It’s an understatement to say that COVID-19 and the self-quarantine measures have disrupted the dance community. With dancers at home and studios closed, it is difficult to maintain our craft alone and in such a limited space. The good thing is, there are many, many resources available online for dancers to use and keep active at home.
However, it seems almost everybody in the worldwide dance community is doing their own ballet class on Instagram or making workout YouTube videos that it can be overwhelming on where to start. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of all the best places to keep dancing during the quarantine, from Instagram to online training platforms to dance blogs. We’ve even got some tips at the end on what to expect when doing ballet class in your living room and how to properly train at home. This is your complete At-Home Ballet Training Guide.
Create an At-Home Ballet Training Plan First off, let’s cover how to even start doing ballet at home. Dancing from home is difficult without a doubt. Even when you do end up motivating yourself to put on your ballet shoes, what exercises should you do and how can you focus on improving like you would in the studio? Make a plan. Create an exercise routine for yourself, outline goals and track your progress. Video yourself and rewatch yourself self-correct. Keep a dance journal to document all your workouts and progress throughout the weeks. For more ideas on creating an effective at-home ballet training program, check out this post from The Ballet Blog.
Next, let's move on to the most important thing for dancers: ballet class.
Online Ballet Class, Workouts and Exercise Resources
Just because you can’t come into the studio doesn’t mean your dance training stops all together. There are several online options available to bring the studio into your home, including online ballet class platforms, YouTube videos, and even professional dancers live streaming themselves teaching class and doing workouts. Take advantage of all these resources right at your fingertips (literally!), including many free trial offers many subscription-based online ballet class platforms are having at the moment due to all the upheaval from COVID-19.
A great resource website that lists all the information of live-stream classes around the web with links to each. Many of the classes are taught by top professional dancers and are on free and easy to access platforms like Instagram Live or Zoom.
A website that hosts free online ballet masterclasses taught by professional dancers and more dance community members.
**Free 14-day trial offer**
A ballet online training platform where you can stream ballet class with ballet stars like Julie Kent and Wendy Whelan. Pricing: $15.99 USD (plus any tax) per month subscription.
A multi-level online ballet master class free app available on the Apple app store and Google Play with in-app purchases. The app features AI technology that records your movement—such as the position of your body in space, speed, angles, angular velocity—and compares it to a professional ballet dancer executing the same exercises, to help you analyze and correct your work. Learn more on their website!
**Free 7-day trial offer**
A dance video hub offering over 1000 dance training videos online from ballet to hip-hop and beginners to advanced. Take the quiz to receive dance video recommendations tailored for your age, skill level, and interests. Pricing: $15.00 USD per month subscription.
Worldwide Ballet Class @worldwide_ballet_class
Daily ballet classes with guest ballet stars from all over the world! Classes will be held on Zoom.
Tiler Peck @tilerpeck
The New York City Ballet Principal has been hosting daily ballet class on her Instagram, often featuring guests such Misty Copeland and Jennifer Garner.
Chun Wai Chan @chunner
Principal, Houston Ballet & Guest Principal, Hong Kong Ballet.
Cloud & Victory @cloudandvictory
Singapore-based dancewear brand releases a weekly roundup of all online ballet classes, as well as sometimes teams up with ballet stars to host a ballet class on their platform, including Patricia Zhou and Juliet Doherty.
Best friends and Principal dancers at American Ballet Theatre often team up to do a collaborative #TheCindiesBalletClass, often with fun themes such as 80’s music, Giselle-themed ballet class and more fun ideas.
Soloist, Miami City Ballet, former Soloist, NYCB and ballet YouTuber.
Former Dancer, The Royal Ballet, ballet coach and dance YouTuber.
Dancer vlogger based in California, USA.
Alessia, former dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and dance YouTuber.
At-Home Training Tips
Now that we have all the resources available to do ballet at home, here are some tips to help you do your best training in your living room.
Even though we are at home, it is important to prepare for class like you normally would. Studies show that routine is important, and while it might be fun at first to try ballet in your pajamas and a ponytail, you might find yourself being less motivated and productive. The simple act of changing into your leotard and tights, bunning up your hair and doing your warm up stretches can really make a difference to help yourself feel better and draw the line between Netflix time and ballet time.
Your Dance Space
Of course at home, we do not have the luxury of an open studio space with special dance flooring and a barre. However, make sure you have enough room to do your normal barre work in as most training during this period will be minimal and condensed. Also be mindful of the floor you are practicing on. Try not to dance on anything too slippery; if you need extra traction, dance on a carpet or yoga mat. For a barre, use a sturdy chair, table or counter top. No chairs with wheels or anything too short or too tall for your body. Make sure your “barre” is the correct height for yourself so you won’t be dancing in a weird position. Be careful of hitting furniture or injuring yourself, especially when doing movements that require more space, like grande battement!
If doing ballet class live online, like over Zoom, make sure your laptop/phone camera is at the correct height and distance away from yourself so your teacher can see your whole body in the video. It is not helpful if your camera is only positioned to see your torso and not your feet! Do not use a virtual background or any special effects when participating in a video call. Other proper video call etiquette includes muting yourself when participating in class so your background noise does not hinder class, and don’t be afraid to nonverbally communicate with a thumbs-up or head nod to confirm that you are okay and that you are able to understand and hear your teacher. Video calls are still a new landscape for dancers and teachers, so provide as much feedback as possible so we are able to improve and provide the best experience possible during this time.
This is a very hard time for everyone and obviously, at-home training cannot replace in-studio training. It is important that you realize that everyone is in the same displaced position as you. The whole world has halted and adjusting to this new ballet life is not easy. However, be patient. Progress during this time will not be as straightforward as landing that double pirouette you were working on before. Your goal during this period is to keep your body primed so that when this is all over, you are ready to dive back in the studio with your regular classes. And the best way to achieve that goal at this moment are videos and Zoom classes. So fire up that YouTube video or Zoom and get to work!
Additional Resources for Dance News, Tips and More
Keep up with all dance and ballet news around the world, technique tips and tricks, interviews and recommendations, workouts and exercises, and more with these blog and dance news websites.
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US-based dance publications detailing all things in the dance world, including dance news, training and career advice, lifestyle, and dance guides.
Started by David King in 2014, A Ballet Education includes a ballet blog, ballet artwork, ballet coaching videos, and has grown to be a resource for teachers, students, ballet professionals and ballet lovers.
We aspire to create the most beautiful dance magazine that is modern and showcases dancers and dance artists to reveal who they are as people, what they think and what they feel. We feel privileged to have interviewed incredible dancers, choreographers, artistic directors from top dance and ballet companies from around the world.
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