The digital dance industry is exploding with new teachers and students. Online dance classes can provide students with additional value from that of in-person lessons but teaching and learning dance online also requires some extra considerations. Repeated technical difficulties can discourage students from wanting to learn, and I have already felt this myself while taking online dance classes. Keep reading this post to learn a few of my tips for teaching better online dance classes, learned mostly from my experiences as a student.
Sound and Video are Skills to Learn
While it may have seemed like a temporary fix to some, online dance is going to be a regular thing in the future. If you are planning to continue teaching online, you need to learn the skills for it. It is likely you would not just bring new equipment into your physical studio and not learn how to use it first, so you should show the same care for online training. One tip is to take some time to learn about how to work with sound and video within your chosen streaming platform before you run into issues with students.
Know Thy Device
The two big things here are battery life and network (I’ll touch more on network below). Streaming video uses more battery life than you may be used to, and I have experienced teachers rushing classes to avoid a dead battery and have also had class end suddenly. Make sure you have charged your device before your class and also that you choose a location where you can keep your device plugged in and powered on.
Pay Attention to Your Network
You will also need to pay attention to your network. If you do not have a reliable connection when you plan to stream your class, it may be more worth it to your students if you prerecord. The unfortunate truth about streaming video is that no matter what you do, there is some level of delay. Therefore, it is a good idea to teach a bit slower than you normally would, and repeat essential information multiple times.
Your value as a dance teacher will only increase if you spend some time learning and testing the technology before you invite students into your class. There are many tutorials and walk-through videos available online that can help you to learn the different settings and features of whichever platform you are using.
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