These are the ideas that our contributors feel we should hold closer as we venture into 2021.
Reaching Beyond our Dance Bubbles
In 2021 we need to be bold about who we bring into the space. Bring “non-dancers” into the creation of the work and include more fusion of skill sets, from roller-skating and hula hooping to spiritual practices and yoga. As always, it’s about upholding the people who inspire us. The more people we include, the wider our reach.
Critique without Condemnation
Critique is not a negative thing by nature. In the coming year let’s understand critique as tool to better our art form as a whole. Let’s work to quiet our egos when we receive and give critiques and always approach these through a lens of respect. Ask yourself if what you’re saying, even just as a joke to a friend, is really helping anything or improving that which you are complaining about.
Applying Dance Knowledge in Other Places
We’ve seen the gridlock and handwringing that comes from problem solvers who lack creative skills. As dancers we have been trained to find creative solutions to problems; we have a uniquely honed understanding of the body and how it moves through space. These skills are valuable to more than just the dance industry. In 2021, let’s not be afraid to apply our dance skills to other industries without abdicating our identities as dancers.
This also applies to our creativity when phasing out of the pandemic. We’ve seen theatres and festivals adapt digital seasons, DJs come up with “Zoom raves,” and virtual classes become available on a host of platforms. How do we integrate these inventions in a post-pandemic industry?
The reckoning of the colonization of the dance space is not over. Do not be afraid to deal with our own personal racist, homophobic, and sexist thoughts while also addressing the way these thoughts have infiltrated our industry. These difficult conversations will only enhance the work by allowing everyone involved to embrace their true selves.
Online Training for What It Is
As we’ve mentioned in other lists, what works for some may not work for others. Online training has its drawbacks but can also offer things that in-person training cannot. In 2021, as we (hopefully) phase out of this pandemic, let’s have a post-mortem on the value of online training when it is no longer the only option. That goes for its possibilities moving forward, as well as fair cost for those who participate.