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:
YALL ARE CHOPPIN UP DANCING WITH SLOW MOTION IN CLASS CLIPS NOW?! lol this is where i officially tap out with the class clip epidemic. lol y’all have really gone too far. using a higher frame rate to rev up or slow down video within a class clip just to make it look cooler? smh.
— Ian Eastwood (@Ian_Eastwood) December 2, 2017
We suggest you read the whole thread.Not only does he bring up several different points,
this is all for education of the next generation. you have greats in this video as well. high skill level with no hopes of a viral clip on any of their brains : @KeoneMadrid @_marimadrid @v1nh @DanceLoveSoul @AprilJoy_ and WOW @TuckerBarkley 👏👏👏👏. https://t.co/V87JNJJa2u
— Ian Eastwood (@Ian_Eastwood) December 2, 2017
and responds to people who speak up,
i feel like it’s good not to feel alone. a good class is defined by the whole room circulating energy and all driving towards the same goal of dancing great. if you feel left out you shouldn’t give that teacher any more of your money or time. https://t.co/nYOEd2wUW4
— Ian Eastwood (@Ian_Eastwood) December 3, 2017
lots of other dancers / teachers chimed in on the conversation as well:
Same. Every point from every angle is valid because it’s 100% real. Glad it’s happening over social media because tbh, the conversation needs to be had publicly. That’s the only way for EVERYONE to be on the same page. Not just the leaders, but for all of us. https://t.co/gcpXuavpFL
— BAM Martin (@bam_martin) December 3, 2017
@Ian_Eastwood Sad. I’ve taught in LA just once this year & it was for charity. My class doesn’t fit this new environment. You know I had a blast teaching too! I came here to be a proper educator & student, but I don’t feel comfortable being either over here anymore. Were with ya!
— Brian Puspos (@BrianPuspos) December 3, 2017
Lmao catching up on the “lighter fluid residue”, and the best part about this is I can actually imagine you saying this out loud. 🤣 young G, say your peace. 👊🏽
— Lyle Beniga (@LyleBeniga) December 3, 2017
TUCKER BARKLEY. you are a big reason why i am saying anything online at all. you have taught me since i was 15 years old not to be afraid of anybody and be confident in who you are. what you have said in these tweets really means a lot to me and many dancers worldwide. https://t.co/itbErGEPFC
— Ian Eastwood (@Ian_Eastwood) December 4, 2017
Facts !!! I fully agree with y'all !! 🙌🏾 Couldn't say any of these points better myself!
— Amanda Grind (@DanceLoveSoul) December 5, 2017
I understand both sides. I do. BUT, I’ve witnessed it in SOME classes taken way too far. When you see content that has 3 select groups in a row with the same group of people in a different formation what is that telling you!? I teach about twice a week in LA. And put out 1...
— Mikey DellaVella (@MikeyDellaVella) December 5, 2017
Dance to inspire, not to impress. Inspiration is honest & authentic. Trying to impress is ego driven & won’t provide long term fulfillment.
— Tessandra Chavez (@TessandraChavez) December 2, 2017
"Class footage": the non-intrusive, often unnoticeable presence of a recording device to document the routine learned in class
"Class video": Turing what should be an educational class environment into a video shoot (ie- presence of lighting, costumes, etc)— Sorah Yang (@sorahyang) December 5, 2017
the ability to reach such a mass audience through these aforementioned class videos is awesome, but it’s very disheartening to me when i see teachers especially ones from my generation, take advantage of this and forget the reason why they’re teaching in the first place.
— Trevor Takemoto (@TrevorTakemoto) December 5, 2017
We read Keone's thread (starting here)
Best believe I stand by my bro @Ian_Eastwood on what he’s saying in regards to the classroom and a systematic manipulation of dance on the internet. It’s beyond one wall, studio, teacher. It’s global now. Too many are being misled by the content. A lot of vulturing the culture...
— Keone Madrid (@KeoneMadrid) December 5, 2017
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:
Lets knock out this learning environment discussion and then move on to how to attract and circulate more funding in dance so that we can have more impact in the world and truly be able to create freely without the sign off of a third party.
— Antoine Troupe (@AntoineTroupe) December 5, 2017
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.