How to Find the Best Dance Tutorials For Beginners

Online dance instruction, like the kind offered by CLI Studios with both on-demand and weekly live classes, is becoming more popular and for good reason! Following the pandemic, many dancers realized that the online interactive format centered around feedback and personal development was unbeatable when it came to progressing your dance technique at your own pace. 

As a beginner, live classes can be paramount in many ways, but can be intimidating! With online classes, you can learn from the best, have the option to ask questions directly in a less intimidating way (Zoom chat!), and if it’s a pre-recorded video, you can slow down, mirror the video how you want, and pause at any time. Also, many instructors will ask you to film yourself doing the combo if you want even more feedback, so you get ample time to perfect your moves before showing them to anyone!

And, as a true, true beginner, or as someone who considers themselves to have two left feet and the most… unique rhythm, let’s say, you don’t have to worry about mirrors, other students, or anything else that may have stopped you from dancing before— but you still get to feel like part of a community, which is central to why humans love dance in the first place! Can you say, the best of both worlds?

Screenshot of Twitch teaching a CLI Studios class

Defining Terms

First of all, what is a dance tutorial? Simply put, a dance tutorial is an instructional video relating to a specific field of dance, or set of goals within the broader context of learning dance. Dance tutorials have been around for a very long time, from the written choreography of famous masters from the past like Martha Graham or Marius Petipa, to the mid-20th century televised dance classes of Alicia Markova, a dance tutorial can come in many forms.

Today, the internet is full of tutorials from many dancers and choreographers in just about any style that you can imagine, so finding the right tutorial for beginners is more a question of working through the vast saturation of media available.
Here at CLI we make it easier by organizing classes by style, level, and offer collections that organize by other themes like Throwback Jams or The First Step, our collection for beginner dancers.

What Are Your Goals?

If you are looking for a broad understanding of dance, from ballroom to street dance, ballet to Bollywood, then casting a wide net in regards to dance tutorials isn’t such a bad idea. But that can be a little overwhelming for some beginners. Many beginning dance students have a sense of what their preferred interests are, so it can often be appropriate to find ground floor instruction in a specific style of dance. 

For example, if you have an interest in ballroom dancing, then a good place to start cultivating that interest would be with a beginner’s ballroom tutorial which will often take you through the basic steps of various ballroom styles like the waltz, the foxtrot, or the tango. From their you can “graduate” to more complex dance classes and learn choreography inspired by those fundamentals. From here the student has a developing repertoire and personal glossary of movement to draw on as they deepen their education.

Keeping your goals in mind can help you to choose the best type of tutorial for what you want.

Two dancers in a passé at a ballet barre

Start With The Basics

Even the most complex dance forms are built on fundamentals that can be broken down and learned by just about anyone. 

When considering dance tutorials for beginners, it’s helpful to know yourself and what you want out of a class. Are you active? Can keep up with cardio and conditioning, but the rhythm and flow of movement is what you’re looking to learn? In that case, beginner classes that teach choreography in hip-hop, jazz, or jazz funk, might be a great place for you to start, since they can be physically demanding but the hardest parts are often how you marry your movement to the music. Then when you’re ready you can move onto more challenging intermediate choreography. 

Or are you not very active, and are looking to dance as a way to get moving? Mindful movement classes, follow-along warm-ups, or true beginner courses with the foundational steps might be good for you! With the wealth of classes online, you’ll be sure to find an instructor and style of class that you vibe with.

Check out our Styles page to learn more about the different genres of dance and styles of classes that  you can get started in here at CLI!

Brian Friedman wears a hat

Who Are Your Heroes?

If there is a particular dancer, choreographer, or genre that you are drawn to, the chances are very high that you will be able to find a tutorial out there relating specifically to your interests. If you look up to a dancer on Instagram, find out if they have online dance lessons. 

[Tip: CLI has classes from over 300+ world-renowned choreographers so chances are you can find your favorite one there.]

Take the great Isadora Duncan: There are still many people dedicated to retaining her legacy as a dancer. So a beginning dance student nearly a century later can still watch tutorials on her method and style. This example can apply broadly to any aspect of the history of dance, from folk dances of ancient Africa to modern music video choreography. The information is out there!

The task at hand for the beginner is to find a course of study that leads from the simple, like learning the basic forms of ballet for instance, to the complex, like appreciating the difference between the Imperial Ballet of Russia and the work of George Balanchine.

Are any of the dancers that you look up to already a part of our CLI family? Check out our instructors page to find out.

Ready to start? Check out The Best Dance Tutorials For True Beginners

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