Ballet dancers all over the world are gifting us with free online lessons so you can finally make your Black Swan dreams a reality.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first broke it highlighted some of the very worst parts of humanity (*cough* toilet paper hoarding, supermarket fights and panic-buying). In the weeks that followed, though, it’s provided us with unexpected joys like a Lizzo-led meditation and tear-jerking examples of kindness, like customers who leave $750 tips.
As we navigate our way through the perils of lockdown, businesses like TAFE have offered free courses to help us upskill at home, but one of the best things to come out of the quarantine is that after years of wanting to learn how to do pliés and pirouettes, we finally can.
Dozens of ballet companies, dancers and teachers from across the globe have decided to bless us with classes free of charge, but to show your appreciation, try to donate to their cause if you can and help them come out of COVID-19 stronger than ever.
Here are the best of the best so you can hit the barre, ASAP!
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Since physical lessons have been cancelled, Australia’s national ballet company has dropped an at-home series so you can master attitude from your lounge room. Beginner lessons will help you learn ballet basics, intermediate will help you perfect your technique and if you’ve been dancing for a while, the advanced classes will help you fine-tune your craft. Each lesson is about 30- to 40-minutes long, and all you’ll need is some kind of supporting equipment that comes to your hips, like a chair or barstool.
Join Isabella Boylston and James B. Whiteside, principal dancers with the American Ballet Theatre, on Instagram Live on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – or catch up on classes on their IGTV page. As well as teaching you ballet moves, the duo will also lead you through cardio and barre classes that will help give you a dancer’s physique and endurance.
Know your way around the barre already? Join Tamara Rojo, artistic director at the English National Ballet, as she leads you through advanced ballet classes. The company’s YouTube channel also has warm-up exercises to do, ballet lessons for men, beginner’s classes and ballet-inspired workouts, too.
Ashley Boulder is a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet and during lockdown she’s live-streaming free lessons from her house. With classes available for both beginner and advanced dancers, you’ll find something no matter your skill level. If you can’t make her classes live, check out her YouTube channel to catch up.
Former English National Ballet School dancer Sarah De-Feu is offering 14 free classes per week on her YouTube channel. As well as providing adult classes, Sarah also has videos for your kids to join in on, too, so why not make it a family workout?
Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballet En Demand links top dancers with at-home students so you can keep in shape and learn new skills in isolation. Choose between beginner, intermediate and advanced classes, watch a pointe lesson or work up a sweat with a dance conditioning class.
The legends at Queensland Ballet have opened their community classes to the public (for free!) so you can train, stretch and work out like a ballerina. Each class is led by one of the company artists or teachers, so you know you’re in good hands. Most lessons are tailored towards beginners and intermediates, but there’s a couple of advanced classes for the tendu-literates.