Hello Theatre B Fans!

 

This is Clare Lynch. Two of my favorite activities involve standing in front of a group of people, and suddenly both of them have become impossible in a traditional sense. One of them, obviously, is acting on the Theatre B stage. The other is teaching XABeat dance fitness classes.

I spent most of my life a proud couch potato. Playing sports in high school, going to the gym in college—that just wasn’t for me. In my early 20s, I finally realized I should start taking care of my body. I didn’t get very far on my own, though; after about a year of half-heartedly jogging on the treadmill a couple of times a week, I decided to try attending group fitness classes. Finding XABeat changed my life. An hour of cardio would go by, and I was smiling the whole time. I had more energy, I felt good in my own skin, I slept better, and I actually looked forward to going to the gym for the next class.

It didn’t take long before I knew I wanted to become an instructor. As much as I loved attending classes, I love teaching them even more. The rush that an actor gets onstage when the audience is right there with you, really listening and feeling what you’re feeling—leading a fitness class is a very similar experience. It’s a magical combination of community and music and endorphins and FUN.

Of course, things have taken a turn in the last month. For both Theatre B and fitness, I’ve come to rely on webcams to connect me to an audience. I now teach XABeat classes through the NDSU Wellness Center Facebook page every Thursday. The experience is absolutely not the same; self-generating the energy is hard and frankly feels a little silly. But seeing people I know from my classes logging in and commenting, and knowing they’re dancing along, makes it worth it. Those of us in theatre know there’s nothing like a shared, in-person connection. These days, that feeling is diluted across dozens of computer screens to individuals isolated in their homes. But knowing that I can help create even a facsimile of that connection for anyone who’s feeling lonely or afraid gives me the purpose I need to not feel lonely and afraid myself.

Things are weird right now. I try to remember that this is temporary. Remember to take care of your mind and body. Keep a routine as much as you can. And let’s keep our communities strong—whether it’s a gym, theatre, church, gaming group or workplace—so we can come back stronger than ever.