The Best Online Dance Classes

Dance away your worries – and move like Queen Bey – with an online choreography class | Image: Shutterstock

Ryan Heffington

Ryan Heffington is the Los Angeles-based choreographer and teacher best known for his Grammy-nominated dance videos for Sia and Arcade Fire, as well as the choreography for the cult TV series The OA. His classes on his Instagram live stories attract around 6,000 viewers daily. “I’ve curated a dance workout that above all is accessible and fun – keeping in mind that parents, kids, rockstars and nurses alike are tuning in,” he says. “The choreography is just challenging enough for that brain workout yet simple and campy enough to let yourself go. It’s about sweating and being free.” Heffington exudes joy in his ’80s shorts. His choreography is an extension of the “campy, sassy, sexy” vibe that made his Los Angeles studio a cult hit. “Even though it’s me and a phone screen in my bedroom, I totally feel everyone that is with me and it’s incredible.” @ryan.heffington

Choreographers and dance professionals

A huge number of international choreographers and dance class companies that, at one time, could only be seen in person are now gaining big followings. Sienna Lyons does a weekly stretch class, and names such as Joshua Base Pilmore and Ysabelle Capitulé can also be seen on Instagram live. In a moment of isolation, seeing people comment in real time is surprisingly comforting. @siennalyons1@joshuabasepilmore@ysabellecaps


Heels and Feels

Heels and Feels is a two-year-old company founded by performer Cherelle Jay. Jay was working as one of the leads in London’s West End musical Six when she got the news that “the show was closing and the West End was going dark”. Her response, an Instagram programme with daily dance teachers, offers a nightly demonstration as to how to hair whip, slut drop and dance like a music video pro in high heels. She has intentionally made her classes available for free, with a link for those who can donate to pay the tutors. “I’ve just lost my income, along with most of my friends, colleagues and regular teachers – how unfair would it be to have online classes but not be able to afford them at this time,” she says. The company has exploded as a result, with almost 5,000 new followers. @heelsandfeelsuk

At Your Beat

The dance school At Your Beat was quick off the mark to prep for online classes and pre-recorded some sessions before the lockdown. #AtYourGaff is perfect for starter classes, especially the energetic and fun cardio class AYB Body. “A lot of people at home have never danced and we don’t want to alienate them. It’s a really good tool for learning for beginners.” It is now introducing live Zoom classes and hosting free tasters on Instagram live almost daily. @atyourbeatstudio





Patreon is another platform many choreographers are using to teach the art of dance, including Alisha and her sister Aleta Thompson, Alice Porter and Danielle Barton. All upload videos of different hip hop, heels and commercial pop classes for subscribers at £3 to £5 per class. “I’m trying to teach how I normally would in a studio, having fun and making silly comments,” says the effervescent Barton. “Dance-fitness is such an important thing right now, as it gives people a chance to forget about the stress of what’s going on and just get lost in movement for an hour.” 



Dance against Corona

A huge flurry of dance information has flooded social media for those wanting to try more. Look for the hashtag #danceagainstcorona and account @danceagainstcorona – which are particularly good for European classes. Meanwhile, studios like @basedancestudios are using social channels to promote their teachers, while choreographers like @nathaliebld are showing off teachers with an emphasis on dancehall. “We’re inundated with chaos, statistics and the grim reality of our current situation. So much grey,” says Ryan Heffington. “Dance is and will always be therapeutic. It’s moving meditation. We need a distraction and joy right now. What’s not a better way than to dance, sweat and laugh?” @danceagainstcorona