Dancing Smarter Online
Author: Leah Van Lambaart Date Posted:22 April 2020
Dancing Smarter Online
Moving our dance classes online is a learning curve for everyone. As parents and teachers become familiar with technology, students are adapting to different learning environments. We are all learning how to navigate a new world of online dance. While this term is challenging, it allows dancers to learn new styles, build confidence and strengthen dance communities.
Here are a few ways to dance smarter online…
S - Safe Space
Before beginning any class, set up your home studio. Ensure your dance space is safe by clearing furniture, making note of lighting above you and picking the appropriate flooring for your style of dance. Carpet may be appropriate for ballet or jazz, and an inexpensive timber board from your local hardware store (or dads shed) is great for tap class. Be reminded that concrete is never appropriate for dance as there is an increase in injury from dancing on such hard surfaces.
Pick a space that is also quite and free from distraction. Chat to your family, asking them to kindly minimise interruption during your class. This will help you keep focus and attention.
M - Media
It is amazing how many incredible platforms you can engage with online. There is so much opportunity to learn from talented teachers around the world. If your expanding your classes, participate in those that are taught from reputable teachers. Other dancers are brilliant to watch, although may not understand the level of difficulty required for their moves. Experienced teachers understand diverse levels in classes and will be able to adjust accordingly, reducing chance of injury. The Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company and CLI studios offer amazing online classes that you can utilise to expand your skills during this time. An opportunity to learn new and stimulating repertoire.
A - Appearance
Just as you would dress when attending class face to face, your outfit should allow your teacher to see the way you move. Many schools have a dress code for classes and following this it is a way of showing your teacher respect. This includes making sure your hair is tidy, and you are wearing appropriate attire such as tight-fitting clothing and the correct shoes. If you are unsure of what it suitable for your class, get in contact with your school or teacher before attending.
Dressing for each class also helps you get into the mood. We all feel more like a ballerina when our hair is in a bun!
R - Respect
Weather your class is face to face or online, punctuality is essential. Log into your online platform early and use this time to warm up. Once the class begins, show respect to your peers and teachers just as you would in your regular classes. Minimising talking (or placing your device on mute), look at your teaching when he or she is talking and maintain concentration during your classes.
Keep in mind that filming or taking photos is not appropriate and notify your teacher if you are unable to make it to the class. Your teachers love to see your face in class and value your attendance.
Laptop, iPad, phone or TV are great options for taking your online class. Remember to have your camera on and utilise your hand signals (such as waving, thumbs up or arm up) if you have any questions for your teacher. Remember to have your device charged or plugged into your power source to avoid any mid class cut outs.
Place your device on a desk or chair rather than the floor as this will help your teacher see you effectively and minimises your device from moving around when jumping.
Your teachers are superheros but remember many of them are new at teaching in an online platform. If they’re having trouble, be patient. They are doing their very best to help give you excellent classes.
E- Expand your skills
You may have a bit more time on your hands this term. It is a great time to try a new style of dance. You may be interested in learning more about the muscles that help you dance or even building strength in new ways, such as Pilates or yoga. There are some great YouTube channels, books and phone apps to help you learn. Get your mum, dad or dance teacher to help you choose a suitable platform for you to expand your skills.
Your body will appreciate not being pushed 24/7 and there should be no negative feelings towards having downtime and relaxing. Your body will recover better and feel stronger with appropriate rest. Hang out with your siblings, read a book or watch your favourite TV show. There is often internal pressure to be doing something productive, but it isn’t always necessary.
Although we are distancing, stay connected in other ways. Supporting your dance community during this time is essential. Give back to your incredible teachers by taking their classes. Your dance friends, teachers and peers are all in the same position. Lets all help each other grow, create and dance our way through isolation.
Stay safe everyone,