Stay at home challenge: Dance in Education alumna Lenna Schouten

What gave you the idea?
‘On Instagram we saw a dance company delivering performances at home in Sweden. These days a lot of things are being home delivered anyway and the theatres are all closed, so the link was easy: we are going to home deliver dance!’

How did you go about it?
‘We are quite action-oriented and are used to dancing at special locations. We immediately informed our network and the positive reactions came in quickly. We then placed an order form on our website. With this form, people can list their preferences for music and atmosphere, who they wish to surprise, and for what reason. Within ten days we had thirty requests! And the press in Rotterdam and Leiden also picked it up right away.’

How does a dance delivery work?
‘We have three flavours (choreographies): calm (Connection), dynamic (Change) and electronic beats (Hope). Payment is in the form of a donation, half of which goes to the Red Cross. We perform a solo or duet, for no longer than ten minutes. We use a boombox, so people can hear the music quite well. And we always first ring the doorbell to tell them what is going to happen and that we are strictly following RIVM guidelines.’

Who are the people who order a live performance?
‘That varies greatly! Usually it’s a surprise performance for grandma, someone’s birthday, or a wedding anniversary. To most of the people it is a complete surprise. We also once performed a dance for an entire street, where all the neighbours had ‘ordered’ us. People are often moved. These are such strange times with so little real interaction. We are very happy to bring some relaxation and joy.’

What’s it like to dance outside?
‘Wonderful! To me, the open air is infinite freedom. Of course, anything may happen. We are now having fine weather all the time, but at my first delivery it was raining. Or a dog may come sniffing, or a car drives past. It’s all part of the setting at that particular moment. It just gives me a lot of energy.’

Any tips for dance students who are now sitting at home?
‘Take the time to figure out a way to let out your creativity and energy. Dance always happens in the moment. Have faith that there is a way, also out of this situation. We are all creators. You have it in you! Why else would you be doing this study programme? And: keep in touch with your fellow students and the world around you.’

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