2022 Ballet Group Photo

This ballet group photo has a story. In 2020, I wrote about how my daughter’s ballet school had to transition to virtual classes, and then in-person classes, dancing with masks. They had to forgo several seasons of performances. My husband and I recently saw a portrayal of this same progression of events on the show “This is Us” and I got goosebumps watching the uncanny similarity in how Beth’s dance school had to cope with the shut-downs.

The difference is that our ballet school survived (well, I’m guessing Beth’s did too – from the flash forwards – we are definitely not up to date on the show). Now looking back, the tenacity of our teachers and students to keep doing what they loved, no matter how many zoom glitches or internet issues, is incredible. Peering into multiple tiny boxes on a screen to check on perfect toe placement is a testament to dedication. Accommodating both in-person and virtual students during the same class showed a flexibility that even dancers didn’t know they needed before. And then finally being able to get back onto a real stage (of course with a myriad of ever-changing mask rules) was met with a new kind of gratitude.

I have to admit, at first I actually kind of enjoyed not having to drive to ballet, making dinner while ballet class was going on in the living room, and then being able to eat dinner together. But when we started back in person, I marveled at the students who were able to dance with masks on. Fast-forward a couple of years, and we are still dealing with sporadic scares – does this cough mean I have Covid, or is it seasonal allergies?

But the one constant has been a love of dance, a love for the friendships there, and the reliability of the school and teachers, who guide through some of the hardest years in a young girl’s life – even without a pandemic. Add that in, and I celebrate that the school is thriving, my girls are still dancing, and they are looking forward to their upcoming spring performance on the big stage.

This ballet group photo includes only a few of the dancers in the school (after about four hours of late night rehearsals) with one of their amazing teachers. When I look at it, I see beautiful grit and grace.

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Ballet group photo of dancers from Crossroads Dance Theater, Herndon, VA.

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