• SkunkWorks Dance

Tier 3: Understanding Sacrifice

Contemporary with Skunkworks Founder Jana Bennett:

From Founder and Director, Jana Bennett:

"Yesterday, we went for broke with this combination, left our hearts on the floor as we danced in-person for what we anticipate to be the last time for a bit. As of this morning, the state of Illinois shifted into Tier 3 which mandates that all indoor group classes and recreation must be put on pause. Our Skunkworks classes have now gone back to Zoom.

In explaining what this means for my students who have found a home and safe place of refuge / exploration at Skunkworks during this pandemic, I spoke to them about the idea of sacrifice - as an artist, member of our community and as human. In this case, we have been called upon to sacrifice so others can live.

We talked about that with sacrifice can come with discomfort, imperfection and things that feel unfair, but in the end, what sacrifice is truly about is letting go of your personal needs for the sake of something else, someone else.

Not only is sacrifice a value that is important to humankind, but it is also one of the most important principles to understand as a dancer. Without sacrifice there is no unison, group work or collaboration. The communal and interpersonal aspects that make dance so enticing to learn and watch are rooted in the nature of sacrifice. You give up your ego as a dancer, so you can create and express something that touches many hearts and relates to an audience beyond yourself.

We are coming up on the national holiday of Thanksgiving where we show our gratitude for our the people and things that make up our lives. This year's holiday I feel extra lucky and thankful that I have my loving family, friends and an incredible community of dancers surrounding me. There is food on the table and I have a roof over my head. That is what I need to live.

While it makes me sad to not be able to feel the physical presence of my dancers by my side in class, and I will miss working with them in-person immensely, we are lucky we still have an avenue in which we can move and find community together for the time being.

I remind myself during the hardest moments this is temporary, and we are almost through the tunnel and into the light. We just need to push, to sacrifice a little bit longer.

Thank you to all the doctors, scientists and first responders who are on the frontlines of this virus. All of us at Skunkworks Dance are with you, and this dance is for you."

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All main photos unless otherwise credited, were taken and edited by Chloe Hamilton. 

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