“I guess I looked at quarantine like more of a break from school and the normal life, so kind of like a reset. ”– Sarah Ward
Sarah Ward is a junior at Merrimack College and a member of the Merrimack dance team. She had just begun the second semester of her freshman year at the college when the pandemic hit.
The interview begins with general questions related to Ward’s experiences in the early months of the pandemic. Ward describes her academic experiences with the transition to online learning for all classes as well as her personal experiences in lockdown. She also details how the pandemic affected the Merrimack dance team and her experiences as an athlete over the previous two years.
Jenna Bednarz: How did the initial outbreak affect your season or training at the time?
Sarah Ward: So I was on the competition team for the dance team at Merrimack that spring of freshman year, and so we were training to go to Daytona for nationals, which was in, I think it was the end of March or early April, around Easter time, that we were supposed to go to Daytona. We had our whole routine all perfected and everything, and then we weren’t able to go, so that was definitely hard, because you look forward, the whole season, to go on this trip and we weren’t able to perform the dance that we’d been practicing for almost a year at that point. So that was tough. And then that whole summer, we usually practiced over the summer and we weren’t able to have any practices, obviously, which made it hard to kind of keep up with my exercise routine, because I usually use dance and practice with the team as my workout.
JB: Yeah, how was the season different the following year, sophomore year I guess, in the difference with COVID, did it still affect the season?
SW: So, trying to think, there were no athletic games I don’t think, sophomore year. So we perform at the football and basketball games and we weren’t able to. Yeah I’m trying to think, I’m getting confused with this year. We weren’t able to perform at any of them and we had less practice times because the gym hours were so specific that we couldn’t get any time in the gym for our team, so we were only able to practice I think it was twice a week for an hour really late at night, which was hard when we usually have like four days for two hours each, or probably more than that once it got close to game days. It was hard because we didn’t really have anything to look forward to, I guess, or to choreograph for, because we obviously weren’t doing the games, so the practices, I guess kind of weren’t as fun as they usually are.
The interview was conducted on Zoom in North Andover, Massachusetts on November 17th, 2021, by Jenna Bednarz.
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.