As quarantine times around the world lengthen, it seems there is an explosion of offerings online for every kind of study, including ballet. But production qualities aside, all ballet videos are not created equal. This post will share some basic tips to consider when trying an online ballet class. I’ll also link to some of the better ones we’ve found.
Hope this helps! Stay safe and stay well!
TIPS FOR TAKING BALLET ONLINE:
- Your floor matters more than the barre. Don’t do pointe work on carpet. If carpet is all you have, wear socks. Don’t jump on a regular basis on any floor that isn’t framed, or tile floors. If your hard, smooth floor is too slick, try dampening your socks or ballet shoes. (Damp, not wet.)
- Your barre height is more important than it’s grip-ability. Use something that comes about to your belly button.
- BEST options are to “give yourself” your current teacher’s barre (if he or she repeats combinations) or to use anything your current teacher or school produces. IF that isn’t an option look for the following qualities in the instruction video:
- (1) Instruction and content is at your current level of understanding. Working on steps or technical content that is unfamiliar and without teacher supervision can lead to injury or establishing incorrect muscle habits.
- Unless you are an advanced dancer (age 15 or older and pre-quarantine taking MORE than five 1.5 hour TECHNIQUE classes/week from trained teachers), (2) look for a class with a lot of verbal and visual cues/corrections/reminders on how to execute correct technique. (Your favorite professional dancer may be inspiring to watch, but she isn’t your teacher and just trying to mimic her – without instruction on HOW to pull it off – likely won’t end well or give you the results you want.)
- (3) Combinations should be simple and familiar in content. Your goal should be to MAINTAIN flexibility, strength, stamina, and technique. NOT master complicated combinations, create a masterpiece for the stage, or skip a level of training.
- Safely cross-training is a great way to maintain strength, flexibility and stamina. (Pilates and yoga are great for strength and flexibility, hiking or jogging for stamina.) PLUS with cross training you aren’t likely to develop incorrect muscle memory, and you reduce the risk of repetitive movement injury.
We’ve found the following videos that met many of these criteria. If these are at YOUR level, we hope you enjoy them, and if not, keep hunting (though these may give you an idea of the kind of video you are looking for).
We love these first three because there is a teacher AND student, so you get the corrections, but can also see it performed very nicely!
Another one, doable in a living room!
And another: (this one has a live pianist and footage of his playing for the repeated side!)
Finally, something a bit more basic:
Hope this helps and happy dancing in your quarantine!