The vortex created by the unprecedented lockdown imposed across the country to arrest the spread of the dreaded Covid-19 since late March has left almost everyone shaky. The crisis, among many, has also hit the lives of dancers and dance tutors hard as most have lost their livelihood.
Arun Kumar, a dance teacher in the national capital, used to live with his family at a slum area. His financial condition began improving after he started taking part in dance events apart from providing dance classes.
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“I moved out of the slums as my financial condition had improved. But within a month, lockdown was imposed. Gradually, all my savings were exhausted and even dance classes closed. Today, I am again back to the slums along with my family,” he said.
Dancers, as well as dance tutors across the country have a more or less similar sad stories to share. Their livelihood and business have suffered a massive blow due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown that has severely impacted the nation’s economy.
Even as India began moving towards the “Unlock” phase and business started opening in phases, the condition of dancers and tutors has witnessed negligible improvement.
From a broader perspective, even as businesses could be seen “operating”, children and dance enthusiasts are not turning up for their classes. Owing to this difficult situation, several schools have either shown the door to dance tutors, or deducted their salaries. Some dance tutors, apart from working in schools also run their own studios and academies. However, even they don’t have much bright or positive stories to share.
Amit Singh, a dance teacher who runs Perfect Dance and Music Academy, told IANS: “The lockdown, and corona era made everything very difficult. Previously, I used to go to 3-4 schools in Noida to teach dance. But as soon as the lockdown phase began, schools terminated the contract, saying ‘we will contact you again next year’. ”
“Though I run my own dance academy, the children are not coming… and the earning has taken a beating.”
Vipin Kumar, who runs Tandavika School of Dance Academy, told IANS: “I am a dance teacher in a well known school in Delhi and my contract is coming to an end in November. The school refused to renew the contract. ”
He further said the school initially deducted his salary, and then told him to go on leave without pay. When he raised objection to this, the school refused to renew his contract.
“From what I know, while some schools have sent the teachers to leave without pay, while a few have slashed their salaries,”
he said, adding that 25 teachers were fired from the school where he works.
In a last-ditch effort to adapt of the ‘new normal’ scheme of things, some dance teachers are providing online classes. However, only a few children, or students are attending those classes. Many dance tutors have been forced to shut their studios as they ran out of money to pay the rent.
Most of the dancers and tutors have submitted that they have not received any support from the government to tide over their crises. (IANS)