My journey with Online Live Classes and feedback from the survey

When lockdown started and all my work stopped, I also stopped after having really busy start of the year. Stopped to have a time to myself and thinking about my work as much as everything else that has been happening. Work has always meant to me a lot, but dance is not just work for me, it's a way of life. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. :) So really soon after lockdown started, my thoughts went to how can I continue my work and how could I also help people to go through this awful time?

(I am sorry if there is any misspellings, I have hard dyslexia. And sorry for this longer post.. )

Whole of my life dancing has always been the one that kept me going forward. So for having the pleasure to be in this field already over 15 years, I hope to help others to find the same from dancing and movement what I have found.

Facing situation with COVID-19, uncertain times that hit all of us. No one at this point can't really understand what this all can do for our physical and mental health as well. Being in lockdown, possible also away from family and friends as well uncertain feeling about the work field. It is a lot for anyone to handle.

I started to think would the Online Live Classes help others as much as myself? Keep going forward and dancing! So after asking around would people be interested of online live classes, I got many answers back in short time. I thought I need to have ago. Jump out from my comfort zone. I have never been big fan with any type of online learning and dance training for me is also that social aspect of it. Being there with students and other dancers and share that moment with all of us. How this all could really work?

So on 22th of March 2020 when I had the first Online Live class I had so many questions in my mind and asking myself could this really work... After the first class, the feeling was just was something that words can't describe. So much happiness and positive energy was floating around. I still don't know where this all could go, but I will have ago. Definitely this all has open my eyes for new ways to work.

First 11 weeks with the classes I did for free and got contributions as well. Which I am really grateful for!! I felt so blessed having people dancing with me every week! And I still DO!! Now over 13th weeks and over 100 classes I felt we had that social aspect as well, at least in some way. Of course it's never the same as in the normal class. But for that hour we all were connected from different countries as well. And that is priceless and couldn't happen otherwise!! After whole of my career, teaching in different countries I found a way to see the same students again even when I am not physically there. These weeks have definitely taught me a lot and after every class, my heart is just filled up with so much joy.

The classes definitely has helped me to stay sane and keep on dancing, working and sharing that time with lovely people has been again for myself the thing that has kept me going forward. And I truly hope it has given the same for everyone who has been in the classes. I got many lovely messages through these weeks and it gave me more strength to continue even when some classes got more quiet. I also wanted to understand more the impact what these classes has given to my participants. So I set up the survey to understand that.

After launching my own Summer Online Training program, it was again moment of jumping into unknown. Really scary moment.. what will happen... Would it still work.... Even though when lockdown starts to easy up, it still doesn't take the problems away that I have heard through out all my career: Can't make the class after work. Didn't have enough time.....

I hope through this program I will help people to find away to continue dancing even if there is not much time or chance to go into classes physically. Also finding away to try something new in dancing and just find your groove back!

My goal is to create more chances for all to learn more about different styles, what works for you and what doesn't. Create more chances to dance anywhere and anytime! Creating our own Online dance community where every one is welcomed no matter what is your background, age or your training level. Teaching with a passion for dance and training for healthier mind and body. Motivating you all to continue no matter what challenges comes in your way.

So these are my goals and I hope I will continue this journey with you all.

Below you can see the feedback I have got so far. I am so thankful for each of you who has given me your time to participate into the classes and answering this survey! Thank you all!<3

You are always welcomed to the classes, first timers or "old" students! Don't think I will start tomorrow, signed up now and get on going. :) It's never too late to go back in your training and getting that groove back.

Come and join in our; "THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, BUT ONLY GOOD SOLOS" community. :D

Thank you all again and I truly hope to see you in the classes!

I am still looking forward to hear from you, the survey is still open for your feedback:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdwUmNMFRvix_yXvtKtZqV5ZI_v_ac6M5KgC5AWJlIgourYTg/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you have any comments or thoughts, just stay in touch. You can also email to me pirita.tuisku@hotmail.com

What kind of experience the classes has given you ?

Energising!

It is lovely to keep dancing as it's the best therapy and way to forget about the world situation for an hour. The fact that they're online and not a video on YouTube makes it somehow easier to commit to a weekly routine. It's also incredible to see your spirit is equally high as it would be on real class - just that makes it worth participating.

Makes the quarantine easier to handle

It's been good to be involved in a lot more classes than I would be able to do in person. Its given me a routine and something to get up for during lockdown. It's made me feel connected. Its helped me stay fit. Its helped me experience different styles I wouldn't have tried before. Its given me a better view of what you demonstrate than in person sometimes.

They give me a lot of energy and they are good exercise. I also like the different options for some of dances.

Fantastic. My laptop not working so need to get a new one to continue

Just wonderful- I love that I can do more classes with Pirita because I don't have to travel into Edinburgh or stay late after work.

It's a highlight of me week. It's so great to play and move about it. The instruction is really helpful.

The classes have been really fun and uplifting, and it's nice to carry on doing something that feels normal and get a bit of exercise at the same time.

A proper, full dance workout and routine with professional instruction which I could not get otherwise. The fact that it's live and not pre-recorded gives me extra motivation and the feeling that I'm connected to the outside world (although the fact that classes are recorded and I can catch up on them later is also great!) . It makes me feel like I've achieved something.

exercise in a way that's good fun and very enjoyable

Very good, balanced, clear, easy to follow and fun!

Really enjoyed having something to break up a Sunday afternoon.

Your energy is so positive and I finish every class having sweated my body and my brain!!

Finding relaxation and giving me the opportunity to really listen to and feel my body

The classes are scheduled in my agenda as a routine to cope well with the week, it feels great to have a appointment with self-care and big crazy time online with Pirita's energy, even though i'm alone in my room i can dance like mad :)

A amazing amount of good and positive energy!

A really positive experience: I wanted to start dancing reggaeton also before the pandemic and I'm really enjoying the classes: it feels to be in a real class, even if we have limited possibility of interaction of course. You are managing the classes really well, with professionality and enthusiasm, and it always make the difference :)

Positive energy!

very positive vibes. Feel very energetise!Love that Pirita was getting over every step and her guaidance was clear and helpfull! can' t wait for the next class! absolutly loved it!

Learning new steps and getting more confidence

Uutta intoa kotona treenaamiseen ja mahdollisuuden kokeilla eri tanssityylejä, mitä ei tällä alueella ole tarjolla. :)

a chance to keep up physical training while not being able to have face to face classes, nice to do it with a familiar face.

Good reminder to stretch and move my body now that more of my daily work is at a computer. Also makes me take time for myself at least once a week, feels like more of a commitment when it is live, rather than just doing a class off youtube. I'm enjoying the positive attitude you bring to the class.

With contemporary dance I have found something (a dance style) I thought I had already lost forever. I would have never gone to a live contemp class again but gave it a try online. I’m terribly aware of my injuries and my body ageing, but at the same time greatful that I am still able to do a lot more than I thought. At home it’s also easier to adjust when needed and take time to try something that might feel difficult. My body feels so good after that class and also during the choreography. With musical dance and street it’s just pure happiness and fun. When it’s not too fast or complicated technically, it’s easy to enjoy.

Is there something else you would like to do more or any other wishes?

I wish classes started at 5.30 so I can do more of them! I only finish work at 5

I don't know why I find weekends hard to participate even during lockdown so having classes on Mondays and Tuesdays would be easier than weekend classes. Or the weekend classes could be later/earlier during the day?

I am happy with what I am doing so far

I really enjoyed the dance party class you did. It got my heart rate up a lot and I felt like I'd done a workout. With the choreography classes I get lost in learning the steps. I think having those regularly would be good. I also really like the mind body classes.

I like the added variety of the latin classes and the musical dance. I love trying out new styles and changing sometimes.

Reggaton is my favourite. Such a mood lifter and noone else does it.

I would love for there to actually be 'There are no mistakes, there are only good solos' t-shirts/merch for us to buy!

Do you remember the choreo you did for your kids (11 - 14 years old) class last year? There was a South African like step/tap that was really cool. Would love to learn that.

Maybe trying different styles of reggaeton/dancehall with more choreography - also more musical classes because they are super fun!

Not really! This format is great. I love the fact that on Zoom we can choose if others can see us or not, and how flexible it is.

the only tiny difficulty I have is the sound and visual not always being in synch - but this isn't a big problem - it doesn't stop me from enjoying the class.

Given my job schedule, it would be easier for me if the sessions would be around 6:30.

I'd love to see little previews of all the styles you offer so I could see if they interest me.

A Pilates class! I really like the parts of the Mind & Body class where we work

More salsa, and yoga would be amazing

More Latin Fusion & Reggaeton

Nothing that comes up in my mind! I like that we learn new dancing steps and a coreography in each class, so we have both improvement and reward :)

My kid would like to dance street styles too in her own level. The adult-level is too complicated for her

I do love the Reggaeton classes but I haven't tried many others yet

Tekniikkatreenit ovat olleet hyviä ja tukeneet kehon hallintaa koreoissa! Niitä lisää, kiitos :)

Open word.

Would you see yourself doing the classes in the future as a normal routine next to other classes? Is there something stopping you to join them? If you wouldn't want to continue online live classes, could you open why? Any other feedback you would like to share?

Although I still prefer face to face classes, the online classes are a good alternative. I can see you’re getting really skilled in running them each week. I really appreciate the time you’re putting in to create new routines all the time.

I will definitely want to continue the classes and will do my best to participate over the weekend too. Once we go back to "normal" (soon please soon!) I'd of course prefer a real class as online classes need extra focus from me as it's easier to get distracted by things around you.

If we were not in quarantine I'd rather do some classes at dance base, so that I can socialise with others and interact with you more, ask you questions etc. However, as I travel a lot for work, I'd love to be able to do some online live classes when I'm away from Edinburgh.

Yes I think I would do these as it would fit in more with a busy day than travel to a studio. I wouldn't be able to do as many as I am doing now if it became charged but I would want to pay for classes in some way if it's a combination of online and in person classes.

I would prefer real classes to online classes but I am aware this will not be possible in the near future so I am really happy with these ones. I am also aware that I would not have time to go to a class every day, so I get more workout off online classes.

Laptop broken but hoping to restart soon

Great classes and love the routines. Good for my brain. Thanks Pirita.

I would definitely like to carry on. They allow me to do more classes because of practicality, but they also allow me to gain confidence because I can just go for it without feeling self-conscious! I'm sure that when I am doing face-to-face classes again, I will have more confidence because of this.

It's great! I think online classes are fab. Would go to more it's just childcare on my end. I think online classes are necessary as we won't get to be back in a studio for a while and then even when we can social distancing will really limit numbers so hope there will still be an online option. Love it! Thank you.

I probably would do some online classes in the future as well as normal classes because they are easier to fit into your schedule (no travel etc) but I do miss classes where we are all together.

I actually feel freer in the online class than I do in a real 'normal' class because I'm not very good at the moves. In an actual class this makes me feel very self-conscious. Doing the online class, where no-one can see me, means I can practice the moves in the privacy and safety of my own home.

As stated it depends on my work schedule and how can I adapt. The weekend does not really work much for me. I do join to the Saturday morning one, but I am too tired after working all week to join the others. I also do ioga aside and some workouts. It would be easier for me if the sessions would be from Monday and start around 6:30. In any case,

you are doing a wonderful job! Many thanks

I really do enjoy coming to Dance Base, but sometimes work means I can't manage. Having the online option to fit in somewhere else in the week would be ideal.

I think i would continue with the online classes, they are so convenient, and easy to do in the comfort of my home.

I would be happy to continue online sometimes as I know Pirita cannot always come to Glasgow, also I work in hospitality 50 hours a week so my schedule is unbalanced during "non pandemic times", so the videos on Vimeo with the reggaton classes for example are ideal for me, it allows me not to miss a class at all !!!!

Thank you so much for your energy, your big smile and all your good words Pirita, that brings me a lot of joy during these tough weeks, it is deeply helpful for my mental health as I really feel like achieving somthing after a class, releasing anxiety, as much as sweating for good :) !!!

I would like to help financially but my Paypal bank account is blocked, so if you are ok with that I'll purchase more earrings to support your great work !!! Love this dance classes !

Yes, I would like to keep on joining the classes in the future. I could maybe stop or miss a class just if I have other appointment that make me unable to be home at class-time!

Yes, why not. I've always wanted to dance and this is an easy way to do it.

I would like to join both online classes and one in the studio once it will be open

If possible I would prefer to go to a class, just because the studio is more comfortable (no carpets or low hanging lamps) and in general I like meeting people. However these online classes exceeded my expectations. I feel I am getting a proper workout and really enjoy dancing in my house. If the world goes back to normal I would definitely like to keep those classes as addition to the weekly routine - I love how my friend who lives in Tenerife is able to join and we are dancing together. What I also love is how diverse those classes are - you don't need to commit to one style of dance per semester but you can mix it weekly. Another thing I really enjoy is learning a new routine per class - so if you miss a class one week you enjoy the next one as much without feeling lost. Thank you so much for teaching!

Jatkan online tunteja vaikka koronan jälkeenkin, jos niitä järjestetään. :) Kuten aikaisemmin sanoin, tällä alueella ei ole monipuolisesti tanssikursseja tarjolla ja työajat hankaloittaa muissa kaupungeissa kurssittautumista, niin online tunnit on pelastus tän hetkiseen tilanteeseen!

I'm not sure as I do prefer classes face to face, and still not 100& comfortable with the zoom format. But had been good to try out more classes than I would normally have time for when I am travelling for them.

IN some ways doing online classes has allowed me to try out things I would not have the courage to if I had to go to a regular class. And they fit well into my life when I don't have to factor in travel to and from a class. But I am missing the social aspect of classes too, so I'm not sure yet how I feel about continuing online classes if we get to a point when regular classes open up again.

Depends on how the ”new normal” will look like. If I have to start commuting every day again to work etc., the every-day life will be very different from now. The recordings might still be an option, though. But not as often as now, I suppose.

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