Faster than a speeding pirouette, the dance world turned around a traditionally studio-based, person-to-person practice into an online smorgasbord of virtual classes, tutorials and programs for anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Ever wanted to train with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? Principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre or New York City Ballet? Now you can.
Even if your answer was no—but you have always wanted to take ballet (or hip hop or yoga) in the no-mirrors-nobody’s-watching safety of your own living room—this shelter-in-place/stay-at-home/lockdown/quarantine created an absolutely unprecedented all-access opportunity for the world to connect through dance.
By nature, dancers tend to be excellent at creative problem solving and inventing new paradigms at a moment’s notice. So, when March rolled around and told everyone to go home and stay there, dance teachers, choreographers, companies and arts organizations put their plié to the mettle. What emerged from a collective determination to keep dancing was an eruption of made-for-at-home technique classes, workouts, combinations and sequences specifically designed to keep all of us happy and healthy.
What a remarkable outcome from a global pandemic.
We wanted to share with you a few of our favorite online, all-access dancers and dance companies who came to the rescue. If you have others, drop us a comment. Sharing is caring.
1. Homegrown Tastes the Sweetest
Salsa with Ivonne. Ballet barre with Philip. Yoga with Elizabeth. Jazz and makeup with Kelly. The Straz Center’s indomitable Next Generation Ballet dance teachers made some wonderful vids on the NGB YouTube channel. You can take class with them all here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCet20pxWvNnfBWUMkHrQx8w/featured
2. Put Me in the Alvin Ailey Extension, Please
One of America’s most beloved, most inspirational, most jubilant companies launched Keep Dancing, free online classes with their hip hop, West African, “age-defying stretch,” beginning ballet, “I Love the 90s Cardio,” heels, all-styles vogue, belly dance and more found in one tidy place: https://www.aileyextension.com/keepdancing?_ga=2.80383511.1449502757.1586538647-2027563082.1586538647
3. Ms. Peck in the House
So, we know everybody loves NYCB principal dancer Tiler Peck, who danced as our Sugar Plum Fairy in NGB’s Nutcracker two seasons ago. She is awesome—which is why she opened up her own little Instagram studio that broke the dance internet a few weeks ago. She’s got interviews, kitchen classes and more. Check her out: https://www.instagram.com/tilerpeck/channel/
4. Dance #WithHubbard? Don’t Mind if We Do.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the greatest modern/contemporary companies in our nation, hosted its first full-length dance class last week with artistic director Glenn Edgerton. NOTE: This is the company class, which means it’s for trained dancers, but hey—now you can honestly say “I’ve taken dance class with Hubbard Street.”
5. “Well, I’ve Trained at The Juilliard …”
Be still our hearts. Guess who’s teaching ballet barre on Instagram? Alicia Graf Mack, the dance director at Juilliard, who is both beautiful and adorable—she is very relatable as she implores us to not judge her arabesque by sing-songing “yours is bet-ter than mi-ine…” Get a great stretch and workout while training at Juilliard? #onlyinquarantine
Trust us, there are many other studios, dancers and styles out there all waiting for you to join in from your kitchen, living room or bedroom. If you are missing your salsa socials, make sure you join Tampa Bay Dance Addicts on Facebook, where there are tons of tutorials happening all the time. TBDA also posts local online classes in punking, east and west coast swing, bachata, mambo, Zouk and more. Lots of these virtual studios give you access for free, but many also charge a nominal fee to help keep their real-time studios going when all of this blows over. So, you can take classes and help your local artists: win-win.