I started up these classes in April with the thought that it would be an opportunity for complete beginners to learn to line dance during the long days of lockdown. My initial thought was that I would teach some easy classic dances so that people could go into a real class or social, wherever they live, once lockdown was over, and have a few dances already under their belts.
There were lots of online classes up and running already, at that stage, for more experienced dancers and more have come along in recent weeks. Indeed, if you go to the Everything Line Dance website and search virtual classes, all the classes for that day are listed - and there are loads! Some are free, some ask for donations, some charge.
As I don't live off earnings from Line Dancing, I am not charging for my classes. To be honest, they are as much for me as they are for the dancers as it gives me a schedule, something to get out of bed for and a reason to put makeup on!
If you've not yet joined us, all you need to do is to go to the Blue Topaz Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bluetopazlinedancing/ and find me teaching. Previous classes are also on the page available to watch at any time, so you can catch up. If you want to watch live, make sure it says live in the top left hand of the screen.
Any issues with freezing or not seeing it - come out of the page and go back to it. if it keeps freezing or buffering, make sure you've closed anything else that could be using the internet on your phone/tablet and possibly try stopping others in your house from using the internet while you're watching it, as that may slow your speed down and cause problems. I watch it on another phone whilst filming it, so I can see if there are any issues at my end.
And a word about health and safety - dancing on carpet is far from ideal, if you are having to, as I am, try to wear footwear that reduces the resistance on turns etc. If you have laminate or vinyl flooring, again, find footwear that eases turns but won't allow you to slip over. No flip flops or slippers that could leave your foot as you're likely to trip over them. Make sure you've cleared enough floor space to dance in, moving any low furniture out of the way - it's easy to bump into a coffee table because it's below your eyeline. And keep your pets and small people out of the room as they can get under your feet without you realising. Have a drink with you (water/squash etc), especially on hot days. If it's especially warm and you want to dance outside, be aware that your lawn or patio won't be as flat as you think they are!
I'm now using copyright-free music as Facebook mutes any copyrighted material, so some dances are being done to alternative tracks. I have several more tracks to teach to which will dictate what I'm going to teach in future weeks.
Music has been a real lifeline in this lockdown - I've been watching some line dance artists perform, dancing in mine and others classes and joining in with open mic nights. I've also re-joined Slimming World as I put on half a stone in the first few weeks, and I'm enjoying feeling fitter and healthier as a result, even if I haven't lost all of that yet.... And I'm getting back into my running.
Sadly, we've lost our little dog - he was 16 and getting increasingly poorly. Clive is able to sail again, although his crew currently has to be from his household (ie me).
I miss our real classes and our socials. There is a lot of debate happening about when we might be able to go back to them. I believe the halls are closed until September at least and, as Clive and I have a holiday booked which may yet go ahead, in September, I doubt we will be back to our classes before October as I would want to quarantine for at least a week after it, whether or not that is advised. However, as keeping to the 2m rule, or even 1m if it gets reduced, would be difficult, exercising with a facemask is not recommended and smaller class sizes might not be viable, we will have to wait and see...... Be assured that as soon as we can, we will be having a party!
Stay safe guys.