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NEW WAY FORWARD
Social distancing guidelines as set out on the government website:
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND SELF ISOLATING
These are difficult times and we will all face many challenges in the weeks, months and probably years ahead. But, if we stay positive, unite together and adapt to these changing times, we will get through this. With so many people self isolating and everyone social distancing it's so important to keep exercising and as we all know, dancing is great for the body and the mind. Never has this been more important than now. Walking and running are good forms of exercise, but dancing allows you to take your mind off everything else when you're having to concentrate on the dance steps...let alone the arms! It's the social element too that makes it fun - laughing as we learn and struggle together. It helps us to know we're not alone. To that end, I'm doing my best to adapt too with two keys things constantly on my mind. We need to...
STAY CONNECTED AND KEEEEEEP DANCING!
I have lots of plans on how to move forward. But, these things don't happen overnight. So I'm making the most of the next week or two to make a lot of changes. There'll be a steep learning curve for me in that time as I research all the best ways I can achieve what I want to do. The problem is that everyone uses different forms of social media, so what works for one person won't for another. I want to be able to reach as many of you as possible, so it's about finding the best ways I can do that. Your patience is much appreciated. So for now, I simply want to give you an indication of my plan and what you have to look forward to.
It's vitally important. Not everyone has family and friends they can contact and many people live alone. We may be doing ok, but perhaps someone we know is not. A short little chat can do wonders for lifting our spirits. To that end I have the following ideas:-
Facebook - I want to set up a Strictly Dancing With Lisa community page which would be available to all dancers. I've not used it in a very long time, but I understand there are a lot of ways in which it could be useful, aside from posting comments and sharing photos. I might even be able to post videos.
WhatsApp - for anyone who uses this on their mobile phone, I would like to set up class groups, so you can chat easily amongst yourselves and with me. It might even be fun to have a group chat when you'd normally come to your dance class (routine is very important when the structure to our day may have flown out the window). At a later stage, when hopefully I've started to share videos, you might decide to do an online class at the same time, if I'm not streaming a live class. It's also another way to share photos and videos with people within the same class. UPDATE: WHATS APP GROUPS NOW SET UP - contact me via text if you'd like to join any of the class groups already set up.
To keep you dancing and active, it is my intention to share with you videos, from warm ups to cool downs and everything in between. Hopefully I can stream some live classes and workshops too. Those without the internet will hopefully receive all they need on DVDs. None of it will be fancy professional standard output. There simply isn't the time and money for that. The most important thing right now is to get material out to you as quickly as possible. That will also include notes to help you learn/remember the routines and guidance on the different dance styles, beats per minute and which other tracks are good to dance to. If social distancing guidelines relax in the months ahead, and if I can get the permission of the relevant councils, it may still be possible to revisit the idea of Dancing In the Park, whilst maintaining the 2m gap recommendation. One of the issues about using videos or live streaming is the legalities to do with playing music in both cases. It seems as though others are not too concerned about this, so maybe I shouldn't worry! But, it's something I have to be careful about.
UPDATE - SET UP: I've managed to set up my own channel and for now there are already some warm up and cool down videos for you to watch and a Bollywood Dance Class for anyone to try. You can visit the Materials section to find out more (see above).
I already got a great idea on the weekend about creating a compilation video of a whole load of you dancing to the Abba classic 'Dancing Queen'! It would require as many of you as possible to record yourself dancing to the track and sending me the video or even a short clip (may a family member can record it for you). I thought it would be a fun project to put together and share with you all and if you're happy, we might even share it with the world on You Tube. You never know, it might not only cheer you up but other people too. More on this later - please don't send me videos yet!
We might even try and have a dance night and see how many people we can get dancing at the same time. You could get family members involved too. Just put on the music and dance the evening away or even just for an hour. So much is possible.
I'm afraid I can't afford to offer all of the above for free. But, the good news is I'm not in a rush to sort this. I'd rather get some free material out to you as soon as possible first, to keep you dancing. Eventually, I'll work out a cost for this new package of material. I will endeavour to make it as affordable as possible and can offer a degree of flexibility for those who may be more heavily hit with financial burdens under the current circumstances. Naturally, any payments already made can also be offset again such costs.
REST ASSURED, AS SOON AS I CAN RESUME MY REGULAR WEEKLY CLASSES, I WILL! THE ABOVE IS A TEMPORARY MEASURE TO HELP US GET THROUGH THE NEXT FEW MONTHS!