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Over the last year, we’ve all been, in a sense, “dancing alone.” But the actual dancers in our lives have been feeling this more than anyone. Until recently, my younger sister, Audrey, has been taking dance classes from our kitchen, removing tables and chairs for a couple hours each day to create her own makeshift dance studio. She was forced to adapt to seeing her peers dance at different uncoordinated times on a Zoom screen, losing out on opportunities to attend competitions and put on dance shows that she knows and loves. A few months ago, she began attending in person classes again – but nothing was the same. A large part of dance is showing emotion on your face, and having to wear a mask at all times is just another hoop for her and her peers to jump through. From not being allowed to touch one another in group dances to performing in front of an empty theater, her experience this year has been, at best, mediocre. She and her peers have had to find the little victories in their dance season — often, as these photos represent, from outside the studio.

Staff Photographer Anna Fuder can be reached at afuder@umich.edu