• Jenny Bater-Sinclair - Company Director

How to learn dance at home for beginners, 3 tips to get the best from an online dance class

Updated: Feb 1

2020 has proved that we can dance through any storm, and that dance can be learnt anywhere. We're going to share with you our 3 top tips to get the best from your online dance class, this article is perfect if you are wanting to get advice on how to learn dance at home for beginners. Are you a parent who needs help getting your little ones engaged online or even getting them online in the first place? Then we've got 3 priceless tips for you!

All you need to learn how dance at home, and get the best from your online dance class is to use our P.A.C. concept:


1. Preparation

2. Accountability

3. Community


Let's look at P.A.C. in more detail:


How to learn dance at home for beginners and get the best from your online dance class - TIP 1:


1. Preparation

Getting your space and your self into the perfect online dance class setting is integral to success online. What sort of preparation do you need to do?


- Before the class begins, give your self time to find a space in the house that has a good internet signal / connection. Did you know you can connect to most phone's mobile data using 'personal hotspotting' if your home wi-fi is slow, but do check you have sufficient data in your plan so you aren't billed extra!


- Before class, find a space in the house big enough that you can literally swing your arms and legs in all directions from one spot without knocking over any furniture or that family heirloom vase off the side!


- Is your space distraction free? Treat this like a real in-studio dance class - be sure your chosen space is free of distractions such as a living room that everyone shares and walks through - unless you can get the family involved in the class with you of course then that's even better!


- Look after your body by making sure the flooring in your chosen space is suitable for dancing. For example concrete is a bad choice as there's no shock absorption. Wooden or short pile carpet with underlay for absorption is a good shout!


- Dress the part! Get your clothes out ready for your class in the morning so there's zero effort required when it's time to get ready for class. Wear clothes you'd wear to the studio - feel the part!


How to learn dance at home for beginners and get the best from your online dance class - TIP 2:


2. Accountability

Be accountable for your actions and inactions. You are the one in control and responsible for learning to dance at home and progressing. Your teacher can provide you with the tools, but you need to be sure to use them:


- Schedule your class, PEN it in your diary, mark it as 'important'. By having your class in writing, in your diary, you're making a commitment to yourself. Being able to tick it off at the end of the day as 'done' will be satisfying on top of the satisfaction of a good sweat in a dance class of course.


- Arrive early to your class - being late, is not only something you wouldn't do in a studio class, it may put you into a disorganised and stressed state. Arrive early, check everything's working, get your screen in the right position, check your volume, have a drink to hand. Doing all this well before class will mitigate any distractions during the class. If you're late you might even miss part of the class routine / moves or the opportunity to connect with class mates before the session begins.


- Record your self during or after the class, or even just have a mirror in front of you during the session. You can check and/or correct your technique with these two tools, as well as be able to send your videos to your teacher for feedback. As a teacher myself one of my favourite things is to help students 1-2-1 where I can, and by video feedback is one of the easiest ways to do this out of class time. It makes my day to see how passionate a student is about improving by sending their video to me.


- Practice outside of class time, apply your skills and don't let the class be a 'bath tub moment'. What do I mean by that? Don't take an awesome class (bath), then leave it there and say 'ah that was nice' then not do it again for a while, like a 'special bath with candles and a good book' that you only do once in a while. Practice it again tomorrow, and the next day, and so on. Make sure skills are in your body's physical memory, not just your brain's.


How to learn dance at home for beginners and get the best from your online dance class - TIP 3:


3. Community

What do most students of all ages love just as much as learning to dance in the studio? Connecting with friends and experiencing the class together. Learning to dance at home doesn't have to be any different.


- Dance with family, all types of dance but especially street dance, are very inclusive, there's no age limit, no discrimination, just a way to express and communicate. Why not dance with the people you love? I personally love nothing more than dancing next to my partner.


- Connect with class mates and friends before the class begins or teacher starts. Many online classes will let participants into the virtual room a few minuets before the class begins, hop in the chat say 'hi', wave in the camera, or even actually chat (speak) if your microphones are on. Connect just as you would in a studio class. Plus saying 'Hi everyone' in the chat for example, will make newer members feel welcome too!


- Arrange to meet a friend online! Dancing is always more fun with others. Encourage a friend to join with you, share the experience together during and even after the class!


- Turn that camera on. Full disclosure: at Hip Hop Pop Street Dance Classes, we don't mind if your camera is off, we just want you be online with us in what ever amount you can manage or feel confident with. However, we LOVE it when your camera is on! Why? Because we can see how our students are doing, encourage you and help you where necessary. By having your camera on you are able to interact and communicate with your tutor and others ro make it a much more interactive and enjoyable experience.


- Be kind to your peers and your tutor. Use those 'meeting reaction' emoji's available on Zoom to give a 'thumbs up' or 'applause' to your peers when it's their turn to perform the steps, and be sure show some love for their efforts. Be kind to your tutors too, it's tough teaching on Zoom and even tougher teaching on Zoom and in a studio at the same time in hybrid style classes. Interact with your tutor, smile, show them a thumbs up when asked a question, and give them your best as you would in a studio.


In Conclusion to how to learn dance at home for beginners...


Our guide is simple: Prepare, be Accountable and be a part of the Community (P.A.C.). Stick to this helpful 3 step guide and you'll not only give your self the best chance at learning to dance at home, you'll have fun while you're at it!


Did you find this article useful? Feel free to share with others, even tag us in your dance videos from home, we'd love to see what you've learnt with the aid of our 3 step P.A.C. guide!


Keep dancing everyone


Jenny Bater-Sinclair

Director - Hip Hop Pop

www.hiphoppop.net