Since the beginning of virtual spring term, the Andover Dance Group (ADG) has found a way to stay in touch through weekly Zoom meetings. In order to accommodate students in different time zones, ADG members have been virtually meeting during two time slots on Wednesdays to check in with one another and discuss upcoming opportunities.
ADG has been using these meetings to plan virtual performances, such as their most recent project, titled “Together Alone, which involves creating individual videos that would be linked together by matching the first and last dance moves. Anna Liu ’21, a member of ADG, thought that the project allowed the group to connect in new, creative ways.
“It was really fun because it meant we had to get in contact with everyone that was before and in front of us so we could tell them what our move is at the end… So it was fun to go and try to find their phone numbers, because I actually don’t have everyone’s phone numbers,” said Liu.
In addition to dance related activities, ADG members have also been exploring different ways to communicate during the meetings. According to ADG member Claire Song ’22, the group has been using Zoom’s breakout room function to have short one-on-one conversations with each other.
“Each meeting, [we would] talk to each other through the breakout rooms, and they’re completely random, so we don’t know who will get. But for a few minutes, we’ll just talk about things like Netflix shows, or what we’ve been cooking, or how life is going in general,” said Song.
In addition to these ADG specific meetings, the dance department has been using Zoom to host faculty-led classes and alumni workshops. According to Song, the alumni-taught classes have been a unique opportunity to learn new skills.
“Last meeting, we had Rochelle Wilburn join us, who is currently a dancer and Andover alum. She led us through an exercise and talked about her experience as a dancer, and how she’s pursuing her job as a spiritual healer as well … I think that [the meditation] was interesting, refreshing, and also a fun thing that we probably wouldn’t have been able to do if we were on campus,” said Song.
ADG member Nina Cushman ’21 described the dance group as being a “tight, tight-knit group” during their times together on campus. Cushman emphasized that staying in touch virtually makes the unusual circumstances of the term feel more typical.
“[The meetings] add normalcy to our lives. Because normally at school, I’d be meeting with this group of people, so it’s nice to kind of continue that. Even if we’re not face to face, we can still be together,” said Cushman.
According to Uanne Chang ’20, Co-Head of ADG, Spring Term is typically a performance-heavy season. She says that the weekly meetings have somewhat lessened the blow of its loss.
“[The meetings] are good for morale, I’d say for sure, because we can’t be in our studio again. Spring Term was really exciting for us… Obviously, [we can’t do those performances] now, so it’s kind of demoralizing. So it’s just heartwarming to be together again,” said Chang.