Hello! My name is Daniel and I am currently on my second season as a company dancer with Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT). These past weeks has been a whirlwind of emotions as I try to navigate the current status of the world dealing with COVID-19. COVID-19, or the coronavirus disease, is still spreading and has caused a lot of businesses to either close down or force their employees to work from home.
RDT has been one of those companies impacted by this, but the dancers and office staff are still busy working- just from the comfort of our own homes. The first few days were definitely about trial and error because I had never worked from home before. What I found most successful was to replicate a similar time schedule to what it would have been like if were going into the studio. Here is what an average day has been looking like for me.
I start my day waking up around 8-9 AM. Since the home working life is a bit more flexible, I try to give myself 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This next step is crucial for a productive day- I shower and get ready. Getting ready, even if I’m just going to my living room, provides me a sense of normalcy and switches my mind to go into working mode. I make myself some breakfast and coffee. While I eat, I catch up on some news and go through emails.
The work that I do after will depend on what needs to get done first. Part of RDT’s mission statement and a huge part of the job is providing arts in education. Since all of the public schools in Utah are now closed, the company has been working diligently to figure out how to still serve these schools. What we have been doing is providing resources for parents and educators to help share dance to all communities. These resources can be found on the RDT Blog and there are lots of videos, dance classes, lesson plans, and blog posts to keep you busy!
Some examples of things I have been working on are: writing this blog post you are currently reading, recording myself teach classes, and brainstorming other content that I can provide for the RDT Blog. My day will continue with me working on some of these things. Around 1 PM is when I give myself an hour lunch break just like I would if I was working in the studio. After lunch is when I will work for a little bit longer to round out my working day.
Another tool that I have found helpful to keep me sane throughout the workday is to take small breaks to do some kind of physical exercise. This could be doing some crunches, push-ups, or even a short improv dance session. I do this to get my blood flowing more and that usually reinvigorates my body to help keep me focused as I get back to work.
So that basically summarizes my work day! To finish out this blog post I want to share some tools that have helped me get through this quarantined period of time:
- MOVE- I am so grateful to be a part of a community where everyone supports each other. There are so many resources online now for free dance classes to take at home. I try to do a dance class every other day to keep my body active. I have been loving ballet barre or Gaga classes.
- VIDEO CHAT- Since I can’t see many of my friends in person anymore, the next best thing is to do is video chat with people! This keeps me connected and reminds me that I am not alone during this difficult time. I am even having wine dates with friends!
- PERMISSION TO INDULGE- Like I mentioned before, we are going through a difficult time in our life right now. I have given myself permission to indulge more than I usually do because I need to get as much joy into my life as I can right now. If that means sleeping in a little longer one day, or binge watching a whole TV series, I let myself relax and be present in whatever I choose to give myself.
I hope those tips are helpful and I have one more thing to share! https://coronavirus.utah.gov is a great website to stay updated with everything dealing with the coronavirus disease. I check that website almost daily to stay informed of everything I can do to stay healthy and well.
To conclude, I have words from RDT’s fearless leader, Linda Smith: “These are challenging times, but we will endure.”
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and received his BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. After graduating college, he relocated to Portland, Oregon where he collaborated and performed with Polaris Dance Theatre and Shaun Keylock Company. Now back in his hometown, he became a member of RDT in 2018 and, additionally, is a member of the project-based company, Cat + Fish Dances.