Working at Home with Hannah

Hannah gives us a look at what she's been up to during lockdown and the work she is doing at home. Check out her top tips to stay happy and well in lockdown...

[Blog Image & Thumbnail: A photo of Hannah, a learning disabled professional dance artist, smiling at the camera. She is in the far right of the image and it cuts off above her waist. Hannah has one hand raised to her face; covering half with one finger resting gently on her forehead. The background is blurred but it's a bright studio space.]

In this sad time which we call ‘lockdown’, I wanted to write a blog about what I’ve been doing when working from home and top tips to keep ourselves busy and working hard. As we’re now working from home, it’s important for us to make sure we balance our work and our mental health. So, here’s what I’ve been up to working from home during lockdown…

Every Monday at 9.30am we have our company check-in where we talk among ourselves and let one another know how we’re feeling and what we are up to. We also get work updates with details we need to know such as the recent watch party event for our award-winning film of ‘Artificial Things’. Straight after catch-up from 10, we do our company classes online on Zoom and on Facebook. These classes are alternated from day to day, where we do things like Fitness, Contemporary, Yoga and Franklin Technique. We’re not always on one platform every day so some days we’re on Zoom and others are on Facebook.

In the afternoon, we all work individually on our own solo projects such as leading workshops online, choreographing a solo piece and catching up with our social media and paperwork. Recently, I’ve been working on a solo piece which I’m currently choreographing and updating my Digital Journal. If you don’t know what a Digital Journal is, it’s similar to a notebook but I’m writing up all my ideas on my computer or iPad. This journal holds and keeps all my ideas, links and inspirations I’ve used in my piece to help me find movement. Whilst working on my solo, I’ve led a workshop session with Sg2 based on a few creative tasks I’ve put in my piece. These tasks were based on props, describing a photo/memory and an Open Language phrase. An Open Language phrase is a sequence of textures where we play and explore things such as the idea of a ‘slice’. My ‘Slice’ would be the tip of my nose slicing upwards.

When I’m not working on my solo, I’ve been sharing my screen and co-leading a session with our lovely Cherie Brennan as part of our Seedbed sessions. Cherie and I co-led a session where we talked and discussed ‘Learning Differently’. This session is about learning from a person who’s got a Learning Difficulty or Disability like me and Chris Pavia. In this session, the other teachers and artists learnt some top tips about working closely with someone who has a learning disability.

Other than Seedbed, I’ve also joined in our Youth Groups (on Facebook) which is led by Cherie, Millie, and Nicky Norton. With this, we’re continuing working with our Youth Group participants from Farnham Youth Group, Guildford Youth Group, Stepping Stones and LinkAble. With this Facebook page for our Youth Groups, our lovely teachers post live videos on a specific exercise. These exercises are based on different principles such as Bounces, Swings and Floaty Arms/Legs. These specific textures are announced at the beginning of the week and they continue with it until the end of the week. On the last day, our participants post their videos on Facebook for our teachers to announce Dancer of the Week; they do this every week on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

At the moment, I’m currently having my one-to-one check in with Lucy and Millie on a Tuesday afternoon. This involves talking about how we’re feeling and coping with lockdown, any worries and concerns and other work projects we should be doing to keep ourselves busy. Also recently, I’ve been planning on some exercise activities for my friends at Halow and at my new home. Other than that, I’ve been maintaining my fitness by joining in our company classes and posting different videos/photos for Stopgap’s social media platforms.

Thank you so much for reading and supporting Stopgap, we appreciate it. I hope you’re all keeping safe and well. If you want some top tips here are 5 to help you get through this Lockdown…

Top Tips

  1. Take good care of your own body
  2. Always give Positive Feedback to yourself
  3. Join as many classes whenever you like
  4. Play Music and Freestyle like crazy
  5. Don’t Exhaust yourself!!


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