As dancers we never cease to learn new things. We are always looking for ways to perfect and expand our techniques, our knowledge about dance or its history and to boost our creativity.
We’re geeks for our whole lifetime; we’re the eternal students of the creative world, even if we want to seem like carefree bohemian artists. So, here’s a tip: the best gift for us could be a new learning opportunity. What kind of learning opportunity? Let me explain.
In the dancers’ world we’re always struggling to get to study under the most appreciated and famous choreographers on the planet. It’s an honour to do so and the ways in which these opportunities may impact our lives and careers make us always seek to sign up for workshops and masterclasses where these people go and teach every year.
They are usually a big expense and we don’t get to go as often as we should or want to.
However, the internet has made it a lot easier for us lately.
With the rise of online teaching, we can take these classes in the comfort of our own home. Although, it is not ideal, it helps a lot.
So if your dancer loved one has a birthday coming up, don’t hesitate to invest in a dance workshop for them. I don’t know any performer who would not be surprised and extremely grateful for that. I actually got one of those from my sister last year and I loved it a lot.
She went for Misty Copeland’s Ballet Technique and Artistry on Masterclass, which I totally recommend. However, it is quite short with less than two hours of teaching in total, so I’d go for something longer which offers a bit more material to work on.
Doing your research before you purchase a class for your loved one will pay off. Keep in mind to look for these key features:
- well-known certificated choreographers;
- the possibility to sign up for more classes on the same platform;
- an interactive platform with people that can provide one-on-one guidance and feedback
- the possibility of receiving a certificate after finishing the course;
- the possibility to join a community and extend their work network, if they like the people they meet online;
- make sure they are not already signed up for it
I know it may seem like a lot to keep in mind, but there are courses that do check all the boxes in my list. You might have noticed, I have not included the dance style in my list. And that’s because it does not necessarily matter.
We are usually happy to try out new styles and personally I strongly believe that a complete dancer has to know a bit of everything. I am a ballet dancer, but I’d be just as happy to take a hip-hop class (where I would not really excel, but hey, I’ll try), as I would be to take an advanced under to most severe teacher at the Bolshoi theatre.
If you get us to study something dance related, we’ll be happy. It’s easy like that.
My personal recommendation if you like this idea will be the Dance Plug subscriptions. They are simply the best in my opinion. The platform offers a wide range of classes, covering most styles – from ballet, to Bollywood – you name it, they have it. Under every class description, you will find the instructors and their achievements, so even if you are not a dance aficionado, you’ll be able to tell who’s done their homework and who didn’t, who’s famous and appreciated and who’s not. And they do have their fair share of highly acclaimed teachers, I promise!
I love their class plans, as you can choose from a number of schemes that best suit your preferences: you can pay for a month, three, six or for a whole year. However, any plan will guarantee access to all of their tutorials (600+), which is great as they take the burden of choosing a specific class away from you.
Another great feature of this platform is the audition listings they have, so you’ll not only provide your loved one with a learning opportunity, but potentially with a work opportunity. They can also join a great online community and take part in a variety of events they post each week, if they happen to be around. If they are working for their own show, they can also find the right fellow dancers for it on the platform, as it also offers a recruitment feature, where they can advertise a position themselves.
All in all, a perfect, yet affordable option for a birthday present. And who knows, you might like what you find there and even sign up on the platform yourself. There’s no greater present for us dancers, than a loved one who takes interest and joins us in our crazy dance adventure!
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