How to Move Your Way Through (This New Online World)
By Mariah Meyer LeFeber, MA LPC BC-DMT
Assistant Professor of Counseling
“The point is this. The arts are not the pretty but irrelevant bits around the border of reality. They are the highways into the center of a reality which cannot be glimpsed, let alone grasped, any other way. The present world is good, but broken and in any case incomplete; art of all kinds enables us to understand that paradox in its many dimensions.” – N.T Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
In the past month, the country and world have been turned upside down and inside out through the unsettling, uncontrollable spread of COVID-19. Many of us feel helpless at the loss of control. In this time of uncertainty, we might find ourselves turning to art and its ability to tolerate paradox. Art allows us to explore the beauty and despair of the moment.
For weeks I have barely left my home. I’ve set up a remote workspace. I shuffle between online meetings and checking on our 7 and 9-year-old daughters. Between working from home, strategizing meal plans, calls with family, and lots of dishes I find myself looking for a creative outlet. I’m guessing I’m not the only one looking for something more productive than another round of Tiger King.
My husband set up a music corner, and before bedtime (what’s bedtime?) he’s teaching our girls to drum and our new family band is putting together a diverse repertoire. Our girls’ dance studio discovered how to teach virtual dance classes, and we are keeping up with our weekly piano lessons online. Amidst the fear and anxiety of this moment – I’ve been reminded of something else: the resilience born out of creativity.
Artists everywhere are finding ways to spread joy and light in isolation. It doesn’t take long poking around online before you can find a zoom symphony, a live stream living room concert, or a virtual dance performance. It has been an inspiration for me to witness my own community of dance professors and dance/movement therapists dream up ways to help their students and clients keep moving.
My advice in all of this? Find a way to keep dancing. We’re prone to depression and anxiety when we face the unknown. When we move, we invite our mind, body, and spirit to integrate. Movement allows us to naturally increase our vitality and awaken hope, combating the depression that may be creeping in with each “groundhog day.” Not only will movement and dancing invigorate your soul, but the safety and quiet of your own home, sans audience, is the perfect place to explore something new.
Below is a list of online movement sources, all of them free. Keep moving, keep adapting, and keep breathing as we all move towards the center of this new, unknown, art-filled reality together.
Do Yoga With Me
Free online yoga classes; you can choose the focus, length, and difficulty
Typically subscription-based but currently offering a free 15 day trial for their online workouts!
Dancing Alone Together
Another source created especially for the unique time, this online resource offers live stream classes and performances, as well as prompts to create
YouTube fitness channel; variety for focus, length, and difficulty
Lazy Dancer Tips
YouTube dance classes; a variety of ballet-based classes and workouts
Yoga With Adriene
YouTube yoga classes; free yoga classes of different lengths and styles
Rachel Meyer Yoga
YouTube yoga channel; vinyasa style yoga you can do at home (also, that’s my sister!)
Ballerinas by Night
YouTube dance channel; created for adults beginning ballet or returning after a long time
YouTube channel; ballet-based classes and workouts led by ballerina Kathryn Morgan
Online dance classes with professional dancers; typically subscription-based but currently offering a free two-week trial
The Balanced Life Pilates with Robin Long
YouTube fitness channel; features different lengths and levels of pilates and barre workouts
Apps (so many more, this is just a list to get you started!):
- Down Dog Yoga
- Just Dance Now
- Yoga Anytime
- Yoga for Everybody
- Headspace (Mindfulness)
- Calm (Mindfulness)