Meeting people in person never seemed like a big deal. It was something that just happened everyday whether we focused on it or not. And then we were all hit by the pandemic. Due to the limited social interaction during the pandemic, we missed out on so many things we just took for granted. We weren’t able to play with friends or spend an afternoon at a mall. Our dance students felt these impacts as well when they were forced to go online. While they did a great job adapting to the online setting and made the best of their situation, they did miss out on some key experiences. Here are a few reasons why in person dance classes are so valuable.
1.They help students bond with each other →
This is something we all have seen during the pandemic. It is harder to create bonds with people over a computer screen. There is something irreplaceable about the face to face interactions we have everyday. We are able to truly understand what the other person is saying and clearly see their reactions and body language.
2.They help foster trust between the student and teacher →
Students find it easier to trust their teacher once they have met in person. This is because even from a young age, our brains tend to understand and appreciate body language. When students are able to interact with a teacher and see not just their face but also their body language, they form better connections and as a result are able to trust them more. This is key in fostering a positive student teacher relationship and thus key in a student’s learning process.
3.It is easier to stay focused →
When students are online, they are learning in the same environment that they play, sleep, or watch TV in. This means that there are multiple distractions present, from toys to a sibling, that a teacher can neither see nor control. In person, students are in a more controlled setting with as little distractions as possible. This makes it easier for students to focus on their instructor and easier for them to learn.
4.Students get the chance to further develop their social skills →
Especially for our younger students, dance class is a great time to develop their social skills. Dance forces them to interact with other students and they learn how to help each other out. When students are in person, they are able to develop more face to face social interaction skills, which will help them throughout their lives.
5.It is easier to learn/explain movements →
One clear advantage for in person teaching is the ability to better teach dance movements. By physically being there it is easier to show complex movements. As students, it is easier to ask about specifics as well as see the smaller details in each step. As teachers, being in person makes it easier to adjust the students so that they are in the correct positions.
6.A change of scenery is good for mental health →
By going to in person classes, students get an opportunity to get out of the house. This change of scenery can be good for mental health. Once students start to associate a physical place with something like dance (an enjoyable activity), that location can become a safe place from any stress or anxiety that they encounter in normal life.
7.It allows for more complex movements/positions →
By being in person, dance groups can experiment with new positions and transitions. The movement of the dancers is a big part of a performance. This aspect of dance is much easier to understand in person. Being able to explore new transitions can elevate a performance and make it more fun.
All of these reasons show the importance of being in person to learn dance. While we did a great job adjusting to the online setting it will never be the same as the real deal. In person meetings not only help create a great environment for the dancers, but also helps them learn valuable life lessons. These lessons are crucial for anyone, dancer or not.