BAREFOOTNOTES (Observations from the Editor): Things I am Learning About Re-Entry, The New Normal, and The Wisdom of Herman Cornejo

BAREFOOTNOTES (Observations from the Editor): Things I am Learning About Re-Entry, The New Normal, and The Wisdom of Herman Cornejo
Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram

By Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram
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Published on October 26, 2021
Photo of Christine Jowers by Julie Lemberger,

Is it still appropriate to stop and reflect?  As New York City, revives after a year and a half of pandemic-induced limbo, I find myself puzzling over how to move forward. I feel a bit guilty that I don’t have a clue. It’s  almost November and my mind is still somewhere at the beginning of summer (if even).

The good news is that our dance community bursts with energy and direction. Announcements of  multiple shows (live and streamed), opportunities, awards, books, grants, new equitable missions, and bold humanitarian directions swirl in the atmosphere. What confuses me is the Go-Go-Go mantra  of “the new normal.” 

"Let’s get back to normal.  We’re back to normal, let’s be more than normal — ultra-normal deluxe." Of course, the excitement is great, but I am finding it difficult to be swept into its super-productivity drive.


bright pink, orange blue collage, featuring a dancer with twirling skirt surronded by color, leaves, and flowers
Photo  of Christine Jowers Dancing circa 2006  by Julie Lemberger/Digital  Collage "Christine from the Caribbean, How I feel When I'm Dancing" #onelovemany colors 
by Christine Jowers created during the Pandemic

Words don’t come to me.

I do, however, enjoy reading what others have to say.

Something that struck me particularly was a post by  American Ballet Theatre's veteran dancer Herman Cornejo on Instagram (my favorite of the social media sites, as it seems the most open to positive communication)

“Since the beginning of rehearsals, 6 weeks ago, the day of the show was the first time I saw Skylar’s face. Being masked for everyday work and preventing the unknown in the outside world has been a challenge. All was worth it.

That incandescent stage lights, fitted costumes, the darkness coming from the front of the house, the audience’s whispers from time to time, the sounds of props on stage, the support backstage from the team, all felt new . I’m so glad we are back and that everyone is safe. Thank you…”

Herman Cornejo and Skylar Brandt  in a photo by Julieta Cervantes  for The New York Times as seen on INSTAGRAM

Quite the opposite of promoting up-to-date awesomeness, Herman’s post touched me with its gratitude for a beauty which has always been there — perhaps under-appreciated.

As I slowly wind my way back to something that feels “normal,” I would like to thank the dancers I have known and covered over the years, and the writers who have contributed to The Dance Enthusiast for, well, just about everything.

I thought I would miss performing when I stopped to devote more time to family and this project. What I discovered or rather recovered, was my appreciation for the gift of life, for the multitude of ways our existence can be expressed by creative moving artists, and for the  inspiration and sense of community your stories inspire.

Though not feeling quite present as yet, to (again) quote the wise ballet dancer, Herman Cornejo, “I am so glad we’re back.”

The Dance Enthusiast Enthusiast shares opinions, observations, and calls to action from our editors and special guests in BAREFOOTNOTES. For more BAREFOOTNOTES click here.
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