Dancing Through The Pandemic


Photo Courtesy, Alex Ellender

Alex Ellender has been dancing ever since she was three years old, but dancing in a global pandemic is a challenge she has yet to face. At the beginning of the pandemic, Ellender was excited to have a short break from the hectic dance schedule she had to balance every week. 

“I was kind of relieved that we wouldn’t have classes and that we’d get a little bit of a break, then we’d go back to dance,” Ellender said, “Obviously, that didn’t happen.”

Due to the COVID-19 safety regulations, Ellender’s dance studio, Ballet Chelsea, began online zoom classes. When these classes were first introduced, Ellender was excited to have a live teacher and see others dancing. She found that having a live class was more motivating than a video online. 

“It’s crazy to think that I didn’t really know how zoom worked back then,” Ellender said.

As Ellender continued her online classes she began to lose motivation. She noticed that she didn’t put in her maximum effort and found that the teacher couldn’t see everything she was doing.

“When you’re in the studio you’re held accountable to do your best, but when you’re by yourself on zoom it’s hard to find motivation,” Ellender said, “Not being able to see my friends and use up space the way I can in the studio was hard for me.”

Photo Courtesy, Alex Ellender

Even though Ellender found dancing in the midst of a pandemic challenging, there were positive outcomes as well. She has noticed how many dancers quit, which made her realize how much she loves dancing if she’s sticking with it during COVID-19.

“I’ve learned that I am strong mentally though,” Ellender said, “Sticking with dance in a global pandemic is really hard.” 

“I sometimes feel like I don’t have a voice. I find it really hard to speak out about things and express myself, so dancing was a way that I could do that,” Ellender said, “When I step on the stage, I feel like I can move someone by my performance and that makes me feel good. I have learned from this pandemic that I want to have dance in my life no matter what.”