At BDF, you won’t see fingertips glued to iPhones. It’s not a place where the philosophy of “if it’s not on Facebook, then it didn’t happen” can really survive. By dividing our attention between our digital selves, we sacrifice our connection to the truest present in which we are living. Young Dancers understand this problem. As a result, mobile devices rarely appear during downtime. Instead, conversations surrounding social justice and the arts emerge. Keep in mind, these students are only 14 to 18 years old. It’s a gift to witness this type of vulnerability and togetherness.
Somehow and somewhere along the way, self-identity got cuffed to a person’s social media presence. Likes, follows, retweets, and favorites are the social currency of my generation and younger. For instance, a photo opportunity to show off that leg extension is bound to rack in some major “likes.” The temptation is, well, tempting.
I know abstaining from social media isn’t the answer. Unfortunately, we seemed to have missed the point. Isn’t it all about fostering and maintaining relationships until we can meet again in the flesh? On the other hand, with an ever-changing landscape of dance, choreographers and movers need to keep up with the pace of technology. However, the digital choices we make need to be artistically inclined. Choices take time. Insisting on a few hours or even an entire day to make a choice is not a sign of indecision and weakness. It’s a sign of artistry. For example, check out Meta-academy. They know how to use technology.
RELATED: “This summer BDF continues its support and engagement with Meta-academy to foster a vibrant creative community online.”
During the Young Dancers Workshop, our dancers experience what it actually means to capture a moment. They gather information, reflect upon it, and voilà: body awareness and social graces are born. Students are realizing that being digital 24/7 does change us. It sneaks into our movement patterns. It interrupts our creative processes. So, become one of the programmers instead of the programmed. Use technology. Don’t let it use you. Continue to connect with us online until you can physically connect with us in the future. We can’t wait to move with you.
This post was written by Ashley Yergens. Ashley is a Social Media Intern for the 2014 summer.