Quarantine Choreo: How dance programs at Linfield are continuing to perform


Courtesy of Elizabeth Thompson

Members of the 2019-2020 Wildcat Dance Team with the college mascot.

Isabel Berger, Staff Writer

Dancing, often done in times of celebration and with other people, seems like an activity that is less likely to occur during a pandemic. Yet, dance programs are indeed continuing at Linfield, just in a different way than they used to be. Elizabeth Thompson, a captain on the Wildcat Dance Team and a member of Linfield’s Dance Ensemble, and Eve Brindis, an adjunct professor of dance in Linfield’s music department, are both hard at work to bring choreography to life through virtual means.

Thompson reported that they have been busy doing virtual tryouts for the upcoming fall season and team meetings over Zoom. She also said that the dance team is participating in a “virtual UFO parade” with the help of Seth Wollam, marching band director, and Kevin Curry, director of video and digital media, who will be editing the resulting video. The music will be played by Linfield’s Marching Band.  

In a similar vein, Brindis reports that her intermediate ballet class is continuing to “dress in leotards and tights and meet over Zoom” and that her beginning tap class and applied dance lessons are meeting online and use videos to learn new techniques. She also reports that the Linfield Dance Ensemble is preparing for a virtual dance showcase entitled “Inside the Box.” This showcase features student choreography and a big collaborative piece featuring all Linfield dance community members. It will take place on May 19th. 

To pull all of this off, both programs are using social media in creative ways. The dance team posts on Instagram almost daily to “remain connected to both each other and to the Linfield community,” according to Thompson. On this platform, they will be posting photos and bios of their new members soon. The dance team also has a Facebook page to “expand connections with the community,” Thompson reports. 

Brindis said that the dance ensemble still choreographs virtually and teaches their peers via video tutorials. Some of those tutorials also come from Instagram. Every Wednesday, the Linfield Dance account posts an IGTV video that features a student leading their own choreo routine. “We’ve called it ‘Quarantine Choreo,’” Brindis said.

This transition has had its ups and downs, of course, for both programs. Thompson said that the team was understandably caught off guard at first “when (they) realized they could not recruit new members or hold tryouts in person.” However, they persisted and she said that the virtual try-outs still brought in new members who “are very excited to perform for Linfield next year.” 

Brindis reported similar struggles in transitioning because the dance program, like every other aspect of Linfield’s music program, had to move online. However, the show must go on. And some of that show will continue later this month, the same week as Linfield’s virtual symposium. More of that show will hopefully continue in the fall where Thompson said that “we are striving to bring a fun and exciting presence… to show support for our athletic teams.”