Let me ask a question here: what do you think about virtual dance classes? I’m guessing most of you have tried at least one by this point. I’ve tried a couple, and also sat and just watched one without actually doing any of the movements at the time. Did you like the experience?
I’ll be honest here… I can’t say that I did. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with picking up new things for dance from video, or during a virtual class, but I can’t say that the experience is something I would actually look forward to if I thought about doing it again. I wish I would, because there are all kinds of virtual dance classes going on that I have been told about – some of them are free, and others require me to sign up and pay for. But it’s hard to muster up the desire to actually sit and watch more classes like this based on how the others I have done have been.
Part of what I liked about dancing was that it was a hobby (yes, I still call it a hobby even though it had been consuming so much of my time at one point) where I got to see other people. Even during the times where I was at some studio just to practice, there were always other people around to say hi to, or exchange occasional jokes with as we all danced. There was… camaraderie.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been doing fine while locked up at home without much camaraderie, but trying to have a dance class without that element just feels wrong. Virtual classes don’t really give me that. I mean, that seems really obvious, and I shouldn’t have to say it, but there it is.
Part of me feels bad for not taking more of these classes, especially the ones I would have to pay for. I know that there are people out there who I know rather well who make a living teaching others to dance, and taking these virtual classes (and paying for the privilege) would be helping to support someone whose primary livelihood has basically been cut off because of this situation. That’s something that has been hanging over my head when I look at the list of virtual classes being offered and just don’t feel compelled to sign up for them.
But then there is the dancing in my house part of the problem. Dancing in my house is not so easy. It also kind of hurts. I don’t like that part. So I thought that sitting and watching the class one time without dancing would be OK, since I didn’t have to worry about doing anything that might hurt. Nope, that just made things weirder. Watching without doing is weird. It wasn’t like times in the past where I was having trouble remembering something that I did in a class or a lesson, so I looked up a video of someone doing what I was trying to remember for review. Just watching videos like that without dancing never seemed weird to me. But videos of actual classes while just sitting and relaxing in a chair is a strange way to pass the time. I don’t like it.
On top of all of that, it’s also so much effort to share any hilarious jokes I have with the other people in class! In a real class, if I think of something funny I can just say it out loud to anyone within range of my voice to share my thoughts and let people in on the joke. In the virtual classes I have taken, I would have had to stop whatever else I was doing, make sure that my cursor is in the text box, enter in my comical musings, and then try and go back to paying attention to the class while trying not to pay attention to the rest of the chat to see if anyone has anything to say in response. That’s not as much fun!
I know that’s a really inconsequential thing to be worrying about during this time, but it’s an issue I had that is related to the topic I am discussing, so I wrote it down. It’s nice to get things off my chest.
Those are my thoughts on virtual ballroom classes. How about you? Have you been enjoying taking classes from home? Has anyone tried doing a private lesson from home? I’m curious what that would be like.
Just keep on keeping on, I guess. There are at least a couple more weeks of things being shut down scheduled in my area, so ballroom classes won’t be back for at least that long, and probably longer if people are afraid to go out and be in groups so not enough people attend the classes to make them worthwhile for studios to offer. We’ll have to see what happens. Until then, let the virtual instanity continue, I guess.