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Ballet goes digital

Bournemouth based registered teacher Jamie Lee Mason looks at how online teaching enabled students to improve and develop in a whole new way

If someone had said to me that one day I would be providing my dance classes online rather than in the studio I would have laughed. But for so many of us this has been the ‘new norm’. I love the buzz of a busy studio, so naturally I was a little apprehensive about how these online classes would work.

Technology is never perfect and provided some hurdles along the way. Poor connection, loss of Wi-Fi and time delays are just some of the difficulties that students and teachers have had to overcome. Personally, I found that I had to adapt the way I taught to encompass the online world as well as the limited space. I had to dance in my lounge. And let’s not forget the joys of competing with over-zealous pets who can’t resist joining in with grande allegro!

But all this aside, I found that some students were really thriving.  

Every class we taught on Zoom was recorded and later uploaded online for our students to access whenever they liked. I found that the dedicated students, who were revisiting the work frequently, were improving faster than ever before. This had almost become a virtual notebook for some.

From my littlest Pre-Primaries, who’s faces lit up when we first connected online, to my adult dance students, who loved the routines and the social aspect, there really has been such benefit to this new way of teaching, for all of my students.

Lastly, we have been able to have some wonderful guest teachers provide workshops. This has enabled the students to gain such a wealth of experience, working with industry professionals who normally would not have the time to travel to our studios.

Yes, it is all a little different, but this ‘new norm’ is really enabling students to improve and develop in a whole new way.

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