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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Value of online/Zoom SI for younger dancers?


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Mine is actually in the second week of an online SI. She’s really enjoying it. They have three to four hours a day, so less than a regular SI, but she wouldn’t want any more via zoom. Every weekday has a two hour technique class then things like mat class, yoga, conditioning, ballet history, pantomime, meet the artist, etc. She has about 20 kids in her level, and from the little bit I’ve heard, their technique teacher seems wonderful. She is constantly giving corrections to all the girls. My DD says she is the kind of teacher DD wants to be someday — super particular but delivers corrections in a way that encourages you. The level is lower than what she is used to, but it’s been just what she needed as her home studio had combined her level with the two above it, and had her doing things she hasn’t yet learned without giving her any corrections. This slower pace with smaller classes and continuous corrections has helped her find her love of dance again. She will be done in two more weeks so will still have plenty of summer to rest, cross train, and just be a kid. I’m sure she would have been fine without it, but this year was supposed to be her first away SI. We decided to stick with the place she had planned to attend when they switched to online at a much reduced price.

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  • 6 months later...

I know this post was from this past summer, but as we are seeing a lot of programs offering summer online for students, I would like to chime in with our personal experience. This is certainly not the same for everyone and please don't take it as a bible guide. I have to preface this with the fact that my child ASKS for more opportunities and seeks out opportunities to participate in dance.  We have had three different online education opportunities.  

The first was with a studio and it was lacking at best with the structure, curriculum and all around corrections being given.  It left my child frustrated as they were "learning" new combinations (non-ballet class) every class with no emphasis on technique or continuing education.

The second was a ballet class with an older teacher who was struggling through the zoom platform but really tried to make the best of it recording the combinations with their demonstrator and posting them to a YouTube channel for further repetitions and practice.  We found those classes good to continue working those turn outs and feet.  

The last option was with an instructor that travels and participates with various studios throughout the year even before this pandemic.  This instructor (and the few others in the series) were just brilliant.  They are on zoom and the video goes both ways.  It is optional to turn your video on but highly encouraged to allow yourself to been seen by the teacher.  The corrections were given well, the opportunity for private lessons were available and my child THRIVED in this type of environment.  You could tell the instructors thought about space and flooring restrictions.  They also came prepared each class with a plan and curriculum.  My child actually GREW as a dancer and was thrilled to have the dance tank full.  

I have found these are the factors that worked for us in combination for success in continuing online education -

1. preparedness of instructor

2. willingness of instructor to view the zoom room windows and give corrections best they can

3. experience of instructor with teaching remotely prior to pandemic (or has taught through the pandemic and developed a flow)

4. drive of your student to want to actually do dance v. play outside or do other sports - some kids want the regular experience some kids thrive on all dance all the time and both are great, knowing your student and when they need a pause helps with the level of success, also patience to try multiple programs to find the one that fits your dancer 

5. your space available for your student to dance in, the more space and resemblance to a studio space - the more the child can get in the mindset is what we have found.

All of the above have lead us to audition for both in person and online programs for the 2021 summer. 

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