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The Eight Stages of Dancing in a Mask

After months of dancing in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen, you finally get to go back to the studio! And for the safety of you and everyone else, you're required to wear a mask. No sweat, right? Well, quite a bit of sweat, actually—but it's well worth it. Here are the eight stages of your first dance class in a mask.


Stage One: Celebrating!

It's the best news you've heard all year! You can't wait to head back to the studio with your teachers and classmates IRL, instead of floating in those Zoom rectangles. You make sure to read all of the studio's safety guidelines carefully—especially its rules about mask-wearing.

Stage Two: Choosing exactly the right mask

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What style is best for dancers? What material should it be made of? Should it have over-the-ear loops or tie behind your head? Can you match it to your class look? Decisions, decisions...

Stage Three: Grinning at literally everyone back in class (or trying to, anyway) 

Your face may be covered, but your excitement is undeniable. It's so good to be home!

Stage Four: Feeling the heat

Whether it's from the mask or being a little out of shape after months away from the studio, you're getting a bit winded by the end of the warm-up. Don't worry: Everyone is adjusting as we return to in-person dance classes.

Stage Five: Feeling the frustration

Your face is hot and sweaty under your mask, but you know you shouldn't touch it. You miss seeing the expressions on the faces of your classmates and teachers. You're getting a little overwhelmed.

Stage Six: Taking a (safe) break

Find an isolated corner or head to your studio's approved area to grab some water and switch to a fresh mask. Take it easy—dancing in a mask will require some getting used to.

Stage Seven: Diving back in

New mask on, breath recovered, ready to roll (or whatever the choreo requires)!

Stage Eight: Remembering the "why"

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Social distancing and mask guidelines are meant to protect you and your fellow dancers, teachers, accompanists, and studio office staff, not to mention everyone they come in contact with. Yes, wearing a mask is inconvenient—but it's a small way to do your part, so we all can return to normal classes and performances sooner rather than later!

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Photo by Joe Toreno. Hair by Marina Migliaccio and makeup by Lisa Chamberlain, both for the Rex Agency.

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