5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Virtual Dance Class

By Kate Feinberg Robins

If you've never taken a movement-based class on Zoom, it can sound intimidating, and maybe even impossible. After a year and a half of teaching adult ballet, capoeira, flamenco, and Pilates on Zoom, we have a few tips to share:

1. Decide who to watch.

  • Pin your teacher's video to keep it large on your screen in Speaker View.
  • Switch to Gallery View to see your classmates, yourself, and your instructor at the same time.
  • Switch back and forth as desired throughout class.

​2. Shift your position and your gaze.

  • If your screen is small, come close to watch, then go back to your space to try the movement.
  • Stay close to your screen while you move if you need to follow the instructor closely.
  • Once you understand the exercise, look in front of you at eye level instead of at your camera.

3. Position yourself for feedback or privacy.

  • If you want feedback, place your camera & yourself so your instructor can see you.
  • If you can't make all of yourself visible, ask your instructor what angle they would like to see.
  • If you'd rather not be seen, let your instructor know. If you feel comfortable doing so, position your camera so your instructor can see enough to know you're there and are following along.

4. Use your camera as a mirror.

  • If you don’t have a mirror, glance at your camera to see how your movements look.
  • Compare your own image with your instructors' and classmates' to see what you can learn about your movements.
  • To avoid developing bad habits in your posture and movement, make sure you don't look at your camera too much. Keep your gaze at eye level. 

5. Communicate with your instructor. 

  • If you have a question or comment, unmute yourself or raise your hand to ask between exercises
  • ​Ask how you can adapt an exercise for your space if it doesn’t seem to be working.
  • Let your instructor know if you want feedback or an extra demonstration.
  • If the music or instructor is too quiet or loud after adjusting your volume, then let your instructor know.
  • Keep in mind that if your instructor and classmates are moving about, it may take them a while to notice a comment in the chat.

Still not sure? Email us with your questions or comment below to share your experiences with live movement classes online!

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