OH GOD!! Lockdown, that means no more dance classes at my favorite dance spaces, my teacher’s place, and my friend’s house terrace! This is what hit me first when I heard about the quarantine. The whole experience of getting all dressed up, making a stop at a beautiful dance space, and spending a solid one hour dancing your heart out with your dance buddies is by far the most satisfying thing to do according to me to date.

With 2020 having a toppling effect, making everything and everyone go digital, even dancers, dance tutors had no other option but to dive into the online platforms eventually for multiple purposes. To mention a few, for dance classes, to conduct interviews, organise dance festivals, collaborations and so much more. Now the question is are they as effective as the direct face-to-face dance classes? If not, why is it so? What are the challenges faced by the teachers, students, and all those who are engaged or associated with the dance field?

My say on this, being a student myself taking up classes online, I would firmly say that dance classes online are not as effective as they are offline. And mainly the experience is no way near to attending sessions in person.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing 5 reasons why dance classes are not effective online. Before you go ahead I’d like to make it clear that this is purely my opinion. As a dancer with many years of experience in the dance field, I feel I can make a statement regarding this.

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1.Learning environment
2.Technical hitches
3.Strain in communication and understanding
4.Multiple screens on your desktop
5.Contrasting overall experience

Reasons why dance classes are not effective online

a. Learning environment:

Dance classes online which are hosted predominantly in applications like Skype and Zoom make one attend these sessions at their homes or private spaces. When you think of the brighter side you needn’t spare time for travel as you can attend the classes in the comfort of your home.

But when it comes to dance classes the learning experience is purely based on the one on one sessions you have with your teacher, with your dance classmates, because there are so many nuances that one has to focus and gather knowledge on, as it is essential to groom as a complete professional artist.

Just like how educational institutions are set up as they believe a learning environment should be a combination of exposure to different individuals, competition, growing together, developing interpersonal skills, imparting some values and so much more, dance institutions are also set up with similar intentions, to give a collective experience. This is lost in the online sessions where dancers are dancing from their places and don’t share a common ground.

b. Technical hitches:

This reason is bound to be there when things become digital. Network issues, lag in the audio and video getting transmitted, poor quality, server problems etc. To add to the existing hurdles in-class experience these technical hitches make it even more unpleasant. For instance, a bad weather day might call off that day’s session as there will be internet connection issues.

This also results in lot of mental stress like anxiety, anger, and depression. During lockdown some actually lost interest in what they used to be crazy about and didn’t feel motivated enough to continue practice. All the extra efforts and time wasted on these technical hitches turns out to be one of the main reasons.

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c. Strain in communication and understanding:

As a continuation to the previous reason, the number of technical hitches and complexities in understanding and using online applications results in a strain in communication. Not all are tech-friendly individuals, can work with ease using the internet, and understand the digital world.

Therefore the amount of time consumed in teaching the lessons, to convey even a single concept has increased which results in a dip in the number of lessons covered in each class, absenteeism, lack of motivation, interest, and fatigue.

In simpler words, online classes are equivalent to a long-distance relationship. With an already strained relationship, other factors (technical hitches) add on to it which further elevates the barriers of communication and results in poor understanding.

d. Multiple screens on your desktop:

Both the teachers and students will find this one relatable. Unlike the regular in-person dance classes, over online there is a lot of scope for distraction. First thing, since you are taking up the class from your place there is ample scope for disturbances as you can’t always work with the family to maintain complete decorum during the session timings.

Secondly, with multiple people dancing on your PC screen, it’s very hard to focus as there’ll be a lot of lag issues happening and each one will be dancing and responding whenever they receive the message. Last but not the least, the teachers will be finding it extremely difficult to spot the mistakes especially in the case of group classes with again the lag issues and the position or direction the camera is positioned.

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e. Contrasting overall experience:

As I mentioned in the beginning of the blog, the overall experience online is very different from what you experience in a dance class. The choreography sessions, practice for shows, all improvisations, and small nuances are not anymore part of the dance classes.

The experience of learning and growing together is hampered to an extent. The possibility of ideas to open up is limited. Monitoring is limited and the dancer’s seriousness towards executing what is taught is not up to the mark. Only those who are truly passionate and dedicated will do the practice regularly and show up for the consecutive sessions. There are a lot of loopholes that result in leniency and a lethargic attitude.

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So those were the major reasons I feel dance classes are not effective online. But you can’t say it’s entirely ineffective because there are a couple of pointers that prove it to be working just fine. Let me know in the comment section below if you’d like me to post a blog on the Top 5 reasons how online dance classes turn out to be effective. Hope you found it relatable or useful. Do let us know in the comments section below.