The pleasures of face-to-face classes

Following on from reading Sally’s story about her experiences of returning to teaching face-to-face classes, Edinburgh class share their experiences of meeting up ‘in the flesh’:

Last week after class we had a chat about Zoom and face-to-face classes as well as setting the world to rights!

Everyone agreed that during lockdown months our Zoom classes had been a real godsend. Having a regular date on the calendar, seeing the familiar faces and keeping up with some exercise when there was little else to do apart from endlessly walking around our own areas had been of huge benefit. We very much appreciated Sally’s efforts to keep us physically and mentally active whilst surmounting all the technical and logistic problems of making the project work.

We class members also had to learn how to join by Zoom and over the months gradually became familiar with the sitting rooms and kitchens of the other participants. The confusion of finding that Sally and everyone else seemed to be doing the exercises at different rates and in different directions took a little bit of getting used to but we soon got the hang of it.

One definite disadvantage which became apparent was that Sally could not make a free choice of music without added expense and there was some slightly more bland music in the early days than we would usually hear in class. Thankfully our favourite tracks, and some new ones, soon appeared. We all agree that with so few other dates in our diaries, remembering to “zoom in” had helped to put a welcome bit of structure in our weeks during lockdown.

Meeting back in person

However, it has been really lovely to get back to meeting in reality and there was much excited chatter when we met in person, catching up with news and meeting up with some people who had not done the Zoom sessions.

We find that having a date for an actual session with Sally in front of us is much more appealing than a date with a laptop in your own sitting room. It gives a very welcome feeling of a return to normality being back “in the flesh” even if we have to sanitize our hands and wear a mask on the way in.  Everyone seems to feel more motivated with Sally in front of us, able to check that we are doing the exercises properly, putting energy into the moves or gently suggesting some improvement.

In the class we have none of the distractions of phone calls, dogs needing to be let out, cats joining in with the floor work or doorbells ringing that interrupted us at home and we can focus on putting our best effort into doing the routines that Sally has devised for us. Zoom was a huge boon during the covid crisis but there is no comparison with being in a room full of people all working together with a skilled teacher guiding us and overseeing our efforts.

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