Today’s post is one that I know people have been looking forward to for a little while- my honest thoughts on Claudia Dean’s brand new online platform.
I took the Class With Claudia summer intensive in London last summer, and in those three days I learned so many amazing corrections and exercises that transformed my technique. Therefore I had zero hesitations about signing up to the new Live platform as soon as it was announced. Here is what I think of it.
What is Claudia Dean World Live?
Claudia Dean World Live is an online, membership-based platform. In order to become a member, you need to sign up and pay the monthly fee. In exchange, you have access to a wide range of videos which includes a variety of follow-along ballet classes, and follow-along videos for certain key areas, such as pirouettes, flexibility, jumps, foot strength, and loads more. Claudia has recently also added key exercises for these areas, so you can watch just the exercises without following along the whole tutorial if you prefer that. Two new videos are added every week, and there are frequent live classes that you can join in with at certain times. Claudia has also mentioned that she has plans to grow this platform and add even more features, so I’m sure that even more is coming!
What is on there?
So, at the moment, there are lots of past live classes, including barre, barre and centre, and variations. There are also tutorials and key exercises for things like turnout, feet, jumps, extensions, flexibility, pirouettes, posture, balancing, pre-pointe and pointe. Within these categories are a number of more specific videos, for example in pirouettes, there are follow-along videos for pirouette preparation, fouette preparation, double pirouettes, chaines, and en dedans turns, as well as all the key exercises.
How much does it cost and is it worth it?
The cost is currently around £20 per month. I know that at the moment, some people might be struggling financially and hesitant about paying for something like this. However, in my opinion, this is extremely good value for the quantity and type of content available on the platform, and actually it’s being made available for a fraction of what it’s really worth. I think that this is an investment in your dancing that is worth every penny and more. There’s nothing else like this available, and being able to have access to it all in one place from wherever you are is absolutely invaluable. If you’re not sure, currently there is a 2-day free trial available so you can always try it out before you commit to becoming a member!
Is it really for every skill level?
Claudia says that this platform is for every skill level, and I do pretty much agree. In my completely honest opinion, a beginner or intermediate dancer will get a little more out of it than a professional dancer. However, I think even advanced and professional dancers can find key exercises here to really fix their technical weaknesses and take their dancing to the next level. In that way, even though a professional dancer might only want to use the platform to work on a couple of key areas rather than lots of things, I think that they could potentially get huge value in that these key exercises are really transformational when applied consistently. I consider myself an advanced dancer, not professional yet, but I find value in every single area currently on offer in the platform.
What are the drawbacks?
Someone commented on my Instagram post that they weren’t sure about investing because all the reviews they’d seen had been 100% positive and she wanted to know the full picture before buying. I promised a completely honest review and that’s what this is. Honestly… there aren’t really any drawbacks that I’ve found yet. The content is incredible, it’s updated constantly, the platform itself is easy to use and works well, and whilst it does cost money I think it’s very affordable and good value. If I had to think of something, I’d say that there is one annoying chat pop up in the bottom corner of the website that I’d personally like to be able to get rid of- but that’s literally it.
How can I get the most out of it?
I think that now, while we’re all stuck at home, is the perfect time to invest in something like this. Now is a great opportunity to assess your dancing and your goals, and get into good training habits.
- First, I recommend that you set yourself one or more goals. What’s something you’d like to achieve, or be able to do really well? What are some things you can do to help you to get there?
- Now, think honestly about your technique. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Be honest, but don’t put yourself down. EVERY dancer (and every person!) has strengths and weaknesses. List the things you’re great at, and the things that need work.
- It is tempting to spend a lot of time on the things we are already good at. If you’re already a great turner, don’t spend all of your practice time working on turns. Look at the list of your strengths and make sure that you’re not spending a lot of time on those things. Obviously you can still enjoy them and work to hone those skills even more, but you’ll see much more progress by focusing on the areas of your technique that require improvement.
- Out of your weaker areas, which of these will help you the most in achieving your goals? Look at the goals you set in the first step, and choose one or two areas of your technique that need improving and will help you to achieve your dancing goals.
- For those areas, go to the Live platform and do the follow-along classes for those. Pick the key exercises that you found to be the most effective, and make them a part of your daily routine. Do this alongside taking follow-along classes, and any other videos you might want to try out from time to time for fun.
- Be really consistent. Don’t do loads of exercises every day for a week, get tired, and give up. Just choose a few (I think Claudia recommended 5 when she spoke about it on Instagram) and do them every single day.
- Measure your progress by taking notes, videos and pictures.
- Once you’ve made progress and achieved some of your technique goals, you can work on another area of technique and choose new key exercises.
How I’m using the platform
In case you’re interested, this is the role that Claudia Dean World Live has in my training regime. It is my primary goal to be ready for professional work by next year. I really thoroughly assessed by strengths and weaknesses in all the skills needed for a professional dancer- not just technique but everything. (You don’t need to be this thorough. Technique goals are fine to begin with. It’s important for me to be more pedantic because I’m at a really important phase of my career).
My strengths are: Allegro; Contemporary technique; Flexibility; Artistry in Performance; Overall fitness; Grit, determination and a growth mindset; Being ready to step in; Self-marketing; knowledge of the art form; Healthy dance practice based on dance science.
My weaknesses are: Pas de deux; Pointe; Pirouettes; Diversity as a performer; Specific physique requirements; Lack of good coping mechanisms; Consistency; Performing, competition and freelance experience; Knowledge of repertoire.
I have a training plan to address these areas alongside general skill improvement and a training programme for general health and fitness. My training plan incorporates classes, workouts, nutrition, sleep, and study. So the platform is just one part of that overall plan.
I am going to be using the platform to take some of my daily classes whilst lockdown continues, and to learn some variations as well. Whilst my school is continuing classes online (and I was taking these at first), the financial reality of being a completely freelance household without an income during lockdown means that I have had to stop for now. But actually, I find trying to stick to a class schedule from home quite stressful, and I prefer to take classes at my own pace, and times that fit my current schedule a bit better. I am also going to be doing follow-along videos for feet/ pointe, and for pirouettes. I will choose key exercises to do every day, and I may follow along different videos throughout the week (for example, one of my weaknesses is pirouettes, so alongside my exercises I could do a follow-along video 2 or 3 times per week as there are so many available for different kinds of turns).
I really hope that this review has helped you in deciding if this platform is right for you. Of course, every single dancer is different so don’t feel pressured to do as I do or to agree with my judgements. However I do believe that this platform is a great investment if you want to make progress in your dancing, especially during lockdown, and it’s playing a key part in my training routine going forwards.
I will probably do a follow-up review at a later date, as the platform is still developing and growing with new features being added, and also to update on my progress with the exercises over time.
If you’re a Claudia Dean World LIVE member, I’d love if you could share your own experience of using the platform in the comments!
Keep dancing everyone,