The novel coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdowns have been a test of people’s mental as well as physical strength. Experts want people to grow their immunity stronger to stave off the virus.
Having a fun-filled physical activity to boost immunity and mental toughness is a rare blessing during the times of physical distancing. As many children seem to have been affected due to lockdowns, learning dance and music can prove really fruitful for them.
Indian expatriate Rahul Gupta is a classical dance instructor. Since the closure of schools, he has been offering online training sessions to young children, teaching them traditional dance. The activity has not only made his students proficient in the dance but also kept them busy, active and healthy while staying at home.
“As the pandemic has pressed on, people have found innovative ways to come together. One of them is classical dance. Dance transcends all barriers and boundaries. For this art, there is no race, religion, age or colour. It is just the joy of rhythm. The joy melds diversities and has the power to bring people together in one voice,” said Rahul underlining the importance of classical dance.
“Classical dance has always been used in various ways, be it prayer or celebration. It is amazing what the virtual world has done for us globally in making the world a smaller place. I feel as my part of contribution is a way of encouraging people to dance their blues away. The students, who enrol in our Bharatanatyam dance classes, do so for various reasons. Many want to make a career in dance, some want to tone their bodies, while others want to get rid of the inhibitions of social dancing and just have fun. But one quest binds every student and that is that dance frees the mind and soul. Physical activity, as in dance, cannot only promote chemical balance but also deepen the mind-body connection,” he added.
The online dance classes also provide an opportunity for parents to get involved in classes and know how the teacher is interacting with students. It is refreshing for those parents, who are passionate about classical dance.
Ten-year-old Shreysi Jaiswal is Grade-5 student at Rajagiri Public School Doha. Shreysi started showing interest in classical dance at a very early age. She has performed in various stages in school level and has taken part in many competitions.
Shreysi said: “During lockdown when the whole world is sitting at home getting bored, online dance learning has helped me to lift the mood and lightens the spirit. It also builds up the immunity as it is a form of exercise and keeps the mind free from scepticism. I am really thankful to my teacher who made the idea of online classes and encouraged me to pursue my passion for the classical dance and music.”
Aditi Satish is also 10 and student of Grade 5 at DPS Doha. She said: “The online dance sessions come as a great relief and opportunity to continue my dance training during Covid-19 lockdown around us. This online class is fun and enjoyable, just like my school days. It helps me to increase my exercise and activity levels and I can also make many friends around the world.”
Nine-year-old T Yashaswini is in Grade-4 at DPS-Monarch International School. “I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation for wonderful and highly engaging Baratanatyam online classes in this time of isolation. Physical activity affects mental and emotional health. By doing Bharatanataym, not only we get entertained but they also get educated.
“Dance is my passion. I love to dance as it makes me happy and feel as if I am on cloud nine. I have been learning Bhartanatyam since Grade-2. It also helps us not only learn dance but also understand our mythology, culture and tradition. In this Covid-19 situation we were missing school. We however continue our favourite Bharatanatyam. It is like one positive thing happening during this lockdown.”
Bharat Gupta is also 9. He said: “I love to do Bharatanatyam. I’m doing it almost from my kindergarten. During this lockdown times, the one thing that kept me occupied and happy is my Bharatanatyam.”
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