So, for those of you who are returning students, you either received the Footwork Mastery Style Course for the one time payment of $37, or you got it free when you signed up for membership to the Online Classes which also cost $37 but recurring monthly. Some of you may be wondering why you now have to pay about twice as much for these new Online Courses. Shouldn’t I be making this knowledge more accessible to everyone? Well, I really appreciate the question as I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, so please allow me to explain:
The most important place to start, I think, is what house dance – as an art, as a culture, as a community, as a life-changing phenomenon – means to me. Through teaching online over the past four years, I realized that (as much energy as I tried putting into releasing new learning material regularly) house dance is not a cheap commodity that I want to peddle to random consumers. Which leads into the next question – Which type of students do I want to invest my time and efforts in? What type of people am I passionate to share house dance with?
If you have taken my Online Classes, you’ll recall they consisted of open-ended, mixed-level material (mostly intermediate and advanced level steps and choreography). Every 10 days or so (sometimes much longer) I would upload a new “Week’s” worth of choreographed sets of moves, maybe a short combination here and there, some moves of the day – generally stuff you’d be able to get from attending studio classes if they’re offered close enough to you. The point of the old Online Classes was to give anyone anywhere in the world with internet access to house dance lessons if they didn’t have any classes nearby.
Well, now, the new Online Courses are going in a very different direction with a very different goal in mind. Imagine something much more like an online college course. The learning material is structured in a way that assumes all students enrolled will start the course at the same time and go through each week together – and that’s exactly what it will be. Unlike the old Online Classes where you could sign up anytime, these new Courses open registration only twice a year: once in the fall, and once in the spring. Once registration closes and the course begins, the students that have signed up are the ONLY students that will be learning with me for the following FIVE MONTHS (a semester). This allows me to take a much more hands-on, interactive approach to teaching. I will actually be able to track my students’ progress and give personalized feedback. So, because I plan on giving my full attention to these students, I will have to discontinue the old Online Classes.
Similar to the former online classes, these Online Courses will operate on a monthly membership fee. This will allow you to drop out anytime you feel it’s not helping you, BUT unlike the former online classes, you would not be able to rejoin as easily. The reason for this is because it is a top priority for me to foster Collaborative Learning through these online courses. I believe community is key in learning house, and I believe students dropping out and back in whenever they feel like would negatively affect or distract students that are trying to work together to get through the semester.
In order to make this “exclusivity” economically practicable, I’ve increased the price. You’re probably wondering why it needs to cost $79 a month though. Well for starters, each month of the new Online Courses will have more than three times the amount of material that I provided previously through the old Online Classes. A typical week of the new Online Courses, will include:
- a 5-minute warm-up video,
- comprehensive instructional videos – in which I provide detailed break-downs of the moves and combinations including important lessons in freestyle theory and methods
- drill-along videos – in case you want to skip the break-downs and just get moving right away, we drill the most important combinations together,
- freestyle practice – I give you specific tasks in each freestyle exercise so we can drill application of the theory/methods I provide in the instructional videos, I even do the exercises myself in the video to give you examples of how it can be done,
- a cool-down video – we now incorporate stretching to help you with flexibility
- LECTURES WITH VIDEO-ANALYSIS/COMMENTARY – The “special” weeks (at least once every couple of weeks) in which we focus on styling concepts or musicality will include a lecture WITH MY OWN Analysis/commentary ON VIDEOS OF OTHER INSPIRING HOUSE DANCERS (SO YOU’RE NOT STUCK WATCHING ONLY ME ALL THE TIME).
In case it isn’t obvious, I have been and will continue to redirect most of my time, energy, and resources into these new Courses – so much that I will not be able to take on the normal load of in-person teaching gigs that I had before. Furthermore, if you’re a returning student, you’ll also notice that the new website has gone through some serious remodeling to accommodate all the new features. Also all of the classes are recorded in a studio, so as not to have distractingly ugly backgrounds (like the random garages or storage rooms I used to shoot in) anymore… and to reflect the higher standards of quality that these new Courses represent.
Aside from all of the new features and upgrades, also, try thinking about it like this – if you go to any dance studio or workshop you may be paying $15-20 for each drop-in class. That comes out to somewhere between $60-80 a month if you take class once a week.
BUT the reality is that open, drop-in-anytime classes do not have the same value as a program, which is a focused series of classes that are structured to build from beginning all the way to the end, and are intentionally designed to accomplish specific goals by the end.
Anyway I hope all of the above answers this question. Please feel free to continue poking around the new website, and let me know if you have any other questions. Peace!