing. Rose City Studio, our Thursday night venue, was able to reopen under COVID guidelines from July through November and we once again partnered on Thursday nights via Zoom, with live dancers at RCS and Zoom dancers from home. Rose City has recently reopened on an even stricter basis (for now), but we’re hoping that we’ll continue to inch closer to the ability to dance together in person!
In addition to meeting every Thursday night, Portland Dance Eclectic had our first Zoom Sunday brunch in summer 2020, then we had a successful Thanksgiving weekend dance and another December 20.
ZOOM works best on a computer or laptop. Your experience will be greatly improved by using the following tools that Zoom has to offer:
(NOTE: Phones are different and all tools may not be available. Notable Variations for Phone below. If you are using a phone and computer, at least one will need to be on mute.)
ENTERING ZOOM via computer or laptop:
Hope you all are well and adapting to the new requirements for living. Things have really changed as they pertain to dancing. One of the many health aspects of dancing was how dancing with lots of different people and exchanging lots of microbes strengthened our immune system; however, the coronavirus with no current antibodies is not a microbe we can share. So this could be a good time to hit the reset button, both as individuals and a group, and come up with ways we can dance together again, focusing on how and when we can be safe. I would welcome help from all of you regarding how we can get back to dancing in a safe, healthy and social atmosphere.
So it looks like it's going to be a while before we can come together as group, Here is an outline of some ideas of how we can keep dancing while keeping a safe social distance.
If you are dancing in place by yourself, it's just the music and you.
• Have fun exploring different music. Spotify is great for that.
• Listen to the music with your body. Find the movement your body feels in the music.
• Find the beat in the music, feel the tempo, find the phrasing in the music, and feel how your body wants to move with them.
• Enjoy the music as you dance in place.
• Join a zoom video dance party--see below.
Partners dancing in place
• Listen to the music as suggested above, but together.
• Decide how each of you would get the most fulfilment from the time you will be dancing together.
• Practice dancing to the music you enjoy.
• Learn from online videos.
• Video yourself.
Taking private lessons
Video conferencing with teachers? We are blessed with some great teachers in Portland. This would be a great time to fine tune dances you already enjoy or learn some new dances. Check with your favorite dance teachers and see if they are doing video lessons.
Zoom Video Dance Parties
If you miss the people you usually dance with, or just want to know that other dancers are out there, Debra Iguchi is exploring get-togethers using Zoom on Thursday evenings. Right now this is a work in process, but if anyone is interested in helping get this started, especially if you have experience in video conferencing, email Dennis. Hopefully this will develop into creating a space where dancers can get together to both dance and see each other's smiling faces, talk and share.
Portland Dancers' Eclectic Playlist
While we all are restrained to dancing in place, this collaborative playlist on Spotify is a chance to share with others what you are dancing to. Feel free to add your selections. You will need a Spotify account.
Here are some Playlists on Spotify for Dancing in Place
I am publishing some of my playlists on Spotify. You are invited to dance with them either alone or with a partner. Or you can just listen to them while walking around the house.
If dancers are interested, I would enjoy working on regular playlists. Let me know. Also if you would like access to all the playlists I will be putting on Spotify you can follow me there at Spotify username: "denmyers"
Also several dancers have expressed the idea of having a central place for members of our community to express any special needs or announcements they might have during these challenging times. If anyone would like to organize this, please email Dennis
I am willing to use the newsletter and website/ facebook page as ways of letting people know ideas, playlists, videos of dancers etc.
If you don’t have Spotify, it is a great way to have access to an ocean of music from around the world past and present. It is reasonable a cost (free the first month) and has a great user interface for searching and organizing your music. It's the best money I spend per month.