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  • Writer's pictureMaples Academy of Dance

Take Virtual Dance Classes Like a Pro!

In a time where physical distancing and isolation have become the new normal, dancers everywhere are struggling to stay connected to the thing they love: Dance. With physical distancing protocols in place, at least for the time-being, taking regular classes seems next to impossible, but it’s not! Cue online dance.

We live in an era of enhanced technology that allows us to stay connected, not just to the people we love, but the activities we love, too. Transitioning to online dance can seem odd at first, but before you know it, you’ll find your virtual dance groove!

Teachers around the world know that doing class in your living room will never replace the complete package of taking class in a studio, with your peers and teacher right there next to you, offering tips, encouragement, in-person demonstrations and corrections. But in this time of physical distancing, virtual dance is the next best thing!

Benefits of Taking Online Dance Classes

benefits of virtual dance

Physical Benefits Isolation doesn’t mean you have to be inactive. Physical activity, in general, helps improve overall energy levels throughout the day. On top of that, dance is a great activity for cardiovascular endurance, as it strengthens the heart and lungs. It also helps improve and maintain regular muscular strength and endurance, and increases flexibility, balance and coordination. Overall, dance is a fun way to get yourself moving, while experiencing a huge list of health benefits for participants of all ages.

Mental Benefits – Dance is known to boost confidence, improve mental function and promote overall mental well-being. During and after class, dancers benefit from the positive reinforcement they receive during class and the feelings of accomplishment they experience. There is also the added benefit of stimulating the brain through the learning process, while also connecting the brain and body through movement.

Connections – No schools, no play dates, no fun (so it seems!)…it can leave all of us feeling a bit disconnected. Virtual dance live classes and pre-recorded classes give dancers a chance to stay connected to their dance friends, teachers, and studio. This is a great mood booster and a wonderful way to feel united and supported.

Excitement - We all need something to look forward to. The power that feelings like excitement, enthusiasm and joy possess are great. They improve mood, release endorphins, reduce stress levels, improve the immune system, and create an overall state of well-being that lasts far beyond the length of a dance class.

Make the Most of Your Virtual Dance Training

Come ready to dance – You wouldn’t show up for ballet class at the studio wearing jeans and a crop top. Just like a class in the studio, take time to put on your dance clothes, dance shoes, do your hair for class, and even fill up your reusable water bottle to help you stay hydrated during your virtual dance session.

Minimize distractions - Treat your virtual class like a normal class in the studio. Keep your cell phone off/in another room, don’t stop mid-way through class to sit on your couch or grab a snack from the kitchen, and while we love your pets (and we bet they love to dance, too!) try to keep them safely in a different room so you don’t trip over them.

Set yourself up properly - In the first few minutes of class, your teacher will make sure you are set up properly. This includes giving you time to gather and set up any props you’ll need to help you during the lesson, and go over any class rules and important information you will need for the class.

Keep yourself muted - Your mic will likely be muted by the instructor during live classes, but if not, mute yourself. This will ensure background noise from your house won’t be a distraction to everyone on the live stream. There will be times your teacher might un-mute you to chat, which is fine, but when you’re learning or performing your class exercises, your microphone should be on mute.

Learn your hand signals – Because your mic is muted during live sessions, your teacher will rely on hand signals to interact. Things like “Thumbs up for good” or “Raise the roof if you’re ready”. Your teacher will review his or her hand signals with you and say them frequently during the class.

Classes will be a shorter – Dancing at home can be difficult, unless you have a studio in your basement! Full across the floor exercises and even some centre exercises are not possible due to safety issues. As such, you’ll notice classes are not a full hour, with most classes running about 30 minutes in length. Make the most of your class because your teachers will be putting in as many exercises and choreography as possible to give you the most benefit!

Do your best with what you have – The room size and flooring you have at home are likely different than you’re used to at the studio. If you need to modify something to fit your space or ensure you can execute your combinations safely, do so. Can’t fit a grande battement in your bedroom? Replace it with a tendu or petite battement. No room for floor work? Improvise using the arm movements, directions, layers, and textures that your teacher gives you, but stay standing in your space, getting creative with your foot work.

Have Fun! – This goes without saying! We all need some fun right now. The positive benefits of dance are so valuable, so take time to smile, enjoy the music, embrace the movement, and know that in no time, you’ll be back in the studio dancing again!

Don’t miss out on our awesome virtual dance classes! Sign up for our 8-week program today!


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