• Jeanne Marie

Performers Edge Dance Center’s Students Express Coronavirus Impact through Dance

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Students at Performers Edge Dance Center, a dance studio in Davenport, Florida, have been back to taking dance classes for about 5 months after quarantining during the initial outbreak of COVID-19.

Studio owner, Amie Hollborn, took some time to sit down with her students one day in order to discuss their experiences, feelings about the global event, and emotions surrounding returning to dance classes, according to Hollborn.

Hollborn shares, that she found many of her students’ responses to be inspiring and mature beyond the average young teenage response.

According to the Center for Disease Control, preteens and teenagers most often react to emergency situations by pulling away from social activities and acting out due to difficulty in talking about the overwhelming emotions they’re experiencing.

However, upon returning to the studio, PEDC’s students tell how, even when ranging in ages and quarantine experiences, they had done a lot of self-reflection during the time at home and were extremely happy to return to their dance practices.

Students around this age, developmentally, are focused on the social structures typically forming in their lives outside of the home setting, according to an article written for Children & Schools.

The article continues on to say that the focus on separation from family structure and creating peer groups, as well as a development of social and emotional regulation can be heavily disrupted when those students face a traumatic event.

Not only is COVID-19 potentially one of the first global disasters these students are facing but due to the nature of how the virus spreads, an article written by the CDC recommends staying inside the home and at least 6 feet away from another person when outside the home.

Teenagers and preteens who are at this developmental stage are simultaneously experiencing a traumatic event while also being pulled from the social situations that assist in their development into adulthood for their safety and the safety of the public.

Assisting middle adolescence in this transition can be difficult for caregivers as they attempt to adjust themselves according to an article by the National Association of School Psychologists.

However, the article does give some tips for how to best aid children and teens during this difficult transition.

The first suggestion by the National Association of School Psychologists is to “Stay calm, listen and offer reassurance.”.

Adults who acknowledge the situation with their children, explain how they may keep themselves safe, listen and acknowledge the child’s own fears while remaining calm can help to reduce the children’s anxiety, according to the article.

The article also suggests being factual and honest while having age-appropriate conversations, which for teens and preteens, can contain more in-depth information, encouraging them to verbalize their internal experiences and allow them to assist in the decision-making surrounding home activity scheduling.

Allowing the teens to be involved in the structure of the family schedule allows the adolescent to feel some control over their lives while creating a structured environment to engage in, according to the article.

Lastly, the article places a focus on staying connected to the school districts the child participates in.

Staying connected with learning resources to assist in any at-home education, communicating with teachers who can help keep learning on track, and allowing them to find new ways to connect with their school peer groups can continue to add structure while navigating how to continue developing their social worlds during a time of physical separation.

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