Want to know how to set everything up to make sure you have a simple, easy, and fluid process with your online belly dance class? Well, I’m going to go over a few things with you to make sure that you have everything set up so your experience can be an awesome one.
Really Good Internet
The first thing you want to have is a really good internet connection. If you can stream Netflix or watch YouTube videos, you’re going to be fine. If these platforms run a bit slower, then you know you will definitely want to up your internet speed; otherwise, your video will look choppy, or your audio won’t sync to the visual content. Your teacher will be talking, and the words will lag behind.
Water and Snacks
If you get sweaty like I do, you’ll definitely want a towel nearby, as well as water and a snack to avoid getting hangry. You also definitely don’t want to feel light-headed from all the dancing and movement that you’re doing, so a small snack and some water will come in handy.
Clear a Space
Another thing that’s really important is to try and clear out space in your area where you’re going to be watching the class.
So, if you can do a 5’x5′ space, that would be fantastic. I know not everyone has that kind of room because we’re dancing between couches and coffee tables, in the kitchen, and down a hallway, but if you can make that room available, you’ll find that you’ll move with a lot more excitement with less constraint and you’ll learn how to train bigger, not only train smaller.
Find a Mirror
If you’re used to dancing in front of a mirror, you’ll want to have one available. If you don’t have one available, that’s okay! If it’s a live session, typically, you can look into the camera and see yourself on the webcam. If it’s a pre-recorded class, you might not have that luxury, and you may need to set up a mirror nearby for yourself. A cheap full-length mirror will do.
However, if you don’t have one, that is okay, too! The most important part is to feel your body and experience what’s happening with all the changes in movement and the quality of movement. You can learn to do this and not have to depend on a mirror for your feedback. Learning to do this is super super important.
Video at Eye Level
It is also important that when viewing your class on your device that it is eye level, or as close to you as possible. If you are always looking down at your screen, you’re going to be training all hunched over. Your body will be leaned down, looking at your screen while you dance. This means you won’t be able to do the movements correctly.
To solve this problem, you can prop your device up on a table, using boxes or a tripod to keep it at eye level. Once your device is propped up, you’ll be able to train while looking straight ahead instead of looking down at your screen. The less you have to hunch over or pull your neck down the better because it’ll really make dancing, training, and following your teacher a lot easier.
Keep it Plugged In
One of the things that I’ve personally encountered is my phone dying in the middle of the class, and you can’t help but yell, NOOOOOOO! This is especially crucial if it’s a live class. You’re going to miss material in the time your phone dies, and you have to plug it back in.
Due to the amount of streaming you’ll be doing during a class, whether it is live or pre-recorded, you’ll need to make sure your phone, tablet, or computer is plugged in because it can easily drain your battery. Try using an extension cord to be able to get more flexibility from your device.
View it on the Big Screen
I’m all about making things super duper easy for myself because what I want to be concentrating on is the content of the class, not the logistics of what’s happening. So, if you can put your class onto a TV or a very large computer monitor, do it. It will make it so much easier to see everything.
You do not want to be watching your instructor on a 5″ screen, having to squint or continually pick it up. You want to be able to see your screen from far away, just as if you were in a dance class. If you have an HDMI cable and you know how to hook it up to an external monitor, then I would totally do it! It makes my experience a lot better when I do.
As a student, I like to watch my instructor on the bigger screens because then you can see fine details of the movement even better as well as you’ll cut out squinting and leaning in while training to the middle of my movement. I highly recommend watching it on the biggest screen you have.
Turn the Music Up!
There is nothing worse than not being able to hear music when you’re in a dance class. So my recommendation is to connect to an external speaker, either through a cable or Bluetooth. Once it’s hooked up, blast that music!
With the speaker, you get to amp it up so that you get way more of that “in-class experience.” If you don’t have external speakers, just make sure to turn your device all the way up. You just want to make your experience a really, really good one by hearing everything that’s going on. So, just do what you need to do to make sure it’s loud enough.
Make Sure Your Microphone (and everything else) Works
So once you’re logged into your app or the program you’re using for a live online class, it’s important that you check your microphone, your speaker and your video. Make sure all of these things work.
The last thing you want to do is be fiddling with it in the middle of class. When you have a question and need to ask the instructor, you want to be sure your mic is working, or no one will be able to hear from you. So, make sure your microphone and the speaker works, especially if you connect to an external speaker. Be sure your webcam is showing you, and you’re able to see your instructor. This is very important, especially if you connected a computer or an external monitor.
Make sure everything that you’ve set up is working well before the class, so you know everything’s good to go, and you can just dance!
Turn on Your Camera
And last but not least, turn your camera on if you can during a live online class so that the teacher can see you, so you can get feedback from the teacher right on the spot and get more of that “in-person feel.” You’ll get the feedback you need to make proper adjustments to your dancy so you can continue to improve. Plus, if you’re dancing at home alone, this is something you definitely want, as it can make you feel less isolated.
I know, some of you are probably like, “Oh no, I don’t want other people to see me,” and I totally get it. I’m shy like that too sometimes, so don’t worry. The most important thing to remember is that everyone is focusing on themselves and they’re not even paying attention to what you’re doing. They’re really paying attention to what they’re doing. So, get the most out of your class, turn your live webcam on so that your teachers can give you feedback.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips I’ve shared with you. I hope it really helps you out and makes your online classes a fun experience. I’m sure there’s other stuff that I haven’t thought of that you can share with me, so if you could, please leave a comment below and share. I’d love to hear your ideas!
This is all about our community and making sure we get the best experience possible while we’re studying online. Thank you so much for watching my channel, make sure you subscribe below to get super-duper important notifications for more videos about online classes, belly dancing, and Raqs Sharqi/Oriental dance. Make sure you keep in touch because we wanna DANNNNCCCE!