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Online challenges keep dancers, community active and positive

As people adjust to self-isolation and social distancing, one of the things people have had to figure out is how they can remain physically active and fit.
Alchemy Dance Collective and Studio 2 Stage perform a dance choreographed by Ashley Campbell at the opening ceremonies of the 2020 BC Winter Games in Fort St. John, Feb. 20, 2020. Flickr/BC Games.

As people adjust to self-isolation and social distancing, one of the things people have had to figure out is how they can remain physically active and fit.

Though most gyms and sports aren’t taking place, dancing is a great way to keep moving and stay positive, and the local dance community has stepped up to the plate to keep spirits lifted.

Ashley Campbell of Alchemy Dance Collective posted a video of herself and her daughters doing a fun dance to social media last week, and invited those who viewed it to do a dance video of their own.

From there, the trend has caught on around both Fort St. John and the various dance clubs in town, but spread outside of town to dancers and non-dancers alike.

“A lot of our dancers are stuck at home right now and are very bored," Campbell said.

"Most of our classes already weren’t scheduled this week as it’s spring break, but we were about to begin our summer rehearsals. We knew the dancers were itching to be dancing, so we wanted to do something fun to get the community involved and spread some positivity."

The videos have evolved and grew in the last week, with Alchemy posting Technique Tuesday videos — short instructional clips to help dancers work on their technique — and Wildcard Wednesdays, which include a unique challenge each week, to name a few.

To view the challenges and get in on the fun, click here.

Campbell was thrilled to see how it caught on, both with Alchemy dancers, and with other local groups such as the Watt School of Irish Dance and Studio 2 Stage Dance Academy. She even saw people she had never seen before take part.

‘These aren’t exclusive or for trained dancers only, but for anyone interested. If a parent wants to show off their go-to moves from the 90s, then that’s great,” Campbell said.

Feedback from the dancers has been extremely positive. Campbell said kids in the five to eight-year-old range have been really excited to try out each day’s challenge and can’t wait to see what’s next.

“Social media can be scary for many reasons, but in times like this it’s a great way to connect with each other,” Campbell said.

A group of Alchemy Dance Collective dancers were supposed to leave tomorrow to compete in Fort Saskatchewan’s Dance Evolution competition. Campbell said the Collective is looking at ways to continue holding dance lessons and rehearsals going forward as they have had to close their studios as with everyone else.

“Everyone is feeling the same right now, so the more positivity we can throw out, regardless of what studio you dance with, or where you live, the better. Dancing is a great way to move around and be active, and a great form of stress relief,” Campbell said. “Spreading love and positivity is really important.”

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at