Five Benefits of Online Classes

There's no safe way to have in-person classes for the time being, so let's look at the benefits of online courses.

online classes

It is unfortunate that we can't be in studios, in competitions, in recitals right now. Dancers are missing their teachers, and trust me when I tell you that teachers are missing students very much! There is a lot of grieving that needs to be done, and we need to find closure on a season that got snuffed out almost before it really got going.

I think it is important that we take the time to be upset, grieve the loss, be sad and recognize that none of this worked out the way we wanted it to. We also need to be careful that we don't get pulled down and stay in that negative space.

Here are five really good opportunities hidden within stay-at-home orders, dancing in your living room, and studios standing empty.

  1. We can focus on foundations and technique

    During a regular season we easily become very focused on performances like competitions and recitals. These are vitally important, but when we are only looking at the end result the building blocks (and our good dance technique) can suffer. Maybe the reason you can't do more than a single pirouette is because your supporting knee is bent and relaxed, causing you to hop around. Right now while you are at home you can focus on building your technique. Just imagine what an amazing dancer you will be next season if you have an extra few months of focused attention on tricks you've been hoping to perfect!

  2. It prepares us for the unexpected

    If we only ever practice our full routines in the studio, it can be very easy to become accustomed to that environemnt and flustered as soon as we are on a stage or other performance venue. Have you ever tried running your dance facing away from the mirror? Did it throw you off the first few times? That mirror and comfortable environment isn't going to be there when you hit the stage. Use your time now (and a back-yard or local park) to practice your combo in a brand new environment. It'll challenge your memory, and might even be a bit humbling at first. But if you can get your dance clean on grass, imagine how great it'll be on stage!

  3. Flexibility of time

    Timing and scheduling is one of the biggest struggles that we have in the studio. "I can't make that class, my mom's not off work until 10", "I have to be home early on Thursday nights", "I'd love to take adult dance classes but my kids are all in bed in the evenings". Online courses that are offered with flexible times make it possible to eliminate scheduling hassles. With our online courses you can download a class video and watch it when it is convenient for you. Fitting dance into your life is easier now than ever before!

  4. Look at your style and strengths

    When was the last time you focused on how you look as a dancer, the style that you naturally bring to your performance and what you are good at? While looking at the bigger picture, do you find that you are being asked to perform in ways that aren't your strongest skill set? Learning about yourself will make you a better dancer in many ways.

    • You can build on your strengths
    • You can strengthen your weaknesses
    • You can ask yourself why you prefer certain dances or styles
    • Letting teachers and choreographers know your strengths and preferences in the future will help you and them!

    Take some time in self-analysis and see what your style is and why. Figure out what strengths you have and what you wish was stronger. This can inform your chioces of online or in-person classes. You might even take this opportunity to try a dance style you haven't tried or your studio doesn't offer!

  5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder

    During the regular season it is very natural for us to get to the point that we are sick of dancing. Or we are sick of our teachers. Or we are sick of the people we are dancing with. Right now you are most likely missing them all, and so much more. Let that sink in for a bit. You miss this because you love it so much. Hang on to these feelings and treasure them. You'll want to remind yourself of this in the middle of your most stressful time next season!

At Ascension Dance we have totally re-structured and re-thought the curriculum for our online dance classes to make the best of the learning-at-home model. We certainly look forward to the days when we are in the studio again, and love all the tradition that goes along with in-person learning. For right now we are focused on providing the best training for dancers who are at home.

All this re-thinking of curriculum has opened our eyes to ways we will teach differently in the future, and we have recoginzed that online learning is will be a critical part of any forward-thinking studio from now on. We are committed to a hybrid model that allows teachers and students alike to draw on the strengths and benefits of both online and in-person learning.

Our classes are offered as pre-recorded videos that you will get access to on for a week, then they are replaced with the next week's session. This allows you to fit your dance lessons around your own schedule. It also means you can watch it and practice multiple times each week. Committed dancers should see a rapid improvement if they put in the time and effort.