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Introduce yourself within a sentence.
I run a Bollywood Dance Company that focuses running fundraisers/charity events to support local and global causes.

What is the most challenging part of your life in this time of crisis?
Having to be isolated from my family (parents, sister & nephews) and students as well as having my business 95% shutdown overnight. Being a close-knit family, it is highly difficult not to have regular human interaction. Having high-risk parents and only being allowed to see them at their doorway when I drop supplies is heartbreaking. In terms of my business, the entire arts industry has been shut down. Dance classes that we provide are not only for physical health, but mental health as well have stopped. Many attendees are left feeling that the one activity that kept them mentally stable has been revoked. The frequent fundraisers that we conduct through our classes and events have come to a halt, leaving so many humans left without these funds. The causes that we support include everything from sexual abuse recovery to natural disaster aid. Overnight we have had to stop running these charity events, which means that affected individuals are in more need on top of the effects of COVID-19. The general loss of business income has also been a great challenge as my husband and I have had to adjust to one income.

What is your guiding light every day that makes you smile?
A lot of my students are still highly motivated which inspires me to continue my teaching work. We have moved our dance classes online, so it is accessible for our students and others globally. The online classes that we conduct still provide the physical wellbeing benefits as well as having a reasonably positive effect on mental health. The program we use allows our students to see and communicate with each other so they can still maintain the connections and relationships they have built over time. Being able to see the power and benefits of that human connection (even with limitations) makes me smile.

If you can share a source of hope with someone in need, what would it be?
The reactions to COVID-19 are so varied depending on the individual. For me personally, I try to listen to positive podcasts for general self-balance and also ones from scientists who touch on the factual elements of the situation.


Here are some stories of the people around us
who are facing these times of crisis with hope and determination


Ilse & Christian




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