Whether you’re a beginner who’s just starting out or an advanced dancer looking for in-depth training, consider your dance goals now within reach.
For you that always wanted to dance, but you don’t have many options for dance lessons in your area, or you are still not confident returning back to a studio.. you can really make the most out of online classes and workshops. They are really fun! Mastering online classes though, can be really, really tough...
If you’ve taken a dance class online before, you’re probably aware of some of the challenges learning virtually can bring. Spotty connections, not enough physical space, and interruptions from family members can easily affect how much you learn from the class. After teaching, spectating, and dancing in a month worth of classes, here are our tips for making the most of your online dance classes.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to just about anything – especially dance. And while you can learn all the necessary skills in the studio, practicing outside of the classroom is what will really help your dancing excel. But improving your dance skills at home takes discipline and focus. To learn how to take your skills beyond the studio and enhance your development, here are 10 tips on how you can easily improve your dance skills in the comfort of your own home.
One issue we often hear from our teachers is that they can’t always see 100% of the students in their class. Make sure that your camera is far enough away from where you’re dancing that your whole body is visible, and that you adjust the camera up or down depending on whether you’re stretching on the floor or up on your feet doing a combo. For younger students, we recommend that a parent stays close by in order to help with any computer issues so the dancer can focus on dancing!
Not only that, but be aware of your background. A sunny window might seem like a great spot to dance in front of, however it causes the camera to go dark and prohibits the teacher from seeing the dancer properly. Choose a spot without a bright background, and preferably a blank wall so the teacher can properly see what’s going on.
Part of the fun of dance classes is being able to hang out with your friends beforehand! While not always possible, we recommend that dancers join the Zoom chat 5-10 minutes before their class is supposed to start. This gives enough of a buffer time in case of technical issues or missing equipment (like shoes or a water bottle), and gives you a chance to catch up quickly with your friends before class starts.
While this may not be possible for all households, find a space in your house that you can dedicate to taking dance classes. Move all the furniture out of the way, check the internet strength, and test your camera to make sure everything is good to go when you’re in class. If possible, choose a room or space away from any distractions like the kitchen, TV, front door, or any spaces where the rest of the family hangs out. Unlike the dance studio where it’s a closed environment, it’s easy to get distracted when you’re dancing from home. It’s up to the whole family to make sure that everyone has a chance to concentrate when taking online classes, whether or not they’re in dance!
A great way to make sure you keep focused on the class is by using a pair of wireless headphones connected to the laptop or other device you’re using to take classes. Wireless headphones allow you to adjust the volume so you can hear the teacher and the music, and can help block out unwanted noise from the rest of the family. If you do go the wireless headphones route, make sure they’re fully charged, and test to make sure they’ll stay on during turns or any other high intensity moves so you’re not chasing a rogue earbud while the class is going on!
When you’re in the studio, it’s easy to talk and tell your teacher if you have any questions, need them to repeat themselves, or if you’re ready to start dancing. Virtual classes make this a bit more challenging. Make sure you use your hands to communicate when the teacher asks a question. Understand everything that’s going on? Throw a thumbs up or “ok” sign! Not too sure about something? Circle your hands in a “repeat” motion or give a thumbs down. Your teacher will let you take yourself off mute to ask any more questions without disrupting the rest of the class.
Social distancing is hard. Being cooped up at home can make the days blend together and seem endless. Setting dance goals for yourself is a great way to keep track of time and become a better dancer while you’re outside of the studio. Have you always wanted to be able to do the splits? Increase your strength to be able to hold those amazing tilts? Hold your balance for endless turns? Now is a great time to work towards those goals!
Most of the virtual classes we offer at Greta Leeming Studio of Dance are focused on strengthening the fundamentals rather than teaching completely new things. This is so that our dancers come back stronger and more flexible, and lessens the risk of injury. If you feel like the class is not challenging enough, try setting an intention for the class. Write it down on a whiteboard and keep it by your computer screen so you can look at it and remember what you’re focusing on. Some ideas include focusing on your turnout, high demi-pointe, beautiful pointed toes, or that your core is engaged throughout class. Set a new intention every class for variety!
Online classes can be done at home without the pressure of being in a big class – so have fun! Rewind as much as you need to get the choreography and movement right, and don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s a learning process: you won’t see immediate results.
Because online classes are done anywhere, there isn’t as much accountability to take classes regularly, so have a friend come over and learn together. At the end of the day, dancing is most fun with other people!
Your body is your most important tool! Stretching and strength training your body will keep it healthy, strong, and flexible. It will help you improve your dancing by making you more flexible and increasing your range of motion.. In the studio, things are so busy that it can be hard to find the time or space to stretch, but being at home gives you the perfect opportunity to take the time to stretch after class! It will also reduce the risk of injuries like pulled muscles.
The best way to get the most out of a choreo class is to take it more than one time: just because you took it once, it doesn’t mean you mastered it. It can take multiple run-throughs to understand the movements and build muscle memory. Get to know the choreo so well that you could perform it without looking at the screen. (PS: look at yourself in a mirror. Don’t be shy – you’ll immediately see what needs to improve.)
Just follow these tips to keep levelling up, every. Single. Day.
At Flamencista you can find a variety of dancewear options that will keep you comfy while practising at home but also enhance your performance.
Whether you are a beginner, advanced or professional dancer you can find a product that suits your needs, or customise it to your taste!
From warm up knits, and soft ballet shoes, to flamenco dresses and castanets, order your dance buddies in time for your next class.
|Soft Ballet Shoes||Leotards||Warm up Knits|
|Flamenco Shoes||Flamenco Skirts||Castanets|
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There are tons of dance classes available online. Some of them offer classes later in the evening..
Please find below a list of Flamencista recommendations:
Maestros Flamenco, Spain
Flamenco Rueda, Vrilissia, Greece
Flamenco Contra Tiempo, Peristeri, Greece
Naranjita Flamenco, Orange, California USA
Furia Flamenca, MD, Washington USA
The Flamenco Centre "Tomas Dietz", Canberra, Australia
Amena Dance Company, Alberta, Canada
World Dance Company, Sweden - Kungsbacka
Alma de Espana Flamenco Company & School, Victoria, Australia
Maria Osende Flamenco, Halifax, Canada
Escuela Carmen de las Cuevas, Granada, Spain
Maria Vega Flamenco dancer, London,UK
Mozaiko Flamenco/Kasandra “La China”, Vancouver, Canada
Rina Orellana Flamenco, Los Angeles, USA
Claudia de la Cruz Flamenco Institute, Santa Ana, CA, USa
Senes Flamenco, Melbourne, Australia
Espacio Flamenco PDX Brenna McDonald, Portland, Oregon USA
Amor De Dios, Madrid, Spain
Escuela de Baile Nuria Garcia, London,UK