Health fitness and dance classes on Zoom


Contributed by Rosa Caramazza

With all classes online, everyone has had to adjust to being in a different environment.

As cameras turn on for class, students stretch their muscles in their rooms and wait for instructions from their dance teacher on their screens.

Dance and fitness classes over zoom are a unique part of remote learning and due to the level of motion and activity that is associated with these classes, teachers and students are adapting. All parties involved must make the best out of what they have.

With all classes online, everyone has had to adjust to being in a different environment. Sophomore and advanced dance student Alissa Rogozin had to adjust her view of class quite literally.

“Space was an issue because I would bump into things, and I would have to adjust the camera in order to see my whole body,” Rogozin said.

A secondary stress that some students face is doing physical activity in front of a camera. Some may find working out on camera to be nerve-wracking, but Angela Lee, a senior taking a health and fitness class, has not found this to be a problem.

“It is awkward because you are in a Zoom and you are doing physical activity, but it’s definitely not as bad as I thought it was going to be. We are supposed to turn off our cameras, so you can only see yourself and the teacher,” Lee said.

Doing physical activity though the screen may be challenging for students but, for the teachers, making sure that the curriculum benefits the students is a priority. Yoga instructor and Spanish teacher Elizabeth Gorman has different ways to teach yoga online, and she has also fit in lessons about mindfulness to benefit her students.

“We are still experimenting and trying to find the best way, but I don’t pretend that I know the best way to do it. The curriculum is really a health and wellness curriculum that supports the students in being active every day and learning about different topics like fitness and mindfulness,” Gorman said.

The way Gorman instructs her yoga class has changed in order to adjust to being remote. She has to prepare more for her class ahead of time in order to have class ready on Zoom.

“I demonstrate in my living room or if I’m filming a yoga sequence ahead of time, I have one screen projecting a video or demonstrating and on my other monitor I have my students and the zoom,” Gorman said. “I have them set their cameras up and keep them on so I can watch them practicing. If I am playing a video, then I am more available to support and watch them.”

Dance over Zoom requires students to create a big enough space to dance. In Myra Hernandez’s advanced dance class, students stretch and then dance together.

“I think Ms. Hernandez is doing a good job of keeping normality in the classroom. We do stretches together in order to warm up our arms and legs and then we stretch on our own if we need to,” Rogozin said. “Then we go into a combination where she has prepared a choreographed dance that she teaches and we just go through the dance and sometimes we do it in groups. Sometimes she will tell half of the class to turn off their cameras and have them watch the other half dance.”

Even with classes going well online and during hybrid students and teachers hope to return full time when it is safe to.

“I would love to be back full time because that would also mean that we are in a place where we have a vaccine or that we have it under such control that it is safe but I just don’t know if that is realistic,” Gorman said.