Variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for your dance career. Even if you’re specializing in one dance form, training in many styles is one of the best ways to stay healthy, stay versatile, and increase your dance movement vocabulary.
That also goes for the way you train. If you took class from one instructor for the rest of your life, you would miss out on the most important parts of the learning process – making sense of a variety of information. Adding online dance classes into your in-studio routine is a great way to practice doing this.
With virtual classes, you have a library full of different chances to find the perfect instructor, you also have the space and time to practice and repeat any drills or moves at your own pace, and you can easily try out new styles without having to commit to weekly classes. When you pair that with consistent dance training, you begin to see the boundless opportunities you have to expand your skillset.
Your Perfect Instructor is Out There!
Finding the perfect class and teacher becomes much easier when you use the World Wide Web to increase your options. Here at CLI Studios, we provide access to choreographers and instructors from all over the country, and we’re growing every day! You can take a Cha Cha class from Lacey Schwimmer with other dancers that live in every time zone and hemisphere, or you can learn hip hop grooves with tWitch and practice them over and over again until you nail them.
There is so much personalization available in an online class. How can that help you? Let’s say you took an advanced contemporary class with Teddy Forance, but only had one hour to learn the choreography, and by the end of the class, you don’t feel performance-ready. That’s understandable! But if you know you’ll be taking class with an instructor over the summer and they have online classes available, you can prepare by taking their classes online before dancing with them in person.
If you’re trying to get ready for an advanced class with Teddy, you might want to start with an improv challenge of his to hear how he describes movement qualities. Then, you can take a beginner or intermediate class, and if there is any move you can’t quite get, you can work on it as much as you want. This way, when you finally take a class with your favorite instructor, you can feel more confident, and really absorb the information they give! It’s a win-win for competitive and recreational dancers alike.
Many Ways to Interact
In an in-studio class, sometimes being seen relies on standing in front. In online classes, more often than not, everyone has an equal chance of being seen. Still, you can enhance your chances of getting noticed by asking questions in the chat if it’s a live class, or by posting videos on the online platform if it’s pre-recorded.
But, sometimes the draw of the online class is that you never need to interact if you don’t want to. While the pressure of getting to the front in a large class can be exciting and may prepare you for audition settings, to really refine your technique, sometimes you need a low-stakes setting where you can really focus on the corrections and combinations being given. Then, when you’re ready, you can go into your local studio feeling confident.
Practice Whenever, Wherever, as Much as You Want!
One of the biggest benefits of virtual dance classes is the flexibility it provides. When you combine that with an in-studio practice, you have the best of both worlds! Or if you’re looking to dance more and maybe your studio is closed on weekends, or you have a club or meeting that conflicts with certain classes at your local dance studio, having the ability to take every style with as much consistency as you want is the best way to fill a schedule full of dance!
Your bedroom is the perfect place to work on your tilt and your passé for turns. You can practice certain moves or exercises over and over again, gaining strength and confidence as you go. Studio and convention classes can only go so long— typically an hour to an hour and a half. With the combination of online classes and your individualized class schedule, you can repeat and master your moves (as many times as you want).
Try Out New Styles
The variety of options in online dancing might be the best benefit to mixing up your in-studio practice. Being able to expand your training without making a long-term commitment to one specific style or instructor is one of the best ways for dancers of every skill level to try out new things and enhance their dance repertoire.
With online classes, you can miss an 8 count (or nail the choreography!) in the comfort of your own home. For example, if you’ve been wanting to learn ballroom, you can take that Cha Cha class with Lacey to get a taste for the style. Next, you can either take a new class or retake that one to practice the moves, get stronger in the style, and feel more confident in the combo. Then, when you take jazz or contemporary classes in your studio, you’ll start to notice how you have a deeper understanding of your arms, or how you can better attack your pas de bourrées and sharper combos with some of that Cha Cha energy!
In general, the best dance practice is going to be the one that works for YOU. Combining in-person and online dancing is the best of both worlds, and really allows you to fine-tune the skills you want to work on as a dancer, regardless of your daily schedule.