A lot of dancers and dance teachers will agree that training from home doesn't feel the same as dancing in the studio with your dance family. After all, nothing can ever replace the power of a live class experience in a dance studio!
Due to the current world events, dance schools across the globe are going virtual to keep their dancers' spirits high and their bodies moving during these times of uncertainty. There's no doubt that online dance training will bring many challenges for everyone, including your dance teachers.
When faced with a challenge, it can be easy to become disheartened when you don't see the progress you want to see in the time frame you have set for yourself.
It can also be easy to lose motivation without your teacher and dance friends around you. But choosing to wait until things go back to normal may impact your dance training.
Opting out of your online program can cause you to fall behind in your training, including everything you’ve been working towards, up until this point.
Meanwhile, every dancer that continues to train via their online program will continue to progress, making it harder for you to catch up when the studio reopens again.
While online dance training is a temporary solution to dance classes in a studio setting, there are some benefits to keep up your dance training online in the meantime.
Many of us love the social interaction that comes with dancing together in a studio. It also encourages us to show up to class and work hard.
Although your classes are not running in a studio right now, you can choose to be accountable for yourself and to your dance goals whilst in isolation. We are so lucky to live in a world where technology allows us to stay connected with others. Keep in regular contact with your dance family by taking part in your online program. Why not use this platform to check in with a dance friend every now and then to make sure you are both doing what you should? Friends who dance together, stay together!
Online dance training also gives you the ability to self-pace.
Just like any learning environment, some dancers will pick up on skills, technique or choreography faster than others. The beauty of online content (such as pre-recorded video) means that you can pause, rewind and watch it as many times as you like to get it into your muscle memory. You can choose to train at a pace that works best for you.
Your dance teachers will avoid teaching new and/or advanced movement in your online classes and instead, guide you through exercises that will focus on fine-tuning your technique and build on your strength and flexibility.
The best way to get the most out of these exercises is to focus on the detail of the movement - and to practice more than once. Just because you've practiced it once, doesn't mean you've mastered it! So when the video tells you to do it 3 times, be the kind of dancer that pauses the video and repeats it 5 times! Practice makes permanent!
Another benefit to learning dance online is that it gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to try something new. Many dancers settle for their ‘comfort zone’ as it implies safety and security. When you step outside of your comfort zone, you may feel a little stressed or anxious at first – but this is not necessarily a bad thing! Stepping out into an environment that is unfamiliar pushes you into finding new ways to adapt to it. You have no idea what you’re truly capable of until you venture outside of your own little bubble. Tasking that risk, regardless of the outcome, teaches you to learn and grow from the experience.
Remember that this is a short-term situation in the big scheme of your dance training and life. Now is the chance to push forward and get ready to come back to the studio stronger than ever before. You've got this, and we've got you!