Yes, this is hard.

There’s nothing we want more than to have rooms full of hugs and smiles, but we know the only way to make it back to that is to take this pandemic seriously. Prestige has not had any transmissions of COVID-19, and we will continue to go above and beyond the government recommendations to keep it that way. Necessity doesn’t make it any easier to be out of the studio, but staying home doesn’t mean we can’t dance.

We prepared for this.

The inevitable second wave is one reason we created our virtual dance model. Though our in-studio classes are private lessons only, we are thankful that we can at least have those. It is good to be thankful, good to appreciate what we have, but it is also good to acknowledge when times are tough. Emotions are not bad. They are not something to hide. When they are named and respected, they can be worked through and resolved and then we can use them to move forward.

This is part of why now, more than ever, we need to keep dancing.

Dance is an emotional craft. On the surface, it simply looks like a fancy exercise, but it’s so much more than that. It’s our release. When we dance, we aren’t shoving our discomfort into a box and hiding it from others. Instead, we wear it on our sleeves, sit with it, listen to it, sweat with it, then let it go.

Dance is a beautiful outlet to express ourselves and provide a healthy way to explore those emotions that swirl around in us. We stretch, leap, turn, and sweat our way through our frustration. We claim it and transform it into something beautiful. The story in the music lives through our movements, and every silence is full of tension waiting to be released. The end of every breath is the start of a new one. Each setback is a new opportunity to become stronger.

Our gatherings may be virtual, but the passion to keep going can be felt far and wide. As we continue, and as we allow ourselves to feel a full range of emotions through dance, we invite others to join in our healing. This holiday season, our love of dance may be the greatest gift we can give to others through one simple message:

We won’t give up.

When we stumble, we don’t learn to lie down; we learn how to get back up. We will make it through this together. At the end of this, we will be better artists, better friends, and a better community.

There will be times when we can’t quite find the words to express how overwhelming this all feels, but that doesn’t mean we need to stop—it means we need to dance. In the studio, outside, or at home, the dance will be there for us through it all.