Wow, it’s over. 2020 was huge. What a year for the world. Congratulations to everyone who made it through and survived the catastrophic losses and changes that came with the last year. To my friends who have lost loved ones, my heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine the sense of loss coupled with the absence of physical connection. May you find peace and restoration in the coming year.
As I reflect on what we have endured as survivors of this time I find myself so grateful for the world-wide flexibility and modifications of every individual person. For those who persevered, kept their cool, and accommodated to help others succeed, I cannot express my appreciation enough. The patience, nurturing, understanding, and compassion necessary to continue forward is astounding. I feel so fortunate to be part of a community of professionals, students, and friends who stride forward into possibility, even in the face of what seems impossible.
How can we continue to dance during a pandemic? How does live theatre continue? So many have lost their work, their connection, and their livelihood. But we did it. We continued dancing, though it was different, hard, challenging, and sometimes frustrating. We remained connected, stayed in compás, and continued performing with the support of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Musical Instrument Museum, and the integrity of artists dedicated to building community and creating flamenco together in a supportive, safe environment.
How can dancers continue to learn in separation? I don’t know how, but we did it. We continued classes, and moved forward to complete choreographies, explore improvisation, and remain connected. Thank you, my students – my friends – who persevered through this and kept me going. Thank you for keeping yourselves going and staying with me through this. You bring me light every week.
My gratitude to Arizona State University is immense. The supportive network and leverage of professors wisdom in a time of unprecedented need has been awe inspiring. Arizona Commission on the Arts moved forward to provide relief for artists across the state, and other statewide institutions have extended their assistance to embrace gig workers who provide so much to enrich the lives and experience of Arizonians. It is hopeful start to see artists valued, their losses recognized and their suffering given assistance.
I am so grateful for the people I have in my bubble, who I see every week and how we take care of each other. I am grateful for the cats who wanter through my yard; the hummingbirds who visit me and linger right in front of my face to look me in the eye. I’m grateful for the flowers who greet me every day in my yard, the birds that sing, the grass that grows, the trees that flourish and remind me that life is more than humanity; that we have a place here, but that we are not all that is. I hope that we emerge from this year wiser and gentler for all we have experienced; that we value connection and presence more because we have been denied it for so long. I pray that this time provides experience we can learn from, grow from, and continue forward as better humans.
Happy New Year to everyone who reads this, and thank you for your support of the arts in any and all ways. I am grateful to connect with you in this moment, and every moment.