You would never think you could teach something like dancing online but you would be wrong. While nothing beats the human touch the theory and even practice can be done online and we will show you how.
To teach Dancing online you will need to know:
- Methods of Teaching Online
- Running Live Classes
- Teaching Theory
- Recording your Sessions
- Editing Your Videos
- Creating Images
- Laptop or Computer
- Video & Audio Equipment
- Webcam + Microphone
- Professional Camera
- Hosting Your Course
- Dancing-related Platforms
- Course Websites
- Learning Management Systems
Now let’s jump in and see what you need to teach online dance classes.
Methods of Teaching Online
When you are teaching something as practical as dancing online you can choose between two teaching methods. You can run live sessions to review student skills and provide them with online training courses with pre-recorded videos teaching them the theory.
The two main teaching methods that you can choose from are:
- Running Live Classes
- Teaching Theory
Regardless of whether or not you have IT skills all the tools, we will show you are easy to use and won’t require too much previous knowledge. If you do need something done in IT there are heaps of online freelancers you can use quite cheaply.
Running Live Classes
This is a great way of teaching online dance lessons. The main advantage is that your students will be able to show what they have learned in the online theory courses and you can correct their movements live. This enhanced engagement and will definitely improve their involvement in learning and will greatly diminish the dropout rate.
There are many online tools you can use to run live classes. The platforms have different features and pricing plans. That’s why you should experience and choose what works best for you. The most popular platforms you can use to run live dance classes are:
Zoom is one of the most popular platforms that allows its users to talk to each other using the integrated audio-video capabilities. It features a powerful video conference tool. Using the free subscription plan, you can conduct classes of up to 45 minutes long.
The number of users is slightly limited depending on your membership plan. Apart from the enhanced video quality Zoom also features interesting additional functions such as:
- Green screen
- Host features (mute/unmute students, etc.)
Google Meet is a tool that is directly integrated into the Google Classroom learning management system. It allows educators and students to meet during live classes using the video conference function.
Every Google Meet conference has a unique URL. Your students will not have to search for another link every time the scheduled classes begin. You can send them the permanent link and ask them to connect in accordance with the schedule. All they have to do is to click the ‘Join with Google Meet’ button. The call will be automatically synchronized with their Google account.
If you want to learn more about how to conduct a live video meeting using Google Classroom, I recommend reading this article:
ARTICLE: Step-By-Step: How To Do a Live Video With Google Classroom
BigBlueButtonBN is the audio-video tool integrated into the Moodle learning management system. Its main purpose is allowing students and teachers who use the Moodle platform to interact using Web Conferencing which includes video conferencing capabilities.
This is commonly used during scheduled live classes and can be successfully integrated into exams and evaluations for monitoring students.
It features a lot of interesting functions, such as screen share, integrated whiteboard, remote presenter, and more. Apart from the powerful tools it also provides high-quality video and low latency.
If you want to use it during your online live dance classes, you should take into consideration that your students must have a previously created account on your platform. It is a great idea to use this tool when you are hosting your entire course using the Moodle learning management system.
Skype is probably the most well-known audio-video conference tool. It is widely spread around the world and already has millions of users. It can be successfully used in any domain starting from teaching online courses to talking with your relatives when you are abroad.
Its stable servers combined with a decent internet connection (from your side) ensure high-quality calls. To connect with your students during live classes, all you have to do is to add them all into a video conference.
From this point, you can share live footage captured directly from your webcam or with your phone on a tripod or digital camera. One of the main advantages is that the call is not one-sided. Your students can share their webcams too so you can see their progress during the dance class.
Thanks to its stable connection and powerful functions, it is a great idea to conduct live dance classes using Skype.
If you want to choose the teaching theory manner for your online dance classes, you will have to create the training content before the actual classes. Like any other online course it involves using different software solutions to create, edit, and share your training content.
Let’s find out what the most popular tools are for different purposes.
Online dance classes will require a lot of video training content. That’s why you need to focus on creating high-quality videos for your students.
The creation of content should be divided into three separate processes:
- Recording your Sessions
- Editing your Videos
- Creating Images
If you want to learn more about how to create training content for your online course, consider reading this article:
ARTICLE: The Ultimate Guide to eLearning Content Types
Recording Your Sessions
There are many choices that you can use for recording your dancing theory videos. You can use your phone on a tripod or a web cam attached to a computer or even a digital camera.
To record the video coming from any of those devices you can use multiple free and paid for software packages. Your phone can record using the camera software. A webcam comes with software you can install that will record the video.
On the other hand, if you use a professional camera you will have to record the footage on to the camera and transfer it via a storage card or using a USB connector to your computer.
NOTE: Transferring raw footage captured with your professional camera may take more time due to the increased quality and resolution. So it is a good idea to check the settings on the camera prior to recording to reduce the final video file size if needed.
Editing Your Videos
After capturing raw footage of yourself teaching dance classes you can choose to edit it if you want it to appear more professional. You can add annotations, soundtracks, and trim the video accordingly.
If you are not recording in a dance studio you could optionally clear the background using a green screen to focus the students on what you are teaching instead of the background. It is ok to have a background but just make sure it does not distract from what you are teaching.
Lighting is the other thing you will need to worry about. You need a light on you and then one on the background so that you don’t have shadows. If you have a couple of directional lights you can play around with them until you get the lighting right.
The most popular software solutions that you can use to edit your videos are:
- Adobe Premiere (paid)
- VideoPad (free)
- iMovie (MacOS)
- Movie Maker (Windows)
If you want to edit your audio recording, here are some useful software you can use:
You can create training content using images. You can show off certain dance moves and use the image editing applications to add explanations. For example, you can point out critical aspects of the dancing pose when dancing the tango.
The most popular photo editing applications are:
Laptop or Computer
Teaching online requires a laptop or computer to create content, set up classes, and conduct meetings. Generally any laptop that is not older than 4 years old will do the job when it comes to creating content.
Generally any computer less than 4 years old of around $500 will do for this style of training. For most training online an i3 or i5 Intel processor with 4gig of RAM with a solid-state disk (SSD) or 8 gigs so RAM with an older style hard drive is more than enough.
Video & Audio Equipment
Teaching online dance classes involves a lot of video training content. This requires a piece of additional equipment that will be used to record raw footage of yourself showing off different dance moves.
When it comes to recording yourself, you have three viable options:
- Mobile Phone
- Webcam + Microphone
- Professional Camera
You can use your own mobile phone on a stand or tripod as long as it has a good enough quality camera. The latest top model phones do. But if you don’t you are better getting one of the other two options below for quick focus, low light and a high enough frame rate for moving objects.
Webcam + Microphone
If you use a laptop, it probably has a built-in webcam. I don’t recommend using it to create video content for your online dance class due to its poor quality footage.
Creating quality content is very important. So you should consider upgrading to a dedicated webcam. This type of webcam will provide you high-quality recordings as well as pre-installed software solutions to capture footage.
A decent quality webcam does not involve paying an arm and a leg. Yet, the difference will definitely be noticeable. My personal choice is the Logitech C922 which you will find a link to on my Recommended Tools page.
It is an amazing webcam with a built-in microphone with noise-canceling feature. It also features a green screen tool that can be successfully used to enhance your content’s quality. This is the one I use for recording my own video
Your video footage must be accompanied by an audio recording of yourself explaining different aspects of the dance manouver. If your laptop has a built-in microphone I strongly advise against using it for your online courses due to poor quality. It is great for a quick video call with family and friends but for a few extra dollars you can create way better quality video.
If you do not know what type of microphone to choose, I suggest you take a look at the Recommended Tools page. I have a travel microphone and a professional quality microphone listed on there that I have used extensively in my previous jobs.
If you want a tool that offers both audio and video capabilities at the highest quality available, then you should choose a professional camera. It does cost more than a webcam and a microphone but its quality is significantly better. To use it properly you may wish to take a short course on how to use a camera
Hosting Your Course
When it comes to hosting your online dance courses there are multiple options. Basically the more customisation and features you want from your platform and how you want to handle payments and whether you are ok with giving a commision to the platform you are on are the main concerns.
The most viable hosting solutions are:
- Dancing-related platforms
- Online course websites
- Standalone LMS
There are many platforms that host online dance classes and can be used to host your content. Every platform has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is a great idea to try out the platform’s features before deciding to upload your content on its website. You should also read their terms and conditions as some websites own your content when you upload it.
Dance Online is an online platform that allows users to teach online dance lessons and get paid for it. It has a great video streaming software that is the same that is used by Netflix.
iDance is a very popular website that contains a tremendous number of unique dance lessons. If you decide to host your content using their platform the good news is that their marketing is very good. You will benefit from enhanced course exposure. This may result in getting more students interested in your course.
However, its most important drawback is that the competition is pretty tough. There are literally thousands of teachers that are willing to offer their service to online students. You could however use it for lead generation and do an introductory course just like how you would use YouTube.
Once the student has taken your introductory course they can then see the rest of the trainng on your website.
Online course websites
If you do not want to host your content on a dance-related platform you can stick to a website that is designed for all types of online courses.
Udemy is one of the most well-known online course platforms. It can be successfully used to host your online dance classes training courses. Thanks to its millions of users your course will benefit from extended market exposure. But with a larger platform comes increased competition. It is a great place to see what the current quality of dance training is in the market.
Skillshare is a great hosting solution when it comes to online courses. It offers great exposure and advanced features with minimum costs. Its payment method is not commission based like Udemy and is on how many hours your course is viewed. It is important to understand how these shared training websites pay the people that list content on them.
Standalone Learning Management System (LMS)
If none of the above-mentioned websites meet your standards for hosting your training content you might want to try a standalone learning management system.
With your own website and training course you will get 100% of the fees your charge for the course and have the most features available. The problem will be that you have to generate your own traffic and do your own marketing. This would mean social media accounts and maybe some google ads. Most people build their audience with a blog prior to launching their training.
Moodle is one of the most powerful learning management systems available on the internet. It is an open source software that means if you host it yourself it is free to use. There are some paid hosting solutions available as well.
The overall quality of your course can be improved significantly by installing different open-source plugins that are available on the Moodle plugins directory.
Blackboard is a premium learning management system that offers a lot of features for a reasonable price. It has all the similar features of moodle but also has some more advanced features. Moodle while it has third party support your Blackboard support is built into the quote you get from them.
Canvas is another great LMS that you can use for hosting your online dance classes. It is the new kid on the block and has some cool features and is growing in market share stealing some from both Blackboard and Moodle. It is normally the most expensive solution and not one I would suggest if you are a small business just starting out.
If you are not yet decided which learning management system to use, here are some great articles to support your decision:
ARTICLE: Canvas Vs Moodle: Which is better for online teachers?
ARTICLE: Blackboard vs. Moodle: How To Choose What Works For You?