So you’ve made the first step in pursuing your interest in online dance classes, and notice that there is no shortage of dance genres, styles, and ability levels. You’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe you’re thinking that this was a big mistake. Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. Take a deep breath and read these quick tips to find the best online dance classes for you!
Assess Your Abilities
If you’re a beginner, starting with an advanced hip-hop dance class might not be the best choice. Most dance classes are separated by skill level: beginner, intermediate, advanced, or all levels. Some studios will also offer adult classes, “pre-professional” classes which are often for teens and young adults, or classes for those with limited ability. Assessing your abilities before taking a class is one of the best ways to choose the right one for you.
A self-audit when it comes to your personal dance needs is a lot easier than you might think. Breaking it down into a few simple metrics can make your decision process easier.
- Have you ever taken dance classes before?
- Do you feel comfortable with basic dance terminology?
- Do you have a good baseline of strength and cardio capabilities?
- Do you feel like you have a good understanding of your body’s range of motion?
If one or more of these questions is answered with a “no,” then you’re going to want to select a beginner dance course. Try to find a class that starts with warm-ups, light conditioning, and stretching to avoid injuries. Some dance classes will jump right into choreography, so if there’s a class you want to take that begins without a warm-up, feel free to pause and pivot to a different online class beforehand. Most instructors will address this as a crucial part of the class, but it’s good to remember that the power is in your hands! When you’re starting your dance journey you’ll want a beginner’s approach to understanding form, learning fundamental steps, and easing into a full range of motion to instill good habits and style early on in your career.
Beginner’s classes can also be helpful for those who consider themselves experienced dancers. If you have a background in dance and are looking for a brush-up, beginner’s courses can be valuable reminders of form and technique. It is also a good idea to take conditioning classes designed specifically for dancers and to do cross-training. You’ll need that strength training to protect yourself from injury, whether you are returning to dance after some time off, or if you are simply supporting a sustainable dance practice!
Then, of course, dancers who consider themselves intermediate and/or advanced may want to focus on more specific areas of dancing, like technique and progressions, or try a new style, or new dance instructor. Part of learning is feeling challenged, and it’s important to push yourself by learning new things in each dance class, or that you’re repeating and practicing skills that you have yet to master. This is why it’s so important to have an honest assessment of your abilities before you pick your online dance classes!
If you start a class and feel like it might be out of your comfort zone, try sticking it out for a little and seeing what you can gain from it. Then, if you feel like it’s not the right class for you, switch to a more, or less advanced class!
Chase Your Dreams!
A ballerina and hip-hop dancer are both dancers in the broad sense of the term, but they might have very different goals and desires in their respective disciplines. You need to figure out what you want to get out of online dance classes. Whether you’re looking for a career, hobby, or you’re just interested in some fun choreography—there are classes out there that can cater to your needs.
You know yourself better than anyone else out there: What are your passions? How would you like to see yourself as a dancer? Who inspires you in the world of dance, and what dance style speaks to your heart and soul? Don’t feel the need to try something random just because you heard that doing so is beneficial. While that can certainly be the case, when it comes to hard physical work and mental dedication like dance lessons, it’s often ideal to have a goal in mind. That doesn’t mean that goal can’t change or be a moving target. Rather, let it serve as an inspiration for finding your own path in dance.
Be Open to The Community
No one is an island, as the saying goes, and at our core, we are social beings. Just because an online dance class isn’t in person, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t personal, and personable. It’s still a social interaction that allows you to grow and develop as a dancer, often times with world-renowned dance instructors and professional dancers with who you might not get time with otherwise. And because the World Wide Web has made tons of information available to us, our connections and degrees of separation have gotten tighter. Chances are, there is someone out there in your social circles, whether in person or online, who has had an experience with online dance classes, and can help you navigate the process.
Remember, just because new technology is involved, it doesn’t mean that our traditional methods of communication are gone! Far from it: The online world allows us access to new voices and perspectives but we still need to use good old-fashioned communication skills to make the most of that information. This means asking questions in person, on social media, via dance forums, or email. It also means making observations and listening to the opinions of others in the dance community.
Treat your dance classes as you would any other class. With online dance classes, we can engage with such an educational world from the comfort of our own homes. Consider looking for an online platform that not only offers dance tutorials and lessons but also has live classes and feedback via in-app interaction with choreographers and other students (like CLI Studios). Make sure to utilize every aspect of the modern miracle of online dance instruction and remember that the journey of personal enrichment through education is best experienced when all the tools of virtual learning are being used and enjoyed.