Dancing at ATOMIC has positively impacted Crissy Rangel’s life both personally and as a dancer in many ways. From keeping physically active to learning new things, refining her dance technique, meeting new people and making wonderful friendships. Crissy reflects fondly on all of her time spent as an avid attendee of nightly dance socials following highly anticipated evening classes…
What Crissy misses most about social dancing and ATOMIC specifically are the instructors and people, dearly. Explaining, “I like what they bring to the floor, their moves, creativity, taste in music, use of space and the stories that they tell. It’s what inspires me to hit the floor.”
“For me this quarantine has been a long spiritual lent. I have refocused myself on my family, work and tons of prayer. Although I have not been back to ATOMIC in person since the latest closures, I have done some live stream classes and I hope to be back in studio by May! I have nothing but thank you’s for all oof the instructors and DJ’s that have donated their talents during this pandemic to help others stay healthy, connected, and in positive spirits during these difficult times. I was doing more zoom lessons especially at the beginning, but following a recent hiatus, I am thankful that the time is approaching to take up classes again! I am super excited about what more I will be able to do on the dance floor. I am always drawing on the lessons I’ve learned and I am constantly thinking about the advise of my instructors such as focusing on connection, posture, dancing through each move and more.”
Filled with a joyous zest for life and dance Crissy continues,”I really missed ATOMIC and I have realized some things since being away. Firstly, for those people who I have been fortunate enough to have exchanged social media info with before our lives were so greatly altered, I have realized what truly amazing people you all are. You are great people first and then extraordinary dancers!. Secondly, it was really easy to meet new people and connect with friendly faces at ATOMIC. Since the pandemic I have come to realize that the best friendships and partnerships require more investment (of self and effort). Thirdly, you can adapt or be trapped; I have had many a conversation with friends that love dance but are not into the Zoom thing. Our connections with each other are what keep us as a community afloat and we have changed our beloved dance space by not being there. (Myself included). Although we are getting closer to a time where we could all be back in full force, it will be thanks to those who were able to adapt and build connections via this virtual way of dancing… A big thank you to everyone at ATOMIC behind the scenes and on the floor!!”
While many people caught up on home repairs and other projects that had been on many a ‘To-do’ list for far too long, one of Crissy’s alternate activities while unable to frequent the studio has been landscaping. Recounting the transition to her place-holding social dance substitute over lockdown, she laughs to herself out loud, and explains “I know it sounds funny, but pruning large olive tree monsters that grew into giants over this past year has kept me in good shape, although honestly it has been no easy task. Despite discovering a new hobby, she has no plans of trading it in for her beloved dancing days in the foreseeable future. Emphatically asserting “I just need to dance more often. Get back into it.” Which is something she is very eager to doing soon.
Her thoughts on what dance studios and festivals should do to make dancers feel more safe and comfortable as they return to dance, Crissy suggests using the outside space, (ideally polished concrete or epoxy so better for shoes). She also notes that during warm up a lot of footwork is done that doesn’t require partnering, so maybe there could be more footwork classes that are socially distanced. She also adds, “We need more teams. I stopped streaming classes but if I had been placed on a team where I knew everyone from the start I think I would have been more compelled to participate much more.”
While many picked up a new skill such as crafting or baking bread while in lockdown, during this year of so much change and new norms Crissy has learned that she can adapt to just about anything for the purpose of taking care of the people she cares about. Adding, “It has made me realize that I can do the same in all aspects of my life if I put my mind to it.”
While reminiscing on how the past years events have changed her, Crissy reflects… “To steal an album title from Harry Connick Jr. the ‘Time Alone With My Faith’ has been priceless. It has molded and shaped me, but it is a two step process that requires a faith demonstrated in action. It’s my time for my faith to be present.” Crissy is best described as a force of energy, admirer of the human experience and a captivated, human child of God. Crissy’s favorite saying is “It rains on the just and the unjust.” Further elaborating, “It reminds me we live in a very unpredictable, ever-changing, untimely wild world, and as a result grace and woes can befall us. It’s slightly refreshing to know that we don’t cause everything that occurs, but it is also convicting to live out our life’s purpose at every moment.” Clearly one of Crissy’s purposes in life is to spread genuine warmth and also to dance, dance, dance!
If Crissy could share one thing with all the leads out there, it would be: “Leads. you are the priceless catalysts on the dance floor and you are the priceless catalysts in this pandemic. Continue to invite the follows like you do out on the dance floor.” Summarizing with, “The top three things that I can’t wait to resume doing once pandemic restrictions officially ease are”, (wait for it…) “Dance! Dance! Dance!” Accentuating every exclamation mark, clearly Crissy is dedicated to dancing and is itching to get back in studio and hit the dance floor like the rest of the community!