In a world where everything is evolving into a virtual state, there are many brands that are thinking through and applying creative ways to keep their brands alive. CLI Studios is a prime example of one – an online dance studio that is elevating the dance community through its virtual studio.
CLI Studios is an exciting and innovative concept for aspiring dancers that brings professional choreography right to your phone. Dancers can boost their self-confidence and connect with other dancers around the world through this virtual application. Through the app, students can engage with other students and world-renowned choreographers in a secure environment.
There are many different genres of dance CLI Studios offer in their app, that way it’s not restricted to just one particular area of movement. From jazz-funk and hip-hop to contemporary, tap, and ballet, each video consists of a dance incorporated with a song that the instructor will teach you. The videos range from about 15-minutes to an hour, and the instructor will take you through all the motions of the song, from top to bottom.
On top of this detailed step-by-step choreography, CLI Studios has incorporated Challenges with social media in mind. Dancers can engage in online classes in new ways and connect with other students of all ages without feeling discouraged by potential comments on social media. Those who are looking for community, feedback, and accountability, or users who cannot access social media but still find it valuable, will benefit specifically from this. Jon Aprino, CEO and co-founder of CLI explains that when it comes to technology, they always try to stay two steps ahead.
“Technology changes so fast, so if you’re reactionary, you’re usually behind on what’s new when it comes to education and technology platforms,” Jon says. “For us, we think of outcomes for our members that are important. One of the downsides of online learning might be in a recorded context that you don’t get personalized feedback.”
Students who join a challenge will be able to take the designated class, film themselves dancing the routine, upload a video of themselves, and receive feedback from the choreographer, as well as encouragement from other dancers who can clap, comment, and spotlight their video.
“It’s hard to get personalized feedback from these instructors, even if you pay for it because they’re so in demand,” Jon claims. “But through technology, you can reimagine important outcomes for students. Working with as many choreographers and teachers in education as possible is incredibly important.”
Founded in the spirit of “Create, Learn, and Inspire”, CLI Studios serves as a platform for community involvement in the dance industry. Jon and his co-founder, Teddy Forance, tWitch, and his wife, Allison Holker, and some other choreographers initially had the idea of trying to make dance incorporated through high-quality creativity, choreography, and instruction that provides more access to students around the world.
“Working with the best choreographers has traditionally been something that can be cost-prohibitive for people,” Jon explains. “It can also be expensive – you have to travel, which can make opportunities more limited. We had this vision of wanting to film classes with amazing instructors that can be posted online with a subscription program where students, teachers, and schools could access professional choreographers. These choreographers are some of the best in the world, but we are able to make it extremely affordable”
CLI Studios has become a favorite dance studio in the dance industry as a result of working with such high-profile instructors. In addition to providing dance studios access to instructors, their mission has expanded to include dance studio owners, teachers, students, schools, and universities.
“It’s all about helping different angles and directions, as it’s just continuing to push our brand, name, instructors and our platform to do more,” Jon says. “We have users from 100 countries that now have access to 300 different outstanding instructors at any given time. No matter who you are, for us, we like helping as many people as possible through our platform and the arts versus just sticking to the first thing we did, which was operating solely as a dance studio. CLI Studios has grown and evolved with the mentality of where the industry is going and how can we do more good by helping more people through technology and the arts.”
The most unique aspect about CLI Studios is that the founders and choreographers maintain harmonious relationships. As Jon has been involved in dance and the performing arts industry for so long, many of the choreographers he works with are childhood friends or people he has met while becoming a professional. To this end, they strive to find the right equilibrium between giving instructors a good salary and ensuring that they have plenty of work.
“We’re pro-artists as a company, as some of them are part-owners because we believe that artists should own a lot of the work that they contribute,” Jon says. “It’s almost like a family and business relationship at the same time. So I think it lends itself to this great relationship just out of mutual respect for our platform, what we do for the dance community, and our mission to make it more accessible and affordable for students. And on our end, they’re incredible artistic geniuses, so when we get to share their concepts and ideas, it’s rewarding for us and our members.”
The CLI Studios are currently filling spots for their CLI Conservatory Summer Intensives in Easthampton, MA. The programs are for ages 13 to 18 and include some really exciting opportunities. These dancers will walk away from this program equipped with the tools they need to take the next steps in their careers. You will have the opportunity to take private lessons, participate in a photoshoot, and partake in a music video with their production team. For more information, you can visit their page here.