Twelve years of dance, but never was there a week where I practiced for more than 20 minutes. Justifying my frantic recap in the car, I would tell myself this weekly ritual was inevitable since I spent my weekdays swamped with mounds of work. When the pandemic first hit, my frantic car rides to dance class over my lack of practice came to a complete halt. I, who dedicated very little time to dance and found it to be an overall stressful experience, was relieved. No more having to depend on my short-term memory to learn steps minutes before class hoping my uber strict dance teacher wouldn’t notice and unleash her wrath on me. It’s not like I was devoting that much of my time to dance anyways. Still, at least now I didn’t even have to incur the stress anymore. I saw it as a win-win.
When I received an email from my dance teacher a month later saying she would be resuming classes on Zoom, I felt defeated. Not even a global pandemic could keep me away from dance. After the first couple of classes, while lamely spinning around my living room, I had an epiphany. I could either continue to develop a list of excuses for why I couldn’t practice dance, or I could use the hours upon hours the pandemic gave me to refine my skills. Seeing as I was now nearing year 12 of learning Indian classical dance, one of the options behooved me more than the other.
The transition was almost instant. What used to be 20 minutes was now a minimum of four hours of practice. I began to romanticize all the nuances of the dance. The expressions. The mythology. The clothing drenched in sweat as an emblem of my hours of practice.
Even now as the world starts to restore itself and school continues in full swing, I look for gaps in my day to pull out my dance binder and look through the compositions. Time has the opportunity to accomplish many things. For me, it made what I used to procrastinate doing become my number one form of procrastination.
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