Dancers Should take Advantage of Live Dance Classes 

Many dance teachers throughout NYC are providing free, live classes.

The quarantine has shown me a type of unity and strength that I have never seen before. The dance community is being forced to stay out of their studios and stuck in their homes for a month. For many dancers, this is a huge challenge because we are so used to going to training a couple days a week or even every day. So when we heard how studios weren’t going to be open for a really long time, it broke many of our hearts. 

Many would assume that dancers are taking a break during this time and doing absolutely nothing. However, many dance teachers have begun to teach class via Instagram Live, completely free of charge.

On Twitter on Tuesday, Debbie Wilson, the three-time Emmy Award winner wrote: “FREE DANCE CLASS TOMORROW! “Tune in to my Instagram Live on Wednesday at 1pm PST/4pm EST and let’s get those bodies moving! All are welcome. Spread the word. See you on the dance floor.” 

It surprised me that so many dance teachers all over New York have been teaching dance for free on line. Some though have found a way to charge people through Cashapp or Venmo which honestly at this point is fair. Dance teachers right now have no jobs, but they still have to pay their bills. The whole world would not go on pause so many teachers are looking to make money. However many dancers are extremely grateful for those free classes.

“It’s been challenging not going to Broadway Dance Center every day after school and taking a class. I miss it so much,” says Arianna Marrero, senior dance major at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA). “However, I am so grateful that one of my teachers, Stacie Webster, has been teaching classes for free on Instagram Live. Stacie’s warmup helps me get my body in check and it feels good after not dancing for so long.”

Stacie Webster is a contemporary jazz teacher at Broadway Dance Center as a drop-in teacher and part of the faculty in the children and teen program. I also took the class and I can say that it was very effective and helped my body feel better after not dancing for so long. Like many, I miss dancing and I have been trying my best to squeeze in free classes in the limited space that I have.

In addition, an Instagram account has sprouted during these times called @LiveDanceNYC. This account has taken the time to schedule out many dance classes that teachers will be holding so that everyone can try to attend and not miss them. This account first posted on March 22 and almost reached 1,000 followers in a very short time. 

“I have been able to take classes I didn’t know were even scheduled,” says Chloe Lovell, a senior dance major at FSSA. “I’m thankful that this account has taken the time to do this because posts about classes can easily get lost on social media.” 

I feel the dance community getting stronger. Those who truly love dance have been getting any type of training, which include zumba that can be found on youtube, conditioning, and stretching. It’s so easy to give into the laziness and not do anything at all. Dancers need to remember how important it is to keep their bodies in check because when we get back it won’t feel the same to someone who hasn’t been training at all. Dancers, take advantage of these classes, it’s not every day you train for free. Actually, it’s NEVER for free. 

– by Brando Ortiz ’20