Video still by Nel Shelby Productions, Courtesy Dancio.

Dancio: The Startup That Lets You Take Class From Julie Kent... in Your Living Room

"What if you could learn from the world's best dance teachers in your living room?" This is the question that Dancio poses on their website. Dancio is a new startup that offers full length videos of ballet classes taught by master teachers. As founder Caitlin Trainor puts it, "these superstar teachers can be available to students everywhere for the cost of a cup of coffee."

For Trainor, a choreographer and the artistic director of Trainor Dance, the idea for Dancio came from a sense of frustration relatable to many dancers; feeling like they need to warm up properly before rehearsals, but not always having the time, energy or funds to get to dance class. One day while searching the internet for a quick online class, Trainor was shocked to not be able to find anything that, as she puts it, "hit the mark in terms of relevance and quality. I thought to myself, how does this not exist?" she says. "We have the Daily Burn for Fitness, YogaGlo for yogis, Netflix for entertainment and nothing for dancers! But then I thought, I can make this!" And thus, Dancio (the name is a combination of dance and video), was born.



Trainor's vision for Dancio is to "to develop a library of affordable, convenient classes for movers of all stripes, taught by the very best teachers from around the globe." At this early stage, the site is just focused on ballet; classes taught by Julie Kent, Carlos Lopez, Craig Hall and Lauren King are available. Each class is taught to two to three professional dancers and is filmed in a brightly-lit studio free from distractions. The classes are described in detail by dance writer Mindy Aloff. If readers sign up for Dancio's email list now, they'll be sent barre with Julie Kent for free.

Each class is $3.99, and as the business grows viewers will be able to opt into a subscription service offering unlimited monthly access to the fast-growing library. And if you like Kent's pliés but prefer Hall's tendus, don't fearthe service will eventually include a tool to allow users to mix and match exercises from different teachers, which Trainor compares to making an iTunes playlist. For Trainor, this is just the beginning. She hopes to expand Dancio to include classic and contemporary modern dance, African and Indian dances, composition and improvisation exercises and somatic practices such as Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique.

For dancers who live in remote areas or don't have the means to attend master classes, Dancio offers a whole new level of access to celebrated teachers. "I can only imagine the impact that this will have on each dancer's personal growth, development and conditioning," says Trainor. "Over time, I believe that this access will truly strengthen the field as a whole."

Latest Posts


Getty Images

What's Ahead for Ballet Companies in the Age of COVID-19?

Let's be frank: No one knows what's ahead for the performing arts in the U.S. With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of nearly a year of performances so far, including many Nutcrackers, ballet companies face a daunting path ahead with no roadmap for how to survive. While schools can offer classes online or in small groups, what does the future hold for companies when it's not safe to gather large audiences or corps de ballet?

"We are in for a very hard set of months," says Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. "Nothing will change until there's a vaccine."

Pointe set out to find out what the new normal looks like while the virus is with us.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Revisiting Pointe's Past Cover Stars: Patricia Delgado (August/September 2010)

We revisited some of Pointe's past cover stars for their take on how life—and ballet—has changed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Sylvie Guillem and Éric Vu-An in "Mouvement, Rythme, Étude" (1985)

Sylvie Guillem and Éric Vu-An, two former leading dancers with the Paris Opéra Ballet, were both muses to Maurice Béjart. The boundary-pushing choreographer created several roles for each of them throughout their careers, including the 1985 duet "Mouvement, Rythme, Étude," when Guillem was just 20-years old and Vu-An just 21. In this excerpt from the ballet, the pair juxtapose technical brilliance and finesse with Béjart's playfully absurd post-modern movement.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks