Let’s say your friend was like, “Hey, let’s take a cooking class!” or “Wanna try a French lesson?” – what would be your first reaction?

Curiosity? Interest? Disinterest?

Probably not anxiety, right?

Class, any class, is simply this: a place to learn. 

You suck at something, you take a class, you make mistakes, you try new things. And along the way, you get a little better at the thing.

Yet, so many dance classes these days provoke feelings of insecurity, nervousness, even a reluctance to try it at all… because there’s so much pressure to kill it for the class video.

A healthy dose of pressure is good, and has always existed, even before *~video footage~* became such a thing. We all want to push ourselves to perform our best.

But unhealthy amounts pressure manufactured by the environment – that can discourage and paralyze you. It’s, to say the least, not conducive to learning.

STEEZY loves dance and all the opportunities it provides for people, so we continually champion for encouraging, welcoming, inclusive ways to learn.

That’s why it was cool to see Ian Eastwood tweet this a few days ago:

We suggest you read the whole thread.

Not only does he bring up several different points,

and responds to people who speak up,

 

lots of other dancers / teachers chimed in on the conversation as well:

We read Keone’s thread (starting here)

and one point really stood out – the fact that a lot of people don’t know how much production goes into these class videos.

So non-dancers or beginners or fans see this glamorized version of a “class” and think,

“Damn. I could never do that. I should never try to take a dance class.”

💔

Labeling might be a huge part of both the problem and solution.

An experience can advertised as an “opportunity to film a mini concept video,” and offer just that. Like, the video aspect of a Millennium class is sometimes exactly why people go – it’s an awesome way to practice auditioning and performing, a type of training that a lot of dancers want and need. The video is also a valuable tool for independent choreographers, and adds another sprinkle of artistic expression.

But it gets problematic when the experience is advertised as a “class,” because the word triggers a feeling of “teach / learn.” With that idea, someone might enter the class and feel like their learning experience is being hijacked by a camera.

Dancers with different objectives will, naturally, have different methods to class. A big key might be in the transparency of these methods, so as not to discourage people by presenting something that feels impossible to achieve.

 

Antoine Troupe is one of our instructors and co-founders of KM Elite, a program that prepares young dancers to work in the industry. He has extensive experience not just as a dancer, but a teacher and a mentor, and he said this:

 

 

We agree that this is necessary, and commend everyone who took part in this conversation – especially those who offered a different perspective.

And of course, big ups to Ian for saying the thing that we’re all thinking but are scared to bring up ourselves. 

Here’s to more healthy, honest discussion to create a better future for all dancers.