In global crisis, some hoard toilet paper, some tins of soup, and some hoard pointe shoes!
In typical "show must go on" fashion, Hunter area dance schools have adapted quickly to the recent COVID-19 disruptions, allowing passionate students to continue their training via the popular online platform Zoom.
For many, dance classes are a physical, mental, emotional and social necessity: the highlight of a young ballerinas' day, and much-needed me-time for a busy parent.
Pandemic or no-pandemic, humans all over the world crave their moment to feel the music, connect with their bodies, and express their artistic nature.
Following a tidal wave of dance content being made available online, prestigious Novocastrian dance schools, such as The National College of Dance, The Dance Establishment, and Newcastle Dance Academy have also made the shift, promising to adjust the dance class format to an online setting, and continue caring for their dance community.
The National College of Dance in Lambton were ahead of the curve in their move to the online classroom. Teachers noticed their class numbers dropping in early March, amid COVID-related fears.
They decided to act quickly, understanding that they could provide some stability and inclusivity to students throughout a stressful period.
"Already a few weeks ago, we started to see that parents were keeping their kids at home - from school and from dancing - and we wanted to offer a way for them to continue their classes in a safe environment," recounts NCD CEO Vicki Morgan.
"I immediately purchased six laptops for each of our ballet studios and started setting up Zoom accounts. Three days later, the shutdowns began, and amazingly, we were ready to make the transition."
The school's creative response to the roller-coaster of shifting of government restrictions has been inspired by similar solutions employed by dance schools and companies overseas. Morgan says that international teaching networks on Facebook have provided a platform to learn from the advice of other dance institutions dealing with the same concerns.
The initiative has also provided parents with a few welcome hours of peace, offering a release of pent-up "heebie jeebies" for young students stuck inside.
For parents, the adjustment to quarantine measures has not been made easier with the added responsibility of managing multiple home-school timetables, and focused online dance classes have provided a refreshing escape for many.
"The response from the parents and students has been overwhelmingly positive," Morgan says. "Dance seems to be one of the few recreational activities that has been able to make that online transition, and parents are so grateful that their kids are able to stay active and engaged with their friends."
The dedication to daily practice is clear. All over the country, garages have been fitted out with lino and furniture has been reshuffled to make space for the important routine of plies, tendus and jete's that comprise dancers' training.
Lilliana Eneliko, a Certificate III student at the National College of Dance, says that she was initially fearful at the thought of the studio closing, unsure of when they would reopen.
"Everything seemed so uncertain, no one knew when we'd actually be able to come back to dancing," Eneliko says. "I'm so thankful to the National College of Dance for making everything happen so quickly.
"It's allowed us to stay safe and healthy, while also continuing to stay engaged with dancing and keep improving from home."
Eneliko, like many students at the college, is balancing five days of dance training with distance education to complete her studies.
"I'm not going to lie, it's been a challenge having to stay in the same room 24/7 for school and dancing," she says. "But somehow the online classes really create a sense of community. Despite the quarantine, dancing still provides an escape, even if it's just for a few hours.
"Being able to come together with my friends and all work hard, regardless of the distance between us, is actually really inspiring. "
Furthermore, the staff at the National College of Dance maintain an optimistic view of the benefits that students can gain from the virtual classroom.
College teacher Jake Burden has noticed that the increase in verbalising directions that would typically be given through demonstration, has tested his students in new ways.
"It's a real challenge to articulate what I'm asking the dancers to do, without being with them in person. But, I think it's also a really positive obstacle for the students to overcome, forcing them to listen carefully and think for themselves in applying corrections.
"The focus shifts from what a step looks like, to what it should feel like, and this is great skill for a professional dancer to have. Technology is becoming increasingly present in the dance world, as a tool for advertising and education, as well as artistic expression. I think that all our dancers are going to learn so much from this experience in the long run."
(Belle Beasley is a professional dancer.)