I almost cried mid-class yesterday. Those of you who joined in on my Stop Drop And Dance Zoom class Saturday morning know exactly what I’m talking about. I made it a special charity class for World Down Syndrome Day, in honor of my friend Stephanie’s son, Toshi, and was so grateful for everyone who bought a ticket to donate to The 321 Pledge, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adult students with Down syndrome by helping them achieve their dreams of higher education.
My internet connection was SO bad. SO bad. I had already taught 3 classes this week and I did not have connection problems. Not like this. Frozen screens. Completely frozen. I could see at times people just holding their hands up like “WHAT???” and not move for way too long.
I didn’t know what to do.
I felt helpless.
I felt responsible.
I felt like a disappointment.
I felt awful.
Finally, over halfway through the class when the screen froze for like 20 seconds, it was so bad I had to stop. Coincidentally, it was in the middle of the song, “Broken and Beautiful,” by Kelly Clarkson. It was a humbling moment. Do I stop class? Do I restart my computer and unplug everything? What do I do…
And then thank goodness I realized that I had JUST downloaded a new streaming application for a class I was teaching live later on Twitch for Marin Power Yoga (FREE yoga and fitness classes BTW!). That had to be what was stealing all my bandwidth!!! I turned it off. And thank GOD that was the reason.
Oh my goodness. A huge sigh of relief. Back to Zoom’s normal stream, which is far from perfect, but is at least acceptable.
We raised $160 for the 321 Pledge, and I gave everyone who was there this morning a free class as a make-up. If you were there yesterday, THANK YOU for your patience, understanding, compassion, and love. The last thing I want is to deliver a poor experience. We got through it, and hopefully next week will be better.
Lessons learned on Zoom:
✔️ Mute everyone when class starts.
✔️ Spotlight myself in the video.
✔️ Use chat to communicate.
✔️ Close other applications running on the computer.
✔️ Offer an optional Spotify playlist for those who want to sync together at the start of class.
✔️ Use external speaker that can capture audio of the entire room.
(A big thank you to Mary and Brian for going out of their way to drop off one and test it out!)
✔️ Most of all, cherish and love the experience and the opportunity for connection. We might all be at our own homes, but I am absolutely needing this face to face interaction with all of you. Human connection.
A big favor: for the first time ever, anyone in the world can experience a #StopDropAndDance live class. Our furthest dancer this week was Andrea who joined from London! If you know of someone who loves music and dancing, please forward them this email and invite them to join one of our upcoming ZOOM classes.
With so much gratitude,