Richmond dancers find a new way to stay connected amid pandemic

Richmond dancers aren’t letting COVID-19 stop them from moving their bodies, no matter what their age is.

Lymm Miranda, a 74-year-old ballet dancer who is stuck indoors as advised by health officials, was surprised when her dance partners dressed in costumes and showed up outside her window on Wednesday.

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They were practicing dancing together to celebrate International Dance Day, according to Richmond ballet instructor Miyouki Jego, founder of Sea Island Ballet Studios.

“Miranda wrote an email afterward saying that she feels so nice to dance again. Everyone loves the idea and we can’t wait for our next visit again,” said Jego, adding that they all feel more connected with each other after the visit.

Most dancers have lots of self-discipline and still keep up their daily practice while they are placed under movement restrictions, but they still need to see each other to feel connected and motivated, according to Jego.

Therefore, Jego turned to video conferencing tools to continue to teach dancing and keep in touch with her students. She even noticed that more people are willing to join online courses because they don’t need to commute to the studio. 

“I have been holding adult classes online each Saturday since March and many students told me the practice keeps their spirits up during the stressful time. I feel grateful that I can do something to make them feel happy,” said Jego.

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