How did COVID-19 affect Dynamic Rhythm?
Due to the pandemic closing down campus, we were no longer able to meet at the studio to rehearse. In addition, all of our performances scheduled for the quarter were canceled. The week before campus shut down, we had started working on a dance to “Footloose” from the 1984 motion picture.
How did we adapt to “the new normal”?
After Santa Clara University sent all students home due to the pandemic, our choreographer Alissa LaFerriere sent out a google form asking the members of the club how they wanted to move forward. Everyone voted to continue learning the dance. When asked if they would rather learn over zoom or pre-recorded video, most members voted for both. However, once we realized that virtual rehearsals were recordable, we decided to simply hold rehearsals on zoom once a week. The videos of the rehearsals were uploaded to a shared drive for members to review and use to practice the dance.
What were the challenges of learning and teaching Tap Dance In a Virtual Setting?
Zoom rehearsals presented many challenges. The first significant problem was audio. While Alissa was teaching, zoom would cut out her tap audio believing it was background noise. Due to this we moved rehearsals to google hangout. However this format presented more lag and the inability to see all team members on the screen at the same time. We ended up learning how to fix the audio issues in zoom and moved back to that format. The second major problem was video delay. Due to lag in the zoom calls, Alissa was unable to watch members run the choreography. The one time we tried the lag was so bad she had no idea if people were effectively learning the choreography. This was a big hurdle as she usually judges when to move on and keep teaching by watching how others are doing. At the end of the quarter, we held an informal interview with all club members to discuss their perspective of the virtual learning process and the biggest challenges that they faced. In the following interview, our members touch upon these challenges and more.