“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.” That’s precisely how many people are feeling now – with 2020 behind us and the hope of some sort of return to normal this year and some light at the end of the tunnel. The COVID-19 pandemic was quick to affect everyone – life shifted, and we immediately had to adjust. 2020 also saw much civil unrest, and the Black Lives Matter movement shook the globe. The year was, to say the least, unprecedented and a difficult one for all.
So, it’s safe to say that everyone is looking for some respite in 2021. Here, we spoke to several So Dancers, ambassadors of the popular dancewear brand, about their hopes and dreams for 2021.
2020 was a crazy year in so many ways. What are your hopes and dreams for 2021 – personally, in dance, globally?
Juliet Doherty, actress/dancer (@julietdoherty)
“I’m dreaming of being backstage again, personally, and being able to just be in a studio safely with friends!”
Brady Farrar, Youth America Grand Prix medalist, Dance Moms Season 8 (@bradyfarrar)
“For 2021, I want to keep training and working to get better every day. I want to improve in other styles of dance this year such as ballroom, tap and hip hop. I’m also hoping the vaccines get to everyone and COVID gets under control so we can all go back to how things were before the pandemic.”
Adji Cissoko, dancer with Alonzo King LINES Ballet (@adji_cissoko)
“I want to continue to make art. Be creative, collaborate, try new things and put myself into uncomfortable situations that will help me grow as a human being and therefore as an artist. I want to learn and educate myself so that I can help others in return. I recently became a health/life coach, and I absolutely love it. Working with people who want to better themselves and are willing to put in the effort is beyond inspiring! My hope and wish is that people continue to connect all over the world. Talk to, learn from and unite with one another! I’ve been seeing that happening in the dance world, which is fantastic. Dancers from different companies and continents taking class with and from one another…I would love to see even more of that exchange going forward!”
Brittany Cavaco, professional ballet dancer (@theballerina)
“My first hope for 2021 is to dance as much as possible. In 2020, I had so many shows cancelled, including my spring contact with English National Ballet. In a lot of ways, I felt as though I was losing my identity as a dancer, but as the year progressed, I learned to become more versatile and appreciate the moments I got to dance, even if they were very small. This year, I hope to dance every day and explore who I am as a dancer. First and foremost, I will always be a ballet dancer, but I really have enjoyed learning new styles of dance. Even if it is a ballet barre, getting in a studio to rehearse a variation, taking a virtual dance class of a genre that’s out of my comfort zone or getting to perform, I’ll happily take it! I have been asked to perform at a gala in March, and I am very excited for that opportunity to dance on stage again. I really miss that feeling!
Personally, I want this to be a year of growth and goals. I am a very driven person, but I do feel more motivated this year than ever before. In a way, I felt like I lost a year in 2020, and now I’m eagerly trying to make up for it. I really want to get in the best shape of my life this year. Even as a Pilates instructor, with every upcoming opportunity cancelled last year, it was so challenging to stay motivated! In this new year and new mindset, I am determined to be the ballerina I have always wanted to be, mentally and physically.
I have quite a few exciting things going on at the moment. I’m so excited to announce that my podcast, Straight to the Pointe, will be released very soon! My podcast will discuss topics ranging from body dysmorphia to auditions, from pay inequalities in companies to interviews with ballet icons to diversity in the ballet world and so much more! I will be interviewing dancers each episode who have experienced or relate to each different topic and hope to create conversation, awareness and positive change in the dance world! The podcast will be available on every platform podcasts are on, and stay tuned on my IG, @TheBallerina, for the official release date.
For the world, I really hope 2021 is a year of unity, love and positivity. We all went through an extremely difficult year filled with lots of tension and disagreements. I hope that despite everyone’s differences, we can all come together more peacefully this year. As Jimi Hendrix once said, ‘When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.’”
Josué Gomez, dancer at Elmhurst Ballet School (@w.josuegomez)
“In 2021, my biggest hope is for the pandemic to finally be over and to eventually get back to a sense of normality. Alongside this, my goal is to keep strong, working and improving in order to be ready for life in a ballet company.”
Emma Jane Sias, Youth America Grand Prix medalist, dancer at Pennsylvania Ballet Conservatory (@emmasiasballetgirl)
“I have so many hopes for 2021. I think we are all hoping that COVID goes away and we can get back to so many normal things we miss. As for dance goals for 2021, they are to stay healthy, really work on my technique, and hopefully get back on the stage for both performances and competitions. I think after last year, I have learned to cherish every day I get to dance and every moment I have with my friends and family.”
What are three words you’d love to have as a mantra or theme for 2021?
“Patience, joy and kindness.”
“Believe, encourage and love.”
“Self-worth, optimism and patience.”
“Focus, transform and evolve.”
“Wakefulness, compassion and expansion.”
“Joy, expressive and working!”
Is there anything else you’d like to add about putting 2020 behind us and your hopes for 2021?
“2020 brought a lot of uncertainty into each of our lives; however, I’ve watched innovation unfold within the arts and much connectedness through shared experience. I’m excited for the coming year, and continue to be inspired by the dance community’s resilience throughout this time.”
“I learned so much from 2020, and I hope that we all remember the lessons it taught us as we move into a new hopefully better year. I am so filled with gratitude and excitement as I get ready for upcoming performances because of last year, and I hope I can hold on to that and let that joy make me a better dancer and person.”
“2020 taught me many things, such as finding strength in uncertainty. It also helped to change my perspective on the importance of family and staying safe. 2021 is the year to apply those lessons to continue to grow and maintain a balanced perspective.”
“In some ways, I am really worried about the futures for many ballet companies and ballet dancers post-pandemic. With performances now cancelled through the majority of 2021, it can be nerve-wracking to imagine what it will be like when things return back to normal. I think it is amazing to see many ballet companies putting on virtual shows and shows with COVID precautions. I hope that ballet companies as well as ballet dancers continue to be as creative as possible during this time. Art and dance is an expression of society, and I think we need dance more than ever. I want to encourage dancers to never be afraid to share and perform, even if it’s just on social media. It may feel out of your comfort zone, but you can inspire so many when you do!”
“2020 was an incredibly tough year, dancing in living rooms and confined to our own homes. This year, we need to focus on getting the performance industry back into action.”
“2020 was definitely a tough one, but I have a lot to be grateful for, like getting to spend eight months with my boyfriend in Canada (which is a lot of time considering that we’ve been doing long distance for the last six years). Getting to explore and nourish other passions during this time is definitely something positive and should be acknowledged, especially when there’s so much pain and sadness all around! Let’s stay positive and strive for better always!”
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.