Is that the cutest name, or what? I am officially a certificate-earning member of the Pandancing Academy and couldn’t be more proud.
If you know me in live form, you know I’m extremely uncoordinated. Back in high school, in Driver’s Education, I failed the drunk driver test — completely sober — because I can’t walk a straight line. But this doesn’t matter when it comes to dance class. It’s just about having fun and learning new stuff.
Chris and I started taking swing dance lessons a few years ago and really enjoyed it. We haven’t been active in lessons for the past year because we travel too much, but we still dance on our own at home using sites like https://www.westcoastswingonline.com/ for inspiration. It’s a fun way to exercise.
Pallavi, the assistant teacher from our regular lessons decided to offer free classes as an outreach during this world pandemic.
Because she is awesome.
She wanted to come up with a name for our group, connecting it to these strange times. My husband is great at that sort of thing, and he came up with the perfect title for dancing during a pandemic. Pandancing. Others in the class loved it, too, so this became the Pandancing Academy (PanDA)
Pallavi blows my mind in grace, inner and outer beauty, and in the fact that she is a super kind soul. She teaches Indian dance with a west coast influence on Sundays (2 pm est) and Wednesdays (4:30 pm est).
We meet on Zoom, and angle our screens so she can see our moves and offer feedback. It took us four weeks to learn our Wednesday routine and five for the Sunday one. We just started a new Wednesday song and will start a new Sunday on on May 10.
Pallavi choreographs the music herself, and she includes west coast swing moves, athletic exercise moves, moves to strengthen the memory (she is a collegiate Biology professor with a PhD in Bio and insists dancing helps the memory–after a few years of classes, I have to agree).
For this class, not partner is necessary, and it’s designed for small spaces and even carpeted floors. Seriously, it’s just about moving and enjoying dance.
Sometimes we have around ten people in class and other times two or three. If you have to skip a week, it’s not a problem. She emails recordings of the lessons so you can catch up. Best of all, while we see each other on the screen during the lessons, only she shows on the recordings 🙂 Nobody has to see how horrible I am at it all.
I have to admit that I kind of live for those days. My cousin, Lise, joins from Denmark, and friends Mary Kay and Kelley from my past abodes join from their new and old locations on Staten Island and in western NY as well as colleagues from the United Kingdom and Bolivia and the local folk in northern NY. I’ve also met some new people through this experience.
When we completed the first song, we even did a little presentation for those who were new to the next class (a bunch of people didn’t make it that day so only a couple of us performed):
My extroverted nomadic disposition cries out to be on the move, meeting people and integrating with other cultures. This isn’t the real deal, as we all know, but it’s a great panacea for stay-at-home jitters during our global situation.
If you feel like joining the Sunday class, the Wednesday class or both, feel free to reach out to me. I’ll send you the most recent recording so you can practice and answer any questions you have about it. You can tell me in the comments or reach out to me privately from my site contact page.
* Apologies for the fuzzy images. They are all screenshots.