10 Tips To Help You/Your Child Get The Most Out of Zoom Dance Classes.

 
1. SPACE: Make sure you have set up a clear space, free from distractions and safety hazards. This means you might need to push coffee tables and couches back.
 
2. TIDY UP: A cluttered learning space creates a cluttered mind and can cause poor focus and poor concentration.
 
3. TURN THE HEATER OFF: Having the heater on during dance class will dehydrate the body and can cause headaches and nausea during class. If it’s cold, start class with a jumper on and take it off after warm-up. Have a water bottle nearby.
 
4. DON’T MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR: Parents should be close by to supervise but shouldn’t be involved beyond helping set up. Siblings and family members sitting around watching, offering input/feedback, or trying to participate can be distracting for the student and diminish their confidence.
 
5. GET OUT OF YOUR ISO CLOTHES: Put your dance uniform on and the correct footwear. Tie your hair back and splash some water on your face to refresh and wake up. Get out of “slouch mode” by rolling the shoulders back and making a conscious effort to stand up tall. Look like a dancer, feel like a dancer, act as a dancer.
 
6. DO YOUR OWN WARM UP BEFORE CLASS: Everybody’s body needs something different right now. If you’ve been experiencing stiff or sore muscles from spending more time on the couch, you may need to take extra time to ensure your body is ready for class. This will also help you get in the right frame of mind for dance class.
 
7. ELIMINATE REASONS TO LEAVE YOUR DANCE AREA: Go to the toilet and have a snack before class. Have your water bottle full and nearby.
 
8. ELEVATE YOUR SCREEN: If you need to continuously look down at your device to see the teacher, you are practicing poor posture and will develop bad habits that can cause injury over time. If watching an iPad or laptop, elevate these to eye level or above. Shelving, stands or a pile of books can help with this OR use an HDMI cord to connect your device to a large tv screen. If using an iPad or MAC you may need an adapter.
 
9. BE EARLY: Sign-in and set up 5-10 minutes before class to allow for technology hiccups, forgotten passwords, etc. It is especially hard to jump into a dance class late, remotely.
 
10. BE AS CLOSE TO YOUR INTERNET MODEM AS POSSIBLE: To help with internet speed. Ask family members to refrain from using the internet/downloads during your class time (it’s only 30-45 minutes!) A wifi extender may be helpful if you are struggling with lagging.
 
And a bonus one…
 
11. BE PATIENT: This set up is not perfect or seamless but we are all, including you, trying our best. Be patient with technology, it is out of your control. Be patient with your internet, it is in demand more than ever. Be patient with your teachers, this is new for them too and most importantly, be patient with yourself. You have gone weeks without dance class and it will take time to get back to where you were. You are also likely facing more challenges and more distractions than you ever have before. Your body and mind are understandably exhausted from all the change and setbacks you have endured. Keep trying your best and know that it’s ok if your best is not where you want it to be right now. We promise to be patient with you too. 🧡

The Benefits of Online Dance Classes

Well, with nearly all of us confined to our houses, I bet you are just about sick of hearing about online subscriptions, at-home workouts, and “our response to covid-19”. But, I am going to test your patience here and keep talking to you about online dance classes. I know I am on thin ice but don’t worry, I promise not to mention the words “unprecedented times”…

Last week Main St Funk announced the launch of our brand new online dance program “MSF Live Online”.  As far as small-businesses-adapting-and-moving-to-the online-platform-during-a global-pandemic goes, you could say that we were a little late to the party. This is because we wanted to be sure this was the right move for our students and for our business. We wanted to be sure we could deliver an online dance program that was safe, effective, worthy of your time and money, and mirrors the culture and community of our school. 

Whilst we have had a lot of interest and support from our community, we also know, that with the current information overload we are all experiencing, we wouldn’t blame you if you briefly glanced at the information about online classes and thought “ugh, this all too hard.” We can understand why you might feel overwhelmed and under enthused about adapting and changing yet another aspect of yours and your child’s life. Trust us when we say we understand and that we feel exactly the same way. We even considered for a minute, not offering online classes and instead, waiting out this storm and returning to the studio to teach when it was safe to do so. 

When we decided to push aside our own doubts and fears, which were mostly personal and not related to the school (so likely what you are feeling now) we explored what the benefits of providing online classes would be. Yes, for us as a business but mostly how we would be impacting our community. So if you’re unsure, just like we were, about pursuing a dance education online, here are just a few reasons to give it a go.

 

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: This one is the most obvious and probably doesn’t need to be said but exercise and staying active is important for not only physical health but mental health and emotional wellbeing too. The department of health recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children aged 5-17 years of age. We know lots of our students usually participate in weekly swimming lessons, sport games, and training, gymnastics, and P.E class at school, all on top of their weekly dance classes. Children who are usually so active will need to maintain as much as their routine exercise as they can to ensure they don’t lose their fitness or skills.
  • A SENSE OF NORMALITY AND ROUTINE: Children thrive off routine and structure and in fact, so do many adults. Whilst in isolation, it’s important to maintain as much structure as possible, and scheduling your usual weekly dance class will help with this. You may also find when the social distancing directives are lifted and we can return to the studio, that your child is more mentally prepared to return to dance class then they would be if they had spent months not participating in a class.
  • IT ENSURES THEY WON’T FALL BEHIND: While Main St Funk won’t be working on concert work, we will continue to build on our technique, skills, musicality, and confidence. Dancers are known for their determination and work ethic. They owe it to themselves to not only continue with their growth and improvement but to also maintain the skillset they have already built. Not participating in the class does not only mean they miss out on “what’s next” but an extended period of time without dance can mean a loss of strength, flexibility, and technique. Just think how you feel when you miss a week or 2 of going to the gym.
  • THEY WILL FEEL CONFIDENT RETURNING TO CLASS: Missing class for an extended period of time can dampen confidence and self-esteem. Returning to the studio after weeks or months of not dancing can be daunting or stressful. If your child participates in online classes they will feel ready to return to the studio, knowing that they haven’t missed out.
  • IT TEACHES THEM TO BE ADAPTABLE: It is such an important life skill to be able to say “the show will go on!” when life throws you a curveball. Our students will come out of this situation strong, versatile, and adaptable, knowing that there is always a plan B.
  • IT TEACHES THEM TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN LEARNING: What a great opportunity to take ownership of their motivation and energy. Dragging yourself off the couch and switching from “free time mode” to “dance mode” takes real strength. Being a self-motivator is a great skill to have and one that builds up over time. After this experience, your child will be further motivated to practice dancing at home because they are familiar, comfortable, and well-practiced in doing so.
  • IT KEEPS THEM CONNECTED: We hold a strong reputation for the community and family feel that runs throughout our school. Every student is valued, special, and is an important member of our dancing family. The friendships created in the studio are their own kind of special. Dialing into class each week will help your child feel connected to our community, will further develop their sense of belonging, and will help them maintain the beautiful friendships they have built at dancing as well as their relationship with their dancing teacher.
  • DANCING IS THEIR HAPPY PLACE: Dancing brings joy! Our students have already sacrificed so much of what makes them happy already, birthday parties, school, seeing friends, visiting family and grandparents, trips to the movies… by providing online dance classes we are ensuring there is just one less thing they have to give up. We hope that not only will we be assisting in continue your child’s growth and education, but that we will be supporting their happiness too.

 

It is hard to believe that we ever considered not offering online dance classes as an option when the benefits of doing so are undeniable. In this trying time, offering online dance classes at an affordable, discounted rate is our way of supporting our community and our students. We understand that you might find this new concept a little overwhelming, so we are here to help you through it. If you have any questions or need help setting up your tech or dance space. Please get in touch so that we can continue to support you and your children. Dancing is our happy place and that doesn’t have to change. The studio may be closed but our school is still open! We are working harder than ever to keep delivering the joy of dance.

To sign up to an obligation free trial class of our online classes, click here: https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/mainstfunk

P.S We know that participating in our online classes will not be a possibility for all of our students. If you just read this blog and are now worried because your child will be missing out, don’t worry! We understand and we haven’t forgotten you. We have a series of free pre-recorded practice videos available on Vimeo and we will continue to keep your child engaged with free and fun online activities. There are benefits in taking time off too, so please make a decision that is best for your family. We look forward to welcoming you back to class at the studio, with open arms, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.