Jump to content

Advantages and Challenges of Teaching Online Ballet Classes


Recommended Posts

Although not currently, I have spent a majority of my life inside a ballet studio as student, performer, teacher, and director. I applaud and admire all those in the industry who have quickly adapted to the challenges faced during the current state of things, and I had a chance to chat with Russian Masters Ballet director Asiya Lukmanova about the advantages and learning curves they have faced while transitioning to what is now the new norm. If anyone is interested, here's my interview with her.

 

𝙷𝚘𝚠 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚝 𝚌𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚗𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚎?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In current times I think yes zoom is great, the alternative would be no classes. However I really do hope that it is largely phased out when people can go back to studios! There’s no way a teacher can watch multiple students On a screen as closely as they can in class. No hands on touch for corrections, risk of injury because of less than optimal flooring etc, limitations on space. The kids also cleverly position the camera to cover up their weak spots🤣I think there’s also less performance element involved. it worries me a bit that the ‘big names’ may decide to offer online lessons and Hoover up a lot of students due to their prestige. On the one hand it’s no problem if the kids enjoy it etc but it’s likely to be to the detriment of local teachers isn’t it? (And to the student if their technique isn’t closely monitored)

  • Like 10
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Peony said:

 it worries me a bit that the ‘big names’ may decide to offer online lessons and Hoover up a lot of students due to their prestige.

This (unfortunately, in my humble opinion) seems to be the trend. And a ballerina does not a teacher make; they require completely different skillsets. I know from my own experience that I was not a good teacher at all when I was still dancing professionally. It took hours under my belt and training for me to feel - and know - that I was sharing and giving my students everything that they deserve.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with this. I won't mention any names but my DD had a lesson with a professional dancer who, to my knowledge, doesn't have any teaching qualifications, and it really didn't go very well and wasn't tailored properly to her age and experience. In fact, there were some elements that I didn't feel were safe and my DD ended up with a minor injury from pushing herself too hard.

 

On the contrary, her lessons with her local teacher on Zoom have been excellent in the circumstances and I think being able to see herself clearly on screen from every angle has helped her self-correction as well. She gets detailed corrections from the teacher as the class is fairly small and I can see very clearly that she progressed really well over the Zoom period, I think partly due to having, by necessity, to concentrate more on the basics of technique. 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience is both as a student and parent as both myself and my daughter have been taking online classes with our teacher. I've loved the fact that we've been able to continue classes during lockdown online but it is no substitute for proper classes due to flooring, lack of space, difficulty in seeing students in detail etc. I also applaud the teachers for getting things up and running so quickly (our first online class was the week after lockdown started in March) and for adapting to challenging circumstances. Small classes definitely work better online whereas larger classes tend to mean more overall feedback/corrections rather than specific, individual ones. Something that did work well though was as a relative newbie to pointe work (only done it for about 18 months), during the summer we took close up videos of my legs and feet doing some bar exercises and sent them to my teacher. She could then study them closely and give detailed feedback/corrections. All in all, students and teachers have made the best of a bad situation and I'm pleased that we've all been able to carry on dancing but am really looking forward to getting back to normal classes once this is all over!

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

as others have said there  are really a few things to consider with 'online' classes  

1. the 'follow along' class   whether that's a  video created by a teacher expressedly for this purpose  or  because  an interactive class can also be accessed  by a none interactive live stream  (as we have seen with  some Pro company classes (e.g. Ms Rojo  in her kitchen ) (or substitutes for  such  such as the classes Dan DeA  taught  from his  conservatory)  in first lockdown  - you are not going to get corrections from the one way  stream 

2. an excessively large   nominally interactive class  without a demonstrator  - meaning only the chosen few will get meaningful corrections  

3.  Interactive modestly sized classes  / classes with a demonstrator ,  or moderately sized interactive classes at Ele / Inter or above where  the teacher might mark the exercise through  ( or just give it verbally ) and then is watching the dancers as they dance it    - potentially  everyone who needs / deserves correction  and/or praise gets it   

As a dancer make it 'easy' for your teacher to give  corrections  - i.e. frame the  image so your full length is visible ( if you are using a phone or tablet  portrait orientation is best ) - in some cases using a phone and mirroring the  screen to a computer or television may be better than using  a laptop or  webcam  because of that,   chose  attire that  allows your alignment to be seen and  contrasts against your background -  also  in barre or  a pointe class  you sometimes need sacrifice  the full length  image  for the LOWER  3/4 of  your body  depending on how good  / high res your camera is ... 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Millicent said:

I have to agree with this. I won't mention any names but my DD had a lesson with a professional dancer who, to my knowledge, doesn't have any teaching qualifications, and it really didn't go very well and wasn't tailored properly to her age and experience. In fact, there were some elements that I didn't feel were safe and my DD ended up with a minor injury from pushing herself too hard.

For this reason I tend to cringe what I see (even pre-pandemia) announcements of "Master Class with Ms/Mr. Superstar!" It is inevitable that young dancers are celebrity struck and want to feel as close as possible to those they idolize, but I feel that unless said Superstar has the qualifications to teach, the class could prove to be more harmful than beneficial, especially when the class is given via camera.

 

14 hours ago, Millicent said:

On the contrary, her lessons with her local teacher on Zoom have been excellent in the circumstances and I think being able to see herself clearly on screen from every angle has helped her self-correction as well. She gets detailed corrections from the teacher as the class is fairly small and I can see very clearly that she progressed really well over the Zoom period, I think partly due to having, by necessity, to concentrate more on the basics of technique. 

I agree that the Zoom classes provided by a student's regular faculty following the school's established curriculum is the most productive solution in regards to keeping young ones on a progressive track. Naturally, there are physical space and flooring limitations (I got to thinking that if I were still a student, how I would manage in a 30 square meter apartment...) but at least there is an established teacher/student relationship that allows for giving appropriate and meaningful corrections and advice. It's nice to hear that your DD (what does this abbreviation stand for?) had/is having a positive experience with this adjustment :) 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NeverTooOld said:

Something that did work well though was as a relative newbie to pointe work (only done it for about 18 months)...

Beginner pointe work is a facet that I've been particularly concerned and curious about. It sounds like your teacher is quite caring, and I'm sure you both can't wait to be back in the studio where she can guide you in real time!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Travelling Ballerina, thanks for your thoughtful postings. 

 

I am trying to find silver linings in the current mess here in the UK (other countries do seem to have managed better ...) and one of the silver linings is that I now do ballet class every day of the week, bar one (I do floor barre that day which is v relaxing). I am learning from teachers I am familiar with, and at various levels of advancement. I am learning - I know I've improved since March. 

 

A few gaps - petit or grande allegro has virtually disappeared, and I've given up bothering about multiple turns - good clean singles are enough. But when I can actually get back into the studio safely, those will return. 

 

One of my teachers (who is strict!) has said that actually she can see more on Zoom - I know that the corrections I get are really specific and hit the spot. I miss hands on corrections, though, but increasingly teachers weren't doing those anyway. Another teacher, whose class I did only occasionally, I have come to really love working with her - and she says she has come to like teaching on Zoom (she didn't like it at first).

 

So for someone living 2 and a half hours' travel from London, and 7 hours from New York, it has been an unexpected blessing of this dreary year of lockdown to be able to classes with wonderful teachers. To be honest, it will be really difficult to have to give this up ... My regular local studio is a gorgeous lovely place, but the standard of classes is much lower (my teacher is fantastic, but most of the other students are very basic beginners).

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Traveling Ballerina said:

Beginner pointe work is a facet that I've been particularly concerned and curious about. It sounds like your teacher is quite caring, and I'm sure you both can't wait to be back in the studio where she can guide you in real time!

Yep, really looking forward to being back in the studio. She is very attentive though and in online classes, we angle our cameras to our feet/legs for any pointe work and she watches very attentively so she can give proper corrections. Easier with a group of only 4 or 5 students - I'd worry if it was a large class!

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Peony said:

In current times I think yes zoom is great, the alternative would be no classes. However I really do hope that it is largely phased out when people can go back to studios! There’s no way a teacher can watch multiple students On a screen as closely as they can in class. No hands on touch for corrections, risk of injury because of less than optimal flooring etc, limitations on space. The kids also cleverly position the camera to cover up their weak spots🤣I think there’s also less performance element involved. it worries me a bit that the ‘big names’ may decide to offer online lessons and Hoover up a lot of students due to their prestige. On the one hand it’s no problem if the kids enjoy it etc but it’s likely to be to the detriment of local teachers isn’t it? (And to the student if their technique isn’t closely monitored)

I think it is often a great opportunitiy for the students to work with "big names" and professional programs they don´t have access to locally!
I fully agree about the limitations of online classes (space, floor, no body contact with the teacher), but why not taking the chance to work with high level programs? That was the factor that kept my motivation....

Link to post
Share on other sites

DD just means daughter and DS is son.

 

The other thing I like about my DD's Zoom classes is that I get to watch and see what she's learning and have an idea of the corrections she gets. Otherwise I'm just a taxi service and spend hours sitting in cold car parks! 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you could draw parallels with telephone/video consultations with health care professionals. A lot of "routine" stuff is easily and effectively dealt with that way, a wider range of work can be done remotely if face to face isn't possible, but there are some things that really can't be done well without the opportunity for physical contact. 

I also think that remote consulting is more successful if both parties already have an existing relationship. I've been seeing two different HCPs remotely during the pandemic, one of whom I had been seeing in person for some time but the other was a new therapeutic relationship. Converting to online sessions with the former was very easy, but with the latter, I didn't feel entirely comfortable until we did have a real life consultation. Interestingly, when she saw me doing the exercises in person that I had been set online, she found that I had in fact not been doing them quite right, even though from watching on video she thought I was. It did make me wonder how much of that is going on with online teaching, not just of dance. In the same way, I suspect a teacher who knows a dancer well already can probably give more effective corrections on a Zoom call than one who is "meeting" the student for the first time online.

I also imagine it is harder to see what other dancers are doing and to learn from their corrections, and of course the social aspect of a group activity is lost.

But then I am old. To our young people a lot of this will seem a lot more normal. Overall though I think it is a useful tool but  can never be a complete replacement for in person classes.

 

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Kate_N said:

Travelling Ballerina, thanks for your thoughtful postings. 

 

[ ]

 

So for someone living 2 and a half hours' travel from London, and 7 hours from New York, it has been an unexpected blessing of this dreary year of lockdown to be able to classes with wonderful teachers. To be honest, it will be really difficult to have to give this up ... My regular local studio is a gorgeous lovely place, but the standard of classes is much lower (my teacher is fantastic, but most of the other students are very basic beginners).

You're welcome, Kate :)

 

Your perspective is also one that I've been thinking about, especially in regards to summer programs. Having classes online, albeit not ideal or traditional, does mean that school's can have a much broader reach as the obstacles caused by geography - travel and housing, mostly - are essentially removed. It will be interesting to see if some actually maintain an element of this digital development even when it's safe for all to return to studios. I've wondered the same about performances as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Aurora3 said:

I think it is often a great opportunitiy for the students to work with "big names" and professional programs they don´t have access to locally!

Again, if the "big names" are actually qualified teachers, then yes it is a great opportunity. Glad to hear, though, that you have been able to stay motivated throughout this all :)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Pups_mum I agree with you in many respects. For me consultations and anything which relies on verbal communication primarily works pretty well but It’s the movement and close inspection elements that don’t work on zoom very well in my opinion. If you have more than one person on the call then the image is not good enough, even more so if you don’t have the fastest broadband. Personally I find looking at a smallish screen also impedes the line of the head etc. In a studio class you can use peripheral vision. 
I agree that a teacher who already knows you is likely to be a lot more successful and it will vary according to class. Some adult classes are more or less follow along with little correction so you probably wouldn’t lose too much (I tend to avoid those when possible though!). 
it would be interesting to see what @Michelle_Richerthoughts are as she’s put a huge amount of effort into her home studio and video link. I’m just using a laptop
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m taking about a dozen hours of zoom classes a week between ballet and tai chi at the moment and over the summer, from a mix of teachers.


Some are better than others at corrections, and getting the technology right is important: a teacher with a big screen looking at well lit students who are fully visible on the screen and who doesn’t have to demonstrate the exercise has a fighting chance of doing good corrections - Ben Gartside is very good at it, even when both my wife and I are sharing the room. You get some problems from camera angles making it hard to be sure about alignments though - I’ve had corrections from people who I’m sure were misinterpreting my arm position because of where the camera is.


For the student things like raising your screen to roughly eye level so you’re not looking down at it and getting a big screen - we have  32” TV sitting on our sitting window ledge since March - really help.

 

I wouldn’t want to be Zoom only for ever, but I’d happily continue to supplement studio classes with Zoom

ones after normal life resumes. I had one studio class with our normal teacher a few weeks ago before Dublin went back into lockdown and apparently I’d only developed one newish bad habit over the six months, and I’m not convinced it’s a new one.

 

One thing I do find is that I have real trouble with is directions on centre work. I can never figure out if the teacher is mirroring and/or  the screen is mirroring and/or the screen displaying me is mirroring and when I have to start thinking about turns I start losing it completely, though that’s partly because I have two different conventions in my head: martial arts teachers seldom mirror, while dance teachers often do.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Colman said:

One thing I do find is that I have real trouble with is directions on centre work.

 

One of my Zoom teachers is being really careful with teaching us the 8 directions. It's great! It's stuff I learnt doing Cecchetti graded work, but it doesn't often get taught in open drop-in classes even at a basic level. 

 

But if you know croise devant or efface devant etc etc, and if you're secure about turning en dedans or en dehors, then it really helps. So we're learning this stuff through drills & by rote.

 

Two of my Zoom teachers say that one of the advantages of Zoom is that we have to learn the choreography - we don't have people around us to subconsciously copy or follow, and they're right! I think I"m getting more confident about just doing things with no mirror & no-one to follow out of my peripheral vision.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Traveling Ballerina said:

Again, if the "big names" are actually qualified teachers, then yes it is a great opportunity. Glad to hear, though, that you have been able to stay motivated throughout this all :)

It depends, also professional dancers can be great teachers - or not. Some only focus on themselves, but others are obviously very gifted and inspiring! But most of all, I also liked the teachers from professional schools....

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Aurora3 said:

It depends, also professional dancers can be great teachers - or not. Some only focus on themselves, but others are obviously very gifted and inspiring! But most of all, I also liked the teachers from professional schools....

 
it's a marketing thing ...  

 a  poor teacher who doesn't have a name as a performer will struggle  where  someone with a big  five company  credit to their name  will get people regardless 

I have had fabulous teachers who are 'unknown'  but  extremely competent teachers  whether   they  were vocational trained or not   ( one of my  favourite 'unkonown' teachers is actually   a Consultant anesthetist  in 'real life'  - she has a particular approach  and of course her   physiology knowledge is  off the scale   ) , i've had fabulous teachers who  balletomanes  will recognise their name, i've had  teachers who casual ballet goers  will recognise their  names ...   some are better teachers than others,  so need to be teaching in the right  environment to be  the most they can be ( thinking of one or two  who are a bit high maintainance  and without a competent none teaching assistant the overall experience suffers )

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I bought DS a lesson with a particular hero for a birthday present once.

 

He said he didn't learn much, teacher was on such a different level the class was basically impossible.  But as an opportunity to see what the human body could do, what the elite of his profession could produce, it was unforgettable and worth every penny.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, meadowblythe said:

He said he didn't learn much, teacher was on such a different level the class was basically impossible.

If I am reading the sentiment of your comment correctly, the teacher should be "on such a different level"; in this relationship, teachers are the experts passing on knowledge to the students. But this does not explain or give excuse to why the class should feel impossible; one factor of being a good teacher is the ability to convey information in a manner that is age and/or level appropriate. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Traveling Ballerina said:

If I am reading the sentiment of your comment correctly, the teacher should be "on such a different level"; in this relationship, teachers are the experts passing on knowledge to the students. But this does not explain or give excuse to why the class should feel impossible; one factor of being a good teacher is the ability to convey information in a manner that is age and/or level appropriate. 

 

This was a face to face class (remember those?) - my point is that although nothing was learnt from a technical point, it was still worth taking.  But he was already post-training by then, so although any corrections were useful, the opportunity to dance with an idol, and watch how he performed close up, was the primary gain.  Perhaps he wasn't a good teacher but he certainly was an inspirational dancer.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm- all teachers without experience as professional dancers I ever have tried were not good, but I only noticed when I got to a certain level. As a beginner, I also had the impression they were good... But that doesn´t mean that teachers WITH experience as professionals are automatically good!

 

But both applies not only to online classes, but also to real life classes!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/11/2020 at 20:56, Kate_N said:

But if you know croise devant or efface devant etc etc, and if you're secure about turning en dedans or en dehors, then it really helps. So we're learning this stuff through drills & by rote.

I’m moderately good at that but there’s  something about the 2D projection on the screen that throws me off more than usual. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/11/2020 at 17:33, Peony said:


it would be interesting to see what @Michelle_Richerthoughts are as she’s put a huge amount of effort into her home studio and video link. I’m just using a laptop
 

I guess the evolution of my studio came from a slightly different set of requirement than most for Zoom classes on line.

 

Firstly the initial planning took place mid 2016, it needed to give me sufficient space for rep practice as I was hiring around 10 hours of studio time a week, at times some studio weren't available just when I needed them, and of course travelling was also an issue and time consuming too.

 

The floor space ended up at 30sq/m under the building regs, I could have gone slightly bigger but then limited by the fact I would not be allowed to go closer than 2 metres to the edge of my river, so I stuck at 30sq/m. The floor is a Harlequin Sprung floor with a black vinyl top covering by them like many studio dance floor. 2 sides are mirrored ( stage front and most of stage right), although a large section of stage front is taken up with a 55inch display, and a control console underneath it.

 

Most of the equipment development took place during the first lock-down, as we now have eight cameras, and video switching system that also incorperates a DVD played and a solid state video recorder that can access multiple sources in the system and can output HD .MP4 file for reference/editing.

 

For Zoom operation, I use 2 main wide angled cameras, one which is built into the communications laptop, and a small Sony HD camcorder that is mounted on a platform above the main 55inch display but sits on a robot camera tracking system.

The floor area is marked out with three different colour coded crosses to determine the range of each of these three camera combination, inbuilt camera white crosses, Sony in fixed mode red, and Sony in tracking blue. These extremities will all give full body coverage, obviously the closer I get to the camera, the legs are lost. Unlike most Zoom classes I have to be able to incorporate full centre work for my Cecchetti Advance 2 class and with the floor marking that relatively easy. With the tracking camera I guess the coverage is around two thirds, otherwise it about half the floor area but still adequate.

 

I use Zoom a lot for fitness / stretch classes, one of the drawback if you are doing matt work, you are often facing away from the main screen and it awkward then to follow the teacher. For this I have incorporated a second large screen display, positioned a stage left, but extending down to down stage left corner. That is brilliant for matt work, for the other side but not quite so effective is viewing the second display in the stage right mirror.

 

Zoom pointe work class is another interesting one for me, especially as I'm still working with the barre. My main display is taken up by my teacher in “Speaker view” and while I cant see myself in the mirrors facing unless I move to the side, I have small stage centre camera with a  20inch display to fill this gap, and another camera at stage left to provide a side view displayed in the second large screen display. With the side view camera strategically placed I can also see the right side view captured in the mirror on the stage right wall.

 

The audio system interoperates 2 mixing desks, the first provides audio which ultimately will appear in the studio speakers, this will allow access for audio from 3 separate laptops and a DVD player, the mixing desk also incorporates a synthesizer to create music, selectable special effects and a sophisticated graphics equalizer, of the special effects I love the depth of echo and reverberation it give just like being in a great hall.

 

There is a second audio mixer for the audio which is going out on-line, my main input from this comes from a blue tooth receiver as a common issue with zoom if everyone's mic audio is enabled , the feedback chirps and bangs, and seriously detract from the class. By using a less sensitive blue tooth mic in close proximity to the mouth, there is virtually no feedback, my mic is enabled all the time for my one-to-one Cecchetti ballet class as instruction feedback flows both ways, I can also take music from the DVD player or the other two laptops if I am to originate the music, so we get an accurate fit of dance to music timing.

 

Other Facilities

Lighting I have the equivalent 1000w of white light illumination available and about 300w each for red, yellow, blue and green flood light, although they are controlled by a little hand held unit, they are not yet automated into a timing sequence with the music, that's still work in progress.

Fixed and portable barres

Air Conditioning as the studio needs to have 100% availability for me.

 

 

Teacher and Classes

Initially during the first lock down once the basic system was up and running, it was a bit of a novelty to do lot's of classes from around the work, now that most certainly isn't the case. Mostly I'm looking for one-to-one or a small number to learn rather than copy, so feedback is essential. If that feedback is one-to-one then I prefer that style to change from teaching to coaching. It is a style I insist on with my rep work, I guess because that's what I'm paying for and the chemistry has to be right, that is something I have left for in-studio only. Currently my ballet / fitness time is around 30hours a week.

 

My Cecchetti started of with 2 of us as students, because of my vocal enthusiasm I was always getting into trouble with the other student for my suggestion as I was told “that's the teachers job”, for me it about helping each other, apart from that I would study around the subject and find sources of reference material like organizing video downloads from Cecchetti Ballet Inc of Australia and utilizing those. During lock-down 1 our other student dropped out, for me things were a lot better and I progressed a lot faster, to the pointe my teacher was giving homework of stuff we hadn't yet touched. To a degree in places we were starting to swap rolls as I had to familiarize her with some of the pieces, and often she would tell me to slow down as she hadn't quite got the previous bit yet, for me that made her human and she realized how difficult I found it sometimes when things just didn’t click. I must say I like a relationship where we help each other, it become a team effort.

 

The same is true now we both have started learning the new Advanced 2 Syllabus as the DVD has only just been released, needless to say we have been correcting each other and trying to over-burn the old syllabus memory.

 

I know some teachers would disapprove I certainly got that impression on another thread when I attempted to teach some adapted Swan Lake for a group at my local Silver Swans school, naughty girl Michelle, you should know your place.

 

I guess its possibly a culture thing, to give correction or teach from a student, but that me.

 

At least not everyone take offence, I remember attending a R and J weekend workshop on Juliet's Solo, taught by Royal Ballet’s Sarah Lamb. It had several false starts as the rep begins before the music. I was fortunate as I had edited and provided the music for the workshop, I knew the music and rep reasonably well and I was aware of this. So I was able to take the timing from the previous piece of music and clipped it just before the of that last note to form a cue. I let about 3 false starts take place, then my enthusiasm to help get the better of me, then with a big “Excuse me”, I told Sarah about the cue I had left, then count to 3 and go, you should be at full extension on count 1, at least I got a very nice thank you. All ways there to help.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been an interesting experience teaching by zoom after about 40 years spent teaching normally!   First of all there are students who don't manage to pick up the steps easily and I have been forced to find multiple ways of getting through to them.  I've danced with my back to them and facing them but mirroring their movements. I've talked them through it, sent them videos of the exercises to learn - you name it I've tried it!  Some of them are stuck in their bedrooms, squashed between the bed and the wardrobe, with an internet that keeps dropping or freezing the picture.  And then I have those who have flourished and advanced, strengthened technically, learnt their syllabus exercises, have been allotted the living room space when it's  lesson time and have given me and them great joy!   I have even had one nearly 12 year old whom I've always looked on as a rather weak student, gain confidence on Zoom and improve significantly with the extra attention she's been getting!  It's definitely not ideal - many of the older students are suffering from Zoom burn-out after hours of daily school lessons, but it's been a life saver and has kept the students connected to their teachers and friends and continuing learning.  

 

As far as free online classes are concerned, some have been wonderful and a few of my more advanced students have really benefited from trying them out.  I agree that there is now an overabundance of them and it is becoming very difficult to weed out the ones worth doing.    I think the hype over masterclasses with famous teachers is all very well IF the student is at the right level and IF she has the right conditions at home.  For my students who are dancing on hard tiled floors in cramped apartments, there is a limit to what they can do.  I'm concerned that in today's financial climate, parents may be paying out money for classes, which they can ill afford, in the hope of helping their dancing children but are not really benefiting them.  On the other hand, teachers are struggling the world over and desperately need to be earning, so it's a sad situation all round.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/11/2020 at 08:26, Colman said:

there’s  something about the 2D projection on the screen that throws me off more than usual. 🤷🏻‍♂️

 

I tend to ignore the orientation of the teacher because, I agree, it is really hard to follow - So I have to go back to all the schoolbook training of croisé, effacé etc ('the 8 positions'), and set it to myself as a mental exercise to work it out (have to think fast to get it). Ballet choreography in the centre is usually pretty logical - one foot after the other - and I'm really impressed by the ways that various teachers are creating centre exercises which move through lots of stuff, but are doable in small spaces. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering the (technical) benefits, there are surely classes of very different quality! But most important, in my opinion, is that the students stay motivated in this difficult time! So, if a student enjoys a class, it is always a gain!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...