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Dance community moving forward after being impacted by pandemic, protests

Industry leaders are looking to rebound one step at a time
Posted at 8:05 AM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 11:21:40-04

Dance can be an emotional outlet.

With every twist and turn, those performing can help inspire, create and also escape

“Dance is where I’ve gone for years to express myself and find happiness,” said Markeith Douse, an aspiring professional dancer.

Douse moved to Denver to chase his dream of performing on the big stage. That goal, however, was quickly shut down due to coronavirus concerns.

“COVID put a stop to everything,” Douse said.

He says the entire dance community has been impacted both financially and emotionally by the pandemic and the protests.

Now, dancers are coping with losing their jobs by getting lost in the music, but still focusing on the future.

“This isn’t going to last forever,” Douse said. “We’re going to beat this thing. We’re going to keep going.”

Dancers say their movements are more than physical; they’re emotional and almost spiritual.

“Being a black man in America and an artist at this time, how do you let your body express and to feel and to cope with what’s happening in our world,” asked Terrell Davis, artistic director of Davis Contemporary Dance Company.

He says COVID-19 cost his company its season. But during an impromptu performance at the park, dancers evoked emotions from others while attracting an outdoor audience.

“Right now, art is what is saving the people,” said one viewer.

Those watching and performing say dance can help breaking down barriers while also opening up conversations while bringing people together during a time of social distancing

“Our country imploding from the inside out when it comes to race relations,” Davis said. “How did you find your inspiration?”

This is the power of dance.