#SocialDisDancing: A Look at the Arnold Sisters' At-Home Dance Life

April 8, 2020

From the most famous choreographers to the newest of dance newbies, we’re all going through the same pandemic-related struggles right now. So, how are the pros coping with it all? To find out, we’ve started a new interview series, #SocialDisDancing. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be catching up with some of your favorite dancers to see how they’re step-ball-changing their way through this unprecedented moment in dance history. Today, we caught up with our favorite set of sisters from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars”: Lindsay Arnold Cusick, Jensen Arnold Hill, Brynley Arnold, and Rylee Arnold.

(Be sure to check out their takeover of
our Instagram
for an inside peek at their day in the #SocialDisDancing life.)

Where are you spending this period of social distancing?

Jensen: We’re all in Utah right now. Rylee and Brynley are at home with our parents, and Lindsay and I both live close by.

Lindsay: It’s definitely crazy here, but everything’s so spaced out that it’s easy to keep your distance. We’ve all been staying home for about three weeks now. But it feels like five months!

Have you all been getting along?

Lindsay: Aside from our usual sisterly disagreements, we have! We all know how to give each other space, which is super important. Brynley and Rylee are currently the only ones actually living together; Jensen and I just come over all the time.

What were you up to right before social distancing was advised?

Lindsay: I was on tour with “DWTS.” We had 25 shows left when they called us and said that after one last show, we would all have to fly home. With tour, I was constantly on the move, so it felt weird to have everything halt so quickly.

Jensen: I was working the professional dancer life—doing jobs, going to auditions. I was also traveling with World of Dance Convention and had some dates for that planned for April, so that’s where I would be now. It’s sad, but obviously very smart to be practicing social distancing.

Brynley: I’ve been in nursing school, so switching our classes over to Zoom has been a drastic change. But I also have a wedding to plan, so it’s nice to be able to stay home and get ahead as much as I can. Hopefully by the time we get married in October, everything will have calmed down.

Rylee: I was in the peak of my ballroom season, and had just finished nationals. They had to compress the whole event into one day, so it was crazy. I’ve gone from dancing literally all day every day, to practically nothing at all. I’ve been doing some classes on Zoom, though.

What do your days look like right now?

Lindsay: I think it’s important to keep up a routine, because it’s a crazy time, and it’s hard to stay sane when you’re just sitting at home. We cleaned out our garage to make a little at-home gym space. We’ve also been focusing a lot on our YouTube channel. We’ve been apart for the past six months, so it’s been hard for all of us to create content for it, but now obviously that’s not an issue. We’ve been filming dance challenges to keep people moving while they’re stuck at home. And TikToks, because that’s definitely the thing to do right now! We’re getting better at those, but definitely not perfect yet.

Jensen: Rylee’s the TikTok expert in the family, she’s had one this whole time.

Rylee: Right now, my favorite dance challenge is “Savage.”

Have you picked up any new stay-at-home hobbies?

Rylee: I play Fortnite a lot.

Lindsay: “A lot” is an understatement.

Brynley: She literally got a migraine from gaming too much!

Lindsay: I’ve been trying to get better in the kitchen, since eating out isn’t an option anymore.

Jensen: My hobby is watching every TV show there is to watch. I’m into “Outlander” right now. And we all watched the latest season of “Ozark” in two days.

Brynley: I started “Love is Blind.”

Rylee: I love that show!

What’s been the hardest part about social distancing?

Jensen: Definitely the convenience of just being able to go out to eat and get or do whatever you want. It’s been a difficult thing to stay home. But, on the other hand, we all have really enjoyed the quality time and chance to be home.

Lindsay: I miss dancing, and seeing my friends—what I consider normal work-life things. What we love about dancing and performing is the interaction with people, so missing that is tough. But luckily we’re all dancers in the family, so we can at least share that amongst ourselves.

How do you think the dance world will look once this is over?

Jensen: People won’t take human interaction for granted anymore, especially class. Dancers will be more motivated than ever to do what they love.

Lindsay: Dancers will definitely be training hard to get back in the game having had this time off. For working dancers, it may be a little competitive at first, because everybody’s going to be even hungrier to make things happen and keep their career going.

Any last words of advice for your fellow dancers?

Lindsay: Obviously, it’s more ideal to take class in a studio with a mirror and a teacher watching you. But truly hardworking dancers know that they can dance anywhere. So really go for it: take those classes, do all the challenges, push yourself even when someone’s not around to do it for you. Sometimes, especially when we’re younger, you go to dance class because your parents make you, and forget why you like it in the first place. This is a good time to realize whether you really love what you’re doing or not.

Jensen: I think this time is showing that there’s a big difference between you choosing to keep up your craft versus feeling like you have to.

Lindsay: And also, this is one of the few events that truly everyone around the world is affected by. It may be scary, but it’s also comforting to know we’re getting through it together.