This month our Dancers’ COVID Diaries series continues with Khanh Chau’s story. If you would like to share your story, we’d love to print it! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Fiona for the opportunity to share my experience about how I use dancing to cope with the pandemic. If you love something, you always make time for it. I juggle family, work and dancing. For me, dancing is more than an exercise – it takes me to another world, a world free of stress.
Taking lessons on Zoom was not easy at first, but I grew accustomed to it. I only have an iPad and a phone, so it was difficult. I use the iPad for the Zoom lessons, and the phone for recording a routine or a difficult move.
I’ve been dancing for several years now. My first ever performance was at the Vietnamese New Year celebration. My sister and I gathered 6 people (3 couples) to perform a Viennese Waltz routine. At that time, I had no dance shoes. My sister was so kind as to loan me a beautiful pair that she bought from ILoveDanceShoes. Those shoes have now become mine.
The first performance was a success. Afterwards, we were invited to perform at six other events. StatCan Got Talent was one where we had the most fun. We have a trophy to keep for a great memory.
My sister and I didn’t stop there. We kept creating and learning new routines with our partners. For our second routine, the Tango, I contacted Oksana at DWUO studio for feedbacks. Since then she has become my dance instructor. We performed Tango, Viennese Waltz, Pasodoble, Cha Cha Cha, and Samba at many events such as Salsapalooza, Rahim’s Anniversary, Chinese New Year celebration, Asian Night, Canada 150th birthday celebration, Eastern European Festival, Canadian Tulips Festival, etc...
I’m fortunate to have my husband who always supports me. He has always been with me in all the lessons and showcases.
Of all the showcases, the most memorable one was with my dad at DWUO 2019 Xmas party. Despite his problems with balance, he fearlessly gave his all on the dance floor. It was scary to think that he might have fallen, but at the same time, it was mesmerizing. He’s also a fan of ILoveDanceShoes. They didn't just make him look younger but were also soft on his feet.
After a few years of doing showcases, I wanted to take my dancing to the next level - a competition. It was something that I’ve always dreamed of but was too afraid I was not good enough.
When I finally worked up the courage, I registered for Toronto Open Spring 2020. I was looking forward to it but due to Covid-19, my first ever competition was canceled. I was disappointed but that didn’t deter me. Instead, it made me hungrier than ever. Every day, I try to maintain my dancing by practicing with my imaginary partner in my family room, which is now my home studio.
During the early part of the pandemic, I discovered an online Zumba fitness. I thought that was a great way to keep active while being locked down. Later, I found more and more people doing Zoom lessons such as Ritze Baile who was doing Bachata. Then DWUO team who also started their online ballroom lessons. These Zoom lessons allowed me to achieve my goal of dancing every day.
One day, a friend started a watch party on Facebook, and so I clicked on it and found Maxim Fomin who was teaching dance lessons for free. He taught every day, 3 times a day: 11:15 am, 7pm and 8pm. These lessons were what I needed to get through the tough times, especially through the loss of my dad. He was a victim of Covid-19.
I participated in the “Kids Help Phone” charity event to support young people during this unprecedented time. I also joined the “Dance With Us Ottawa” team to record a fun group dance video. The video was uploaded to unite with communities across Canada for the first-ever Never Dance Alone-a-thon.
I joined the sponsor team in the project #GiveBackToDance. The money helps many dancers around the world during this difficult time to take lessons with well- known dance teachers.
I was invited to Polina Mayer’s free yoga and Pilates classes. These are great to increase my flexibility for dancing. Thanks to those Zoom lessons, I was able to connect with the top teachers in the UK and Poland.
I’ve learnt so much more dancing during this pandemic than I have in the past several years. Before, I didn’t have a chance to work on my technique. I was always rushing to learn a new routine – the fancier, the better. But during this pandemic, I have learned that dancing a simple routine with the right techniques is more fascinating than dancing a complex routine with poor technique.
Due to social distancing, I cannot practice with my partner for competitions. I didn’t want my time to be wasted so I’ve decided to train myself for a solo Latin routine to get ready for a potential online competition. This way, it gives me a goal to achieve and allows me to use my time wisely.
Because the shape of my feet, it’s very hard for me to find good comfortable dancing shoes. However, thanks to Fiona, the president at ILoveDanceShoes, I was able to find quality shoes so that I am able to pursue my dancing without any pain. Not only are the shoes fashionable, but they are also flexible, which helps relieve the discomfort in my feet. It’s very important to wear shoes with good support because your whole body depends on them.
Lastly but not least, I would like to share my collection of ILoveDanceShoes shoes to show how much I adore them.