"My Life In Quarantine" with Rachel F. Gilchrist

Check out this exclusive interview with Dixie UK Ambassador Rachel Fiona Gilchrist

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How are you and your family doing? We are all keeping safe and well and have adjusted to make the best of the situation. We are enjoying quality family time and I’m also enjoying spending time with my grandparents more often than I normally do, all be it over Facetime.

What has changed in your life because of quarantine? Well everything changed pretty quickly at the start. Within a week, my dance competitions were cancelled, my dance school closed, my school closed and my academic exams were cancelled; the first year since 1888 that has happened in Scotland. It was very surreal. In short, everything I did stopped. I now am continuing school work at home, and doing all my performing arts via online Zoom chat. I normally travel a lot domestically and internationally for work but that’s all on hold just now as well.

What do you like to do to keep busy while at home? It took a few weeks to get into a new routine and find ways to do the things I love while at home. I am now filling my days with dance, acting and musical theatre classes (and, of course, school work). There have been some amazing online classes so it’s been so good working with people I’d never normally get to do regular class with. Broadway Weekends at Home and West End Workshops Live have some great musical theatre classes which are a lot of fun as well as teaching me lots of new skills. I am used to working with my acting coach, Wendy Faraone, over Skype but because most people are at home I’ve been able to join her Zoom classes which is great. I am getting to work with new people and make new friends.

As a dancer, how do you keep active? I’ve been keeping up with my regular daily exercises and I have done some Instagram takeovers sharing these. Doing online classes everyday has also really helped me stay active. The classes that have pushed me the most are the Rebecca Davies Radar Technique classes and the Briar Nolet Body Sculpt classes.

What has been the positive side of being at home? I normally do a lot of travel for dance, acting and modelling so it was strange at first having so much time at home however I have enjoyed having so much quality family time. When I’m really busy I don’t always get time just to talk with my parents and grandparents. I’ve learned a lot about my family history from that. It’s also been nice to have some downtime to catch up on TV shows I’ve wanted to watch for a while. Another real positive is it’s so much easier to eat healthy as I’m not grabbing things to eat between classes at school or dance. I have listened to some dance nutritionists in my online classes and have some good tips of how to keep this up when things get busy again.

What do you miss the most? Most definitely my dance school, Karalyn Bell School of Dance. I normally spend nearly every evening after school there so it’s been really strange not going at all. I have been doing facetime sessions with my teachers however I do miss being in the studio with them, getting corrections and developing.

What’s the one thing you can’t wait to be able to do it after it’s all over? Following on from above, I can’t wait to get back to dance class at my studio. I also can’t wait to see all the younger kids in the classes I assist with. I’ve missed them so much! I will enjoy travelling again, but only when it’s safe to do so.

Any beauty routines or fashion tips you’ve been following at home? I’ve been enjoying watching some make up tutorials on You Tube. As for fashion I have really been spending most of my time in dancewear or casual wear. I love ‘mom jeans’ and joggers with a nice crop top as the weather has been so warm.

Anything new you have picked up due to being at home? Hobbies, games, tv shows, etc... I’ve found some new musicals that I hadn’t seen before and have been learning new songs and monologues for auditions. I’ve also been enjoying shows on the new Disney Plus streaming service and loved the new season of Manifest which I had been looking forward too. My friends and I have also been doing lots of quizzes when we have our Zoom catch ups every week so I think my general knowledge must have improved!

Quarantine has been surreal in lots of ways but I have definitely tried to enjoy it and make the most of the opportunities it presented. Hopefully we will all appreciate everything even more when it’s over.