How Being in Quarantine Elevated my Dance Lifestyle
Practice spots gone, dance rooms shutdown and you’re stuck at home on Netflix watching shows that you binged all day.
You ate a bunch of unhealthy snacks, felt guilty and you said to yourself,
“I’ll try better tomorrow.”
But you don’t.
And you end up in this vicious cycle of laziness and disappointment.
Don’t worry, I’ve been there too.
For the last couple of months actually.
And I’m sure I'm not the only one.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a global lockdown out of nowhere, which utterly sucks as it makes a lot of us dancers with no spots to practice or even unemployed to survive in the upcoming months. This gives us dancers a lot of spare time, and we can’t do much about it at during home quarantine.
But is it an excuse to “Netflix & Chill” all day?
Or a novel opportunity during this novel pandemic?
I’m going to share with you what I did the past few months to upgrade my dance lifestyle, despite the coronavirus sweeping away my dance spot and two jobs.
I will be speaking on the perspective as a bboy (breakdancer) as I pursue in this particular dance style. The methods I mentioned can be used in any form of dance that any dancer can implement in their lifestyle.
- Found an Online Bboy Mentor
All these professional bboys have turned to teaching online classes, since their main source of income comes from travelling for battles, judging or showcases. Fortunately, if you want to upgrade your craft, now is an exceptional time to do so.
Professional bboys are offering private online lessons, so these classes would be tailored to your strengths and weaknesses!
I found a bboy named Onton from one of the most prominent crews in Canada “Supernaturalz” on the membership platform Patreon. He helped me tremendously on improving my battle sets, mindset and provided suggestions to work on my weaknesses. As a plus, I was able to be indulged in the notorious “Toronto Style” from someone who has learnt it from the birthplace of the style’s origins.
Finding a mentor has taught me to always stay humble to your craft, and keep that student mentality no matter how many years you’ve been in the game.
Famous bboys/dancers are offering online classes either on Patreon or Instagram, all you got to do is search and shoot a DM to talk about details and payment!
2. Knowledge is an Underrated Element
First thing I do when I wake up at 1pm (pretty sure that’s a handful of us), I have the dilemma of watching a YouTube clip of Best Fails of 2016 OR do some digging towards the history and knowledge of my artform.
There are a plethora of dance knowledge and history on YouTube or other media platforms that you could study and learn on a daily basis!
If you don’t feel like watching a video documentary for hours, you could always play a podcast in the background while you multitask on the side!
I discovered a handful of bboy-related podcasts on Spotify that interviewed famous dancers and asked them questions on how to improve your dance form and lifestyle, with some giggles here and there.
I’ll link some of my personal favs below for you to check out if interested.
Digging through history and knowledge is just one element to dive into for upgrading your craft, which leads to my next point.
3. Diggin Music in the 21st Century
In the past, you would have to “dig” for vinyl records in thrift stores or flea markets to find that snappy break you heard at a jam or on the radio.
That’s a thing of the past.
Nowadays you can explore music albums and breaks all through the convenience of your mobile device!
I’ve been finding all types of hip hop songs and breaks on Spotify and YouTube. I've been able to understand the lyrics of the song, song title and feel the song’s “story” from top to bottom.
You ever heard the songs mixtapes, like actually the full version?
I doubt it,
because I haven’t either.
But trust me!
You’re missing out.
Mixtapes play only segments or the remixed version of the song, but you won’t be able to understand the whole story of the song without listening or “diggin” for the full version.
It ain’t as sentimental as owning a vinyl record of the break, but it’s still a learning experience to virtually dig through classic breaks on Spotify.
You never know what you might discover.
I constructed a Spotify playlist of all the possible breaks that I stumbled upon.
Click here to check it out.
4. Find an Online Breakin Community
Breakin is a social activity, and that is difficult to achieve with lockdowns around the world.
That being said, I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Breakin Sneaker club — the first sneaker club dedicated to shoe owners of Dyzee Threadz. Being in the club, I was able to meet like-minded breakers from around the globe.
We do livestream parties, share our practice clips for feedback, do "BreakFit" workouts and more!
Obviously it would be nice to have face-to-face interactions with the club.
But once we recovered from Covid-19, I know we will all meet some day.
With the physical and mental boundaries the pandmic has bestowed upon us,
the Breakin Sneaker Club gave me a major push in my dance, with positive vibes only.
Although the only way to join the club is by having a pair of Dyzee Threadz,
I say it is worth the investment to buy first ever shoes that is tailored to Breakin.
If you are interested, I can help you get 10% off on your first purchase for a limited time.
A gift for you for reading this article and trying to improve yourself! Or use the discount code DIRTE at the checkout.
5. Don’t Take Fitness for Granted
If you got time on your hands (if you got this far, I’m going to take a guess that you do), watch this video.
“To be a diamond, you need to be cut like a diamond”.
Just one of the many quotes that stuck out to me from this insane workout/dance session.
But the point of me presenting this clip to you,
is that if you want to get better,
you got to condition your body better too.
The greatest bboys and dancers in the world physically destroy their body, in order to get that monster vigor and vitality.
Personally, after I started working out with calisthenics (body weight training), my dance improved tenfold. I was able to develop my endurance, strength and stamina in my dance after including fitness in my daily routine.
If you never worked out before, I suggest starting out on calisthenics (since all the gyms closed down due to Covid-19).
Bodyweight training is more suitable for dancers for the following reasons:
- Easily accessible to do anywhere (i.e. Home)
- Solely focused on using your bodyweight = Better control over your body
- It is 110% free!
All you need is your body and some determination, and the results will come!
I hope this article provided you some recommendations on what you can do during this lockdown.
I know, it really sucks.
I miss my dance spot and practice sessions too.
Once this quarantine and virus is over,
We will see who really put in the work and be the next “overnight” success.
Maybe it’s you?
- Instagram: @dirteeeee
- LinkedIn: Erryl Ho
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- Hafid Mai. (2013, November 24). MOUNIR | Motivational Workout | Red Bull BC One | Title Defense [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKU7cfz2dnY
- In The Cypher (2019, September 24). How Personal development Led to becoming a World Class dancer with Icey Ives [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://open.spotify.com/episode/1WlfmKO9pp9ISaZAkvmMoS?si=rvS_4g6OSl-lHRh1Ffd4bg
- OntonSuperNaturalZ. (2014, February 4). Onton | “Supernaturalz Style — Flow, Complexity, & Originality” [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaB8vTQMPcQ&t=282s
- Tao Physique. (2019, July 6). How To Start Calisthenics | Beginners Guide To Bodyweight Bodybuilding [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ4GKdK_Xps
- The Crossroadz Show (2020, March 30). Pursuing both Competitive & Professional Life ft. Ryan “Elusive” Porter [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://open.spotify.com/episode/2TDe7H28BQ5iMSwCryLxg9?si=5aDJpWW6QxCpYZuImHTKUg