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Opinion/Dance

Dancing one day at a time

8 May 2020

For Co:3 dancer Zoe Wozniak, dance is about engagement with others. So how has she handled isolation?

As part of our “Day in the life” series, Co:3 Australia dancer Zoe Wozniak tells us how she has managed to stay physically and mentally healthy whilst not being able to head to the studio.

When COVID-19 initially came about, I was in the studio working on a new creative development with Co:3. It quickly became a topic of conversation. The following week I started what was meant to be a three week long independent project. Throughout that week we anticipated it wouldn’t last the full term and sure enough, at the end of week one, Perth started to go into lockdown. Quickly my plans for the weeks and year ahead changed.

During the past six weeks I have witnessed myself adapting, exploring and creating new daily habits within this unfamiliar state of being. I have found alternate ways to spend my time. Time to reflect, to challenge, to surprise, to learn, to move, to change perspective and to slow down.

Rapidly, so much content went online and I felt I needed to take a step back from the online world. I wanted to recalibrate to what my new daily life was becoming. Dance, for me, is about the engagement with people, stories, space, community, sharing and the humanness. Although the online shift is amazing, connecting online can be exhausting. In saying that, I have thoroughly enjoyed online Gaga classes (streamed from Tel Aviv or New York) from my lounge room and love that streaming performances is so readily accessible. Recently, I “Zoomed” into the Performing Arts WA Awards. This was a special time, seeing so many faces of the Perth arts community celebrating and adapting together. We have such a rich culture and I so look forward to when we can celebrate together in a theatre soon.

Yoga is a very important part of my daily routine. I have always included yoga as part of my practice, but I am now finding, more than ever, yoga is my anchor. It’s not only an anchor to maintain my physical self and dancing body, but my mental and emotional wellbeing. I practice with Beyond Being Yoga, who have utilised the online platform, Zoom. This is keeping me accountable to show up every day. Plus, with the “no rush/nowhere else to be” luxury after class finishes I have been practising my headstands, (something I used to fear in the studio). This time to play and practise is a little iso win for me and I am now confident to headstand and stay there!

I am loving my daily walks, exploring my familiar neighbourhood, yet finding something new every time and Sunday bike rides are becoming a regular. I have always been a big sunset and outdoor lover so I enjoy sitting on my porch and watching the world go by with homemade coffee. I have spent more time in the kitchen and garden and of course (like many) “Marie Kondo-ing” each room in the house.

This time so far has taught me to take note of the little things we take for granted, to take the time, to pause and observe, to be in our feelings, to be in the present and to think outside of what the “normal” was, or is. The future is so unknown at the moment and in a large way out of our control, so I am going gently, one day at a time.

Pictured top: Zoe Wozniak, Co:3 Australia Artist. Photo: Stefan Gosatti

Read the first instalment in the “Day in the life series, by West Australian Symphony Orchestra player Leanne Glover.

A sunset, with the sky streaked pink
Sunset from Zoe’s porch. Photo: Zoe Wozniak.

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