Online Dance Classes via Zoom
From my house to yours!
It has now been 12 weeks since we closed our physical Tappy Toes classes and began doing Tappy Toes toddler and pre-school dance classes live online. Crazy! I was rather reluctant at first- would anyone join in? Would I be able to lead a class without physically being in it? How successful would it be? Would it confuse our dancers? I had lots of questions and no solid answers as this was all a first for me! I am not really a technology person. The thought of filming myself or being on a screen took me back to my teacher training days. I realised I would tap my board marker and keep saying ‘ok!’ But after some filming practise, working out the best angle in my living room and doing a few ‘tests’ I started and zoomed into the unknown!
I’m one of the ones who had never even heard of Zoom before lockdown, and now I’m using it twice a week to run online Tappy Toes, live Preschool and toddler dance classes! Although it has taken some getting used to, it has been so great to watch and keep our little ones dancing during this strange time. It has brought smiles to me and them too, which is the most important thing to stay happy and healthy!
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom……………..Dance Around the Room!
For all those that use Zoom regularly for meetings, they will not know what all the fuss is about! But, as a dance teacher you need to see what dancers are doing so you can respond appropriately and praise everyone in your classes. I have found Zoom great. I can see how dancers are getting on in a lesson, talk to them and I thrive on their smiling faces. There have been some wonderful gallops, skips around the room, turns that are neat and tidy and some beautifully stretched toes. All of this, from teaching from my home to our dancer’s homes!
I have now been dancing twice a week (on a Monday and Thursday) for the last 10 weeks. My own girls have joined me and love our at home ‘dance studio!’. They know the routine…the rug comes up, the banner comes out and off we go! It is a different experience to our classes, but one that I am proud of as I watch our dancers concentrating, listening to the music, and having fun with their families.
Dancers need to settle in!
As with any class your littles ones start, they need time to settle into the environment. This is an individual thing and depends on the dancer. We don’t push. We praise, and nurture them and make them believe they can. It is especially important with online dance classes, as there are more distractions at home and having a person dancing in your living room can be confusing! It is perfectly natural for a little dancer to spend a lot of time close to the screen looking at everyone at first. This is a good thing….looking is learning and it means they are taking it all in! Some of our dancers who were not quite sure at first have stuck with it and now love the routine and are familiar with the lesson structure.
We all say hello, we dance with our parents and siblings, we wiggle away, we use our favourite toy friends when galloping and we always finish with a bow and some Tappy Ted high fives on our screens! I have had a blast with our dancers and the best bit of all is seeing the progress they have continued to make. We have seen so many dancers become more confident and independent at this tricky time and truly believe they are superstars.
Dance around your room! It is good for you!
If you haven’t tried an online class give it a go! We have some wonderful parents who dance and join in, and their little ones thoroughly love this. There is nothing quite like wiggling with your Mummy or Daddy at home. It is so important to keep our little ones active. To help them develop their coordination and motor skills. Let them express themselves. To let them be creative and use their imaginations and burn off all that energy. To build their confidence.
Above all…. it is fun! We are so pleased we can still dance with you all until our classes open again.
By Tiffany Matthews
Book your online toddler dance classes HERE
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