So, what the blazes has been going on since I last blogged? Part of my brain is still stuck in March to be fair. We have reached the 6-month mark in this situation known by many names; pandemic, global crisis, COVID-19, COVO, The VID etc. With my limited, but interested knowledge of crisis response, is an important step to acknowledge. I thought this would be a pertinent time for me to pen a few reflections I have had on this period and highlight some moments that have occurred.
Part of my brain is still stuck in March to be fair.
Like with most families, a major one has been settling the children back into school and I guess I haven’t really had the bandwidth to write a blog until now, 4 weeks in. Looking back at my last blog (an aeon ago otherwise known as March 2020) it is clear to see how much energy the home schooling was taking up. Being pragmatic, the threat of this is something that still hangs over our parental heads, and is something some parts of the world are still experiencing. So, my thoughts on how I have kept going are ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ in that in the snatches of time that have been available, I have asked myself the question, ‘How can I best serve?’
So, in spite of the times, I have cracked on as best as possible with pushing Dance Mama forwards to best serve you. I have also made sure that I pace myself and have ‘buffer time’. Practice what you preach, sista.
I have asked myself the question, ‘How can I best serve?’
Here are some highlights:
Dance Mama now has over 50 stories, with a couple now on YouTube with staff from New Adventures (including Associate Artistic Director, Etta Murfitt) and Ruby Wolk, Senior Ballet Learning Manager, Royal Opera House. This month we have a very generous offering coming this month from Leila McMillan in support of #BLAW2020
Dance Mama has worked with more mentees who have taken advantage of the 1-hour pay what you can session for newbies (still available) and other session discounts, to support them to also crack on with their creativity in this difficult moment.
The Project Management Masterclass has moved online to support dance folk and beyond as an education about the ins and outs of bringing their creative ideas to life, whilst merrily singing the praises of Excel. Whoot!
Free ‘Community Chats’ have been provided on Zoom to connect dance peeps in a fun and friendly space with like-minded individuals to discuss issues of the day.
I have been speaking about being a #dancemama in online forums across our fair nation to some frankly, brilliant people (like Mothers Who Make and Jude Kelly CBE) through Birmingham Dance Network, Parents in Performing Arts Campaign and WOW Foundation.
Following an ‘in conversation’ with Active Pregnancy Foundation and a failed but enjoyable attempt at a PhD scholarship, I was invited to join them as Secretariat to the Scientific Advisory Board. Rejection is redirection people!
Set up a wellness sister site Spirit Mama to divulge and explore further my approach to life.
I do hope that somewhere along the way with all of this, I have been able to give you some succour, either remotely by my ramblings and posts (or the odd Facebook Live video), or in person through any other aforementioned programmes.
I do what I can to consistently look to the future with as much optimism as possible to muster.
In spite of everything, it is imperative that we do whatever it takes to healthily feed our inspiration and passion for our artform as a down payment on creating some smashing experiences for those in greatest need now as well as when we can all freely dance together again. Have on repeat in your minds ‘This too shall pass.’