Using Zoom for Dance Classes

Your Portable Dance Class:
Guidance to setting up an online class

Let’s look at using Zoom

We have created this resource to support getting your classes online so you can deliver live classes and tutorials with your regular participants and attract new ones!

WHAT IS ZOOM?

Zoom was created to be used as on online video conferencing tool for virtual meetings and hangouts, and now it’s use has expanded to being a popular platform for hosting dance and movement related classes. Like Skype or FaceTime, Zoom allows you to see the users in a chat face-to-face, on a phone, tablet, or computer. As many as 100 participants can join a Zoom at once.

Although Zoom is not the only option, it is has become a popular platform for its ability to connect a lot of people together creating a community feel and at the same time allowing for privacy options for the participant (ie turning off their camera).

GETTING STARTED

Zoom can be accessed on any device - you can download it from the app store on your phone, on your computer, or on a tablet or download Zoom for your computer by visiting Zoom’s online Download Center. After you have downloaded Zoom, create an account.

Once you have signed up to Zoom you can book a meeting at a specific time and a special URL will be generated by Zoom. This is the link to your class on Zoom (ie https://us04web.zoom.us/j/970358242).

You will then email this link, the Meeting ID and Password to the people who have signed up for your class. Your participants can either download Zoom or if using a laptop / computer they can use the link you have sent them

SET-UP & TESTING YOUR ACCOUNT

You can invite your contacts to set up a Zoom, or you can ‘skip this step’ and move into a ‘TEST’ meeting. 
When you click ‘skip this step’ you will be taken a page which produces a URL / web link for the meeting and a LINK which you can use to do a TEST.

 You can send this URL to your testing group later.

 If you click on ‘Start Meeting Now’ your device might prompt you to allow Zoom access – you should click ‘open Zoom’

When the ZOOM screen opens and you might be prompted as to what sound connections you want to use – click ‘Join with Computer Audio’, unless you have an additional or external speaker / microphone fitted to your device.
You should also click the ‘Maximise screen’ button at the top right-hand corner – this will make the Zoom screen fill your devices screen. Ensure you are connected with your computers’ inbuilt speakers / microphone.

GENERAL SET-UP STEPS

There are many different ways to set up Zoom, but here are suggestions for settings to allow you to see your students/participants and hear your music.

  • At the bottom of the zoom screen click ‘share’
  • Click the tab at the top that says ‘advanced’
  • Choose ‘computer sound only’
  • At the bottom right hand side click ‘share’

You’ll want to have your participants students muted or the person on the screen will swap to the person making the sound and keep swamping between participants who are making the sound that is picked up by the device they are using. Follow these steps to manage this:

  • Click ‘manage participants’ at the bottom of the screen
  • In the pop-up window on the right hand side click ‘Mute All’
  • To close this window click the down arrow on the top left hand side and click ‘close’.
  • When finished your class, you can unmute all and have a chat / check in with your participants.
  • To end the session, click the ‘End Meeting’ in red text at the bottom right hand of your screen. When the pop-up window comes up click ‘End Meeting for All’.

YOUR SPACE SET-UP & THE WEBCAM

You can either use the inbuilt webcam in your laptop or use an external one. In terms of positioning, you ideally want to have 3m between you and your webcam allowing allow the picture to show your whole body. If it is higher up this coul be another option if ou are in a smaller space.

HOW TO PLAY MUSIC

Play your music on the laptop you are using Zoom on or whatever programme you usually use. You’ll want the volume to be low or participants will not hear you.
Your voice is still going to be quiet whilst the music is on, but you will be heard another option is to use an external microphone.

TESTING CONSIDERATIONS

Remember to test before you go live to check if:

  • the camera and microphone working properly
  • the camera in the correct position
  • you can be easily seen
  • your internet is coming in and out or freezing, try using an ethernet cable between your router and your laptop. 

POTNTIAL ISSUES WITH USING ONLINE PLATFORMS

There will be a delay between the music you hear and the music your students hear, this latency is caused by transmitting the signal over the internet. As you are looking at your class they are going to appear to be out of time with your music and out of time with each other by a second or so, because the delay between each student will be different. Just be aware of this as there is no group fix.

COMMUNICATIONS WITH YOUR PARTICIPANTS

In your email with the link and details for your class, you may consider some of these suggestions to include:

  • it takes a couple of munites to log into Zoom to take the time ahead of the strat time
  • Be sure you have all you need ahead of the class (ie mat etc) 
  • Check your space and clear any objects that cold be in your way 
  • Modify your movements as needed to fit your space 
  • If you don't want participants to see you before or after class, turn off your camera
  • If you only want the teacher to see you, turn on your camera jsut before the class is about to begin

FURTHER SUPPORT WITH ZOOM

The Zoom website offers much support HERE  
You can also access Live Training Webinars HERE  
YouTube tutorial: Teach Online with Zoom – Beginners Tutorial HERE 
YouTube tutorial: How to teach online with Zoom: (Teacher Training Videos channel) HERE