Please support the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s COVID-19 coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at gazettenet.com because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate.

Thank you for your support of the Gazette.

Michael Moses, Publisher


Sponsored by:

Dancing the ‘highlight of my day’: Amherst’s Aarti Lamberg adjusts to slower pace during pandemic

View Photo Gallery
  • Amherst Regional High School 2020 senior class president Aarti Lamberg works on an original dance outside the school. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she will miss being a teaching assistant for her World of Dance class at ARHS and her end-of-year show at Pineapple Dance School which has been canceled. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst Regional High School 2020 senior class president Aarti Lamberg works on an original dance outside the school on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she will miss being a teaching assistant for her World of Dance class at ARHS and her end-of-year show at Pineapple Dance School which has been canceled. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amherst Regional High School 2020 senior class president Aarti Lamberg works on an original dance outside the school on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she will miss being a teaching assistant for her World of Dance class at ARHS and her end-of-year show at Pineapple Dance School which has been canceled. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 5/20/2020 6:42:42 AM

Editor’s note: Over the past four years, the Class of 2020 has made their voices heard, advocating for women’s rights, against gun violence and for action on climate change. They’ve also shone in the classroom, on stages and on playing fields. And then, just as senioritis was supposed to set in, along with a season of celebration, the global pandemic struck. For the next few days, the Gazette is spotlighting students in the Class of 2020 — congratulations to all the graduates and their families.

AMHERST — Aarti Lamberg is used to having a busy and structured life, both at Amherst Regional High School, where she is the senior class president, and after school at Pineapple Dance Studio in North Amherst.

Despite being given the rare opportunity the past two months to slow down as the school and studio are temporarily closed, Lamberg said being away from her normal life has not been easy.

“I’m a very social person, so it’s been tough not being able to get a million hugs a day,” Lamberg said. 

What has kept her sane is dancing — she calls it the “highlight of my day.”

“Dance is my main passion as it brings me immense joy and allows me to freely express myself and relieve stress,” Lamberg said.

In recent weeks, she has taken online ballet classes from professional dancers, participated in Zoom dance classes with her company and competition teams, and choreographed a final solo for the high school’s World of Dance class, for which she is a teacher’s assistant.

Meanwhile, preparations for the end-of-year show and her senior solo at the Academy of Music came to an end.

“It was just as devastating to lose my last show ever with Pineapple Dance and the two competitions my team would have performed at as it was to lose the rest of my senior year at school,” Lamberg said.

At school, switching to online courses has been difficult. Lamberg said she loves learning with others in person: “I’m someone who really likes the face-to-face group discussions.”

Even with one teacher hosting a Google Hangout, and another using FaceTime for an anthropology class, most classes just have activities or readings to do posted online. “I’m struggling with motivation, but this is a shared experience, and we’ll power through it together,” Lamberg said.

Technology allows her to stay in touch with her friends, and occasionally she sees them in person. “I’m trying to abide by social distancing as much as possible,” Lamberg said.

For Lamberg, a few positives from being in quarantine have been slowing down and developing self care, such as sleeping more and honing her cooking skills.

In the fall, Lamberg said she hopes to be at Trinity College in Hartford, where she is a presidential scholar, though she won’t know for certain if she’ll be on campus.

“It’s strange I might not be able to have the freshman experience. It would be odd to have it online,” Lamberg said.

A dance movement she is learning, created by a professional dancer, speaks to this time.

“While right now we are Dancing Alone Together, I look forward to reconnecting with my Pineapple and school community in person as soon as possible,” Lamberg said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy