Plenty of online dance lessons and streaming dance performances have cropped up in response to the massive lock-down caused by Covid-19. (In fact, we just wrote about these fantastic resources that allow you to enjoy dance at home.) But nothing ramps up social [media] interaction like a good dance challenge. These dance challenges, born during the 2020 coronavirus social distancing period, are a fun way to spread joy and connect with the larger dance community.
You can also try these 60+ activities for dancers to keep busy at home.
Dance Dispatches: Dance Challenges 2020
All right, when you think of ‘dance challenge’, you probably imagine hoards of hip young ‘uns on TikTok. We’d like to think our Dance Dispatches dance challenges are more inclusive. The prompts are pretty open, so people with a wide range of dance backgrounds can participate. After all, dance is for everyone!
Once you’ve completed any of our dance challenges, please post it on socials with the corresponding hashtag and tag our account @DanceDispatches on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ll stop by to show you some love and possibly re-share your videos. If you upload your video onto YouTube, email firstname.lastname@example.org – so we can add your clip to our dance challenges playlist.
Dancers, most of you have repeatedly rehearsed certain routines for shows and competitions. Now is the time to bring them back! You can go way back to your earliest dance recitals, relive your high school dance team routines or revisit a more recent piece. Even if you didn’t perform or compete, you can still film one of your old ‘across the floor’ combinations, etc. When you resurrect these old dances, you’ll probably be surprised how many moves have stayed with your body.
Show us what you’ve got, and don’t forget to challenge your dance-mates who learned the choreography with you – back in the day. If you all relearn it, you can even host a new virtual performance in multiple spaces.
Lots of holidaymakers are stuck at home. You may not be heading on vacation any time soon, but you can still enjoy a cultural ‘travel’ from your home by learning a dance from another culture. You can learn Spanish flamenco, Indian Bharatanatyam, American tap dancing, Hawaiian hula, Irish step dance… The list of dance genres and their associated regions goes on and on. By trying a dance from a different country, you’ll become accustomed to a new style of music and actually embody an intangible piece of culture. Pretty cool, huh?
If you’re not sure where to start – our friend, Gemma, from Two Scots Abroad has recorded an instructional Scottish dance video that demonstrates how to do the Highland Fling. Fancy cultural dance travel to the Scottish highlands?
You can also embark on our Dance Passport challenge to learn six different dances from six different continents or read about some of our cultural dance travels: nihon buyo in Tokyo – and Jamaican dancehall in London, as well as K-Pop in London.
This one is for all you dance instructors and wannabe dance teachers. When your friends and family are searching for something to keep them entertained at home, offer to teach them how to dance. You’ve already experienced the benefits of dance first-hand, so imagine how rewarding the physical art form will be to dance newbies. Once you find a willing student, you may only get to ballet barre warm-ups and jazz squares, but that’s okay.
See if you can wheedle them into being recording, either as a video of you two dancing together or simultaneously in a split-screen set up. Spread dance, not germs.
Additional Dance Challenges for 2020
The first coronavirus dance challenge came out of Vietnam on TikTok from Quang Đăng. He and his friend are dancing to a song called ‘Ghen Co Vy,’ translated as ‘Jealous Coronavirus,’ which was produced by singer Khac Hun and Vietnam’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Although based on a popular song called ‘Ghen,’ this musical version explains how to properly wash your hands and gives a few other tips to prevent the spread of Covid-19. You can find the original post on his TikTok page.
It’s really, dare I say, infectious. You’ll probably want to learn the dance choreography when you see it. If you do, here’s his #GhenCovyChallenge video tutorial on YouTube.
Improvisation is #21 in our list of 60+ ways dancers can keep busy at home. And it perfectly fits in with the Dance It Out challenge by Sara Rohs, Artistic Director of Madison Contemporary Dance. The challenge is to find a song you connect with and improv – without mirrors. You’re also supposed to let rules and judgment go, too. Once you’ve finished expressing yourself, share your video with the hashtag #danceitout2020 and call out at least two friends to take the challenge.
I finished the challenge before I watched other participants’ videos. They’re from beautiful dancers in much better physical shape than myself and set to inspirational music. I’m in my sweats, dancing to Ray LaMontagne’s Trouble as catharsis – and I didn’t realize my laptop video quality would be so poor, but c’est la vie, I did it. See the two clips I wanted to salvage below.
This ‘dance challenge’ doesn’t actually require any additional dancing. Created by Kimberly Kirn Arneson of K Jay Photos, it’s meant to raise awareness about the importance of staying in and self isolating to prevent coronavirus from spreading further. Although you understandably miss participating in the dance community ‘in real life’, the sooner everyone complies, the sooner it will be safe to return to dance studio classes and watch live dance shows.
Simply dig through your archive of dance photos, select one of your favorites and share with the hashtag #donotroam to encourage others to stay at home.
19 Poses – Martha Graham Challenge
This creative photo challenge from the Martha Graham Dance Company requires participants to replicate one of 19 iconic poses from Graham’s repertory. The poses are still frames from pieces such as Prelude to Action, Revolt, Frontier, American Document, Clytemnestra and more. The catch? When you recreate the pose, it should be taken in ‘a creative, unexpected way,’ ‘in an everyday setting.’ Feel free to use costumes and props, then upload on Instagram with the hashtags #19Poses and #marthagraham and tag at least one woman who inspires you.
The contest ends of August 18, 2020 – the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gained women the right to vote!
See their website for more information.
Nope, this dance challenge isn’t just for people in their thirties. It’s a quick 30-second dance challenge, set up by choreographer Agnieszka Romek of ARC in Belgium to help unite dancers in self-quarantine. Simply send a half-minute clip of your dancing, in any style (but filmed in landscape orientation), to 30s Project via email: email@example.com. The dance can be a short snippet of a longer choreographed piece or improvisation. The organizers just ask that you dance “to the music of [your] own choice and which is the most characteristic of the current situation in our lives.” Your piece will then be added to a larger video compilation with dancers from around the globe.
They will be collecting dance footage until we are able to dance freely in studios and on the stage again. See their Facebook page for inspiration.
Para Dance UK: Dance Away Isolation Challenge
Para Dance UK, the National Governing Body for Para Dance Sport in the UK, has created the Dance Away Isolation challenge to raise awareness about the UK’s mental health crisis as residents remain in isolation. You can find their simple, short dance routine on TikTok to copy, which is suitable for both standing and sitting performers. Once you complete the dance, upload your own version on TikTok, tagging @paradanceuk , #danceawayisolation , #everyonecandance , #ourtomorrowvsyourtomorrow , and #mentalhealthmatters. Challenge five friends to join in the fun. And, if you can, donate to help those at home continue to dance for their physical and mental wellbeing.
All right, dancers. Should you choose to accept these challenges, go forth and create! We look forward to seeing your videos. You can share the entire list with your dance friends by using the buttons below or pinning the above Pinterest image pins.