It’s (almost) the end of 2020. What’s behind? What’s ahead?
After many many obvious grumbling (“Oh no no, teaching online is not my thing, I need real people, I need to look people in the eyes, how in the world can you teach movement through a screen…”, and so on) I skeptically decided to ride the wave, kick myself in the proverbial butt and try myself in the world of “online teaching”.
I firstly decided to start only with private coaching, it was the beginning of summer and the air was filled with the desire to teach again, even if through a screen. And that desire, far away from burning out, started growing and growing again after oh so many months of not being able to express myself through live teaching.
During the first quarantine, March through May (only 3 months? in my head time is completely different and feels so much longer), I fortunately didn’t stopped dancing and didn’t stopped sharing some videos, teaching short combos online… But live teaching is something different, and if you’re a teacher, or if you’re a student, you know what I’m talking about.
So, there it was: the human connection, the sharing, the striving to give and to enjoy, the present moment…
Now, it’s December, and it’s almost the end of it.
I’ve been consistently teaching online through private and collective classes for most of these last months. And what can I say about it?
Undoubtedly, it is a very different way to offer that human experience that we call “dance”. In some ways, it requires a slower process. In some other ways, it offers a much faster process. And these differences are not always dependent on the student’s background or abilities.
I’m still grumbling about all of this.
And I’m still asking myself: “Am I offering something I believe into? Am I connected with my inner intention? Is teaching online just a palliative solution, a way for students to move and feel inspired and for teachers to earn their living in such a weird locked situation? Or is it actually something that it’s valuable, and can it substitute partially or entirely the live, physical experience of teaching and learning?”
I think the main answer to all my inner questions is simply: it depends.
And I also know that this questions are deeply connected with all the social transformations we’re experiencing…
Far from giving an impartial answer to all of this, there are stories that warm my heart and keep me going.
Like a student of mine, that before the first lockdown started was following my live classes in Palermo.
We met, after many months of not seeing each other, a few weeks back: it was a sunny day and we were walking in front of the sea sharing our experiences, while she suddenly stated that during the lockdown months, closed in her parent’s house, one of my videos was her “life saviour”: she found herself almost everyday, connected in live streaming with her girlfriend from another city, following that video together…
And for her those moments of shared training, of moving the body and breathing in such a difficult emotional time, were precious.
“I know it by memory! I also remember perfectly the whole playlist you used!” she said and smiled, and that for me was like the fatal blow to my heart.
So yes to online teaching. And yes to online learning.
Yes to connecting with people you love. People you don’t know. People you’d like to know. People from everywhere. People that think like you, people that don’t.
Cultivate that connection, that goes far beyond wires and wi-fi.