There are moments in life when something crystallizes in one’s mind and alters their world.  These are sometimes happy events, but when think of that phrase “where were you when?” it’s often attached to something unthinkable.  It can be a personal event but as with this crisis we are living through, it can become larger than us; this is truly something global.

I hear on the news how these challenging days we are living in can be especially trying for those who experience anxiety.  I’m not sure if I would call it anxiety, but I have always been a natural born worrier.  My mind thinks in advance of what could happen, I react to that and put a plan in motion.

My personal challenge started a few weeks back, as I frantically ran from store to store to hunt down whatever disinfectant products I could muster to keep Dance Cavise, our students, their families and our staff as safe possible.  I felt that weight.

Shortly after, the studio had to temporarily close under the directive of the state.  That was a difficult day for my family.  We became frightened as any small business owner would, especially one in the arts, trying to stay afloat.  Dance Cavise is our means of living, and we are concerned.  But beyond that concern, we have 30+ years of emotion built into that studio, and it was hard to close the doors.  I felt that weight.

Days later, our youngest daughter called from Paris, where she had been living for a year and a half with plans of staying until July. Things were escalating there as well.  Though she is 23, I still don’t stop worrying about my child.  I felt that weight.

26 hours later, my daughter arrived safely at JFK, just days before all borders closed. I am a grateful mom, though my oldest is still in DC working remotely.  I feel that weight.

In these short weeks, our daily life has changed as dramatically as everyone else’s has.  After days of being shell shocked, we got to work.  My husband Joe, who directs Dance Cavise, has been coordinating virtual classes to keep the studio functioning under this new normal.  He has led his staff by creating over a dozen instructional videos along with offering 35 live classes on Zoom to help keep some continuity in our student’s dance training.  Through it all, Joe has maintained the same frantic pace he always has, taking us all with him and moving in a forward direction.

So here in a quiet moment, I sit with my own personal reflections.  We are about three weeks in and we are now out of a quarantine that I gladly accepted as a trade-off to have my daughter home from Europe.  Like everyone, I have quickly added new terms like social distancing to my vocabulary and feel abundant gratitude for our new heroes; not ones who have super- powers and wear capes, but those who have healing powers and wear surgical scrubs and hazmat suits.

It is in the worst of times that we need to find our silver lining, our gratitude and small joys in these difficult moments.  For me that has been easy.  Three quarters of my family are home together and all four of us are currently healthy.  We have gifted time to play a game of Trivial Pursuit, do a puzzle or fulfill a long overdue promise to watch the Harry Potter movie series (how I missed those when my girls loved them is a mystery.)  I am grateful for weekday family dinners, something that has not happened in the 30+ years of the studio.  These nightly meals together, with my oldest sometimes joining in on Facetime, have been a blessing that I don’t take for granted.

There are times in life when something crystallizes in one’s mind and alters their world; the JFK assassination, 911, COVID-19.  I feel that weight.

But I also feel hope.  There are going to be good times ahead.  We will get through this and come out on the other end, “NY Strong.”  Music will continue, dance will continue.  Life will carry on and we will learn from this experience.  Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned is not to get complacent, to realize our true priorities in life and to make sure we have them in order.

Be well, stay safe.

Lori Cavise – Director