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Man carves a bowl out of clay
Photograph: Isabella Quiroga/Supplied

Melbourne's best online classes and workshops

Learn how to dance or simply sit and paint with wine in hand – we've got you covered

By Claire Finneran
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Always dreamed of nailing a Strictly Ballroom-style pasodoble? Have a lot of hoarded wine and want to start boozily slapping pigments on a canvas in a Zoom class full of other tiddly painters? Well, you've certainly come to the right place. Now is as good a time as any to upskill (or sit on your butt and watch an online tutorial without moving a muscle, no one's judging) and luckily for us, many Melbourne institutions have opened their virtual doors to help us out. Here's our live list of online classes, workshops, and tutorials you can participate in from the comfort of your own home.

If you want to push your heart rate higher, check out our guide to the best online workouts you can do at home

The best online classes and workshops

Food at Vue De Monde
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Join a free cooking class from Vue De Monde

News Restaurants

Vue De Monde is running a weekly cooking class where you can order the ingredients to be delivered right to your door. This will definitely solve the lack of egg, flour and general staples issue at the moment. You'll be lead by Vue's head chef, Hugh Allen, who is a very non-intimidating 24-years-old (or maybe that will intimidate you more because he is so accomplished). Each masterclass is held on Vue De Monde's at-home website, and this week's masterclass is a classic chocolate souffle.

A woman in activewear doing a ballet pose
Photograph: Supplied

Take free online ballet classes with the Australian Ballet

News Theatre & Performance

The Australian Ballet is ensuring your time spent indoors is truly en pointe. The dance company has launched online adult ballet classes that you can enjoy for free. The Australian Ballet usually runs its adult classes from the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre in Southbank, but while it’s shut the classes are going online. All aspiring dancers can take part, with classes offered at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Classes are taught by Justine Miles (a former dancer for the Australian Ballet) and take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

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Man carves a bowl out of clay
Photograph: Amelia Stanwix/Supplied

Try out this at-home pottery kit from Céramiques Elsternwick

News Weird & Wonderful

If Netflix isn’t really appeasing you and you’ve run out of yeast for baking, might we suggest a new hobby? Melbourne ceramic studio Céramiques (located in Elsternwick and Camberwell) is helping Melburnians stay entertained with its own  at-home clay and tool kit. You’ll receive ten kilos of hand-building clay and all the tools you’ll need to work it from home. The Céramiques team have also set up a “clay time” Instagram account with short tutorials on building from home. Packs cost $65 with free delivery across Victoria.

More classes from Sydney institutions

Women standing in a line in leotards
Photograph: Supplied

Sweat '80s aerobics style with Retrosweat

News Sport & Fitness

Everyone's favourite '80s aerobics style-mavens are back – and they've gone digital. Retrosweat's high-energy dance workout is the perfect, feel-good way to get you moving in these physically distanced days. Set to boppy vintage tunes, the queens at Retrosweat have launched a new VHS Workout Club where you can stream their classes online. Get out your fluorescent leotards and pouf up that hair, because it's time to sweat.  Expect the usual outrageous costumes, huge hair and a heart-pumping workout. 

Maggie Beer sitting at a table holding one of her cookbooks.
Photograph: Supplied/Dragan

Learn how to cook with Maggie Beer

News Restaurants

Culinary icon Maggie Beer is getting in on the social media action, with the launch of a social-media series, Cooking with Maggie. The beloved television host, restaurateur and cookbook author is putting up a new video each day, focusing on simple techniques and rustic, nourishing dishes utilising pantry staples and produce from her very own garden. So far, she’s whipped up her famous eggplant and eggs, as well as a side dish of caramelised onions with Persian feta, and an inspired take on the Tuscan bread-and-tomato salad, panzanella. 'Cooking with Maggie' airs on Maggie's Instagram and Facebook accounts.

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Paper craft koi fish making class with ClassBento
Photograph: Supplied/ClassBento

Take virtual craft classes online with ClassBento

News Art

Have you ever wondered about the ancient art of kinstugi? It's a Japanese artisanal technique, where you can mend broken pottery with a gold-dusted lacquer, symbolising the process of repair as part of the object itself. If that sounds like the kind of wholesome activity you need in your life, you can now try it yourself with the folks at ClassBento, an online platform for creative, active and food-focussed workshops and classes taught by local expert makers. What's more, they've now launched livestreamed workshops, complete with a box of crafty goodies delivered to your door (and you'll pay zilch for delivery). 

German Language Day - Goethe-Institut Australien - 2018
Chantel Bann

Learn German online with the Goethe-Institut

News City Life

Guten Tag! If your German knowledge ends there, then you'll be glad to know that the world famous cultural association, the Goethe-Institut, is moving all of its German language courses online in response to the Covid-19 crisis which has shuttered its in-person tuition. For fluency in a flash, the Institut offers intensive courses. If you're in it for the long run, the Institut's traditional 10-week courses start from mid-April.

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Hanne at Casula Powerhouse making stop-motion dough
Photograph: supplied

Hunt ghosts and make stop-motion movies with the Casula Powerhouse crew

News Art

Rolling with our stay-at-home times, the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is tapping the incredible knowledge and creative inspiration of its in-house crew and the creatives they support to go digital. Over the coming weeks, the CPAC website will host a bunch of ingenious online exhibitions, workshops and special events to keep you entertained, engaged and even creative: from gardening lessons to stop-motion animation. 

Woman in a yoga pose
Photograph: Pixabay/AndiP

Check out the best online workouts to do at home

Sport and fitness

During times of uncertainty, a reliable routine can really help.  We’ve picked out some handy online workouts by local experts, so you can still get your heart pumping and those endorphins flowing in the safety of your own home. Pick from our selection of fuss-free circuits, cardio workouts, high-energy dance, or low-impact stregth training. 

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Three people pose against a pink flamingo wallpaper, they are holding red feather fans in front of them and wearing lingire.
Photograph: Katia Schwartz

Take a sexy dance class with a top Sydney burlesque and aerial arts studio

News City Life

Sky Sirens has released a suite of online classes to get you grooving, grinding and feeling the fantasy at home. Available to total beginners as well as dancers who are more practiced in burlesque and sexy movement arts, these classes are delivered as packs of four videos with instructions. You can learn tricks on a chair with the Bend & Lap class, unleash your inner flapper and learn the Charleston with Deco Darlings, and more.

A blank canvas propped up next to paints, a wine glass and a phone playing an instructional video.
Photograph: Supplied

Sip and paint with these digital art packs

News City Life

As we while away the time at home under physical distancing rules, unleashing on a creative project or pouring a glass of Pinot are vices many of us are turning to to pass the time. But, especially if you haven’t picked up a paint brush since a high school art class, a blank canvas sitting before you can be a bit of an overwhelming prospect. Thankfully, local ‘sip and paint’ studios are now offering at-home options so you can have an instructor on hand to guide your creative spark (it’s just up to you to keep your wine glass topped up). Read on for affordable options from Cork & Chroma, Pinot & Picasso and more.

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Woman doing ballet
Photograph: Pexels

Learn some moves with the Sydney Dance Company

News Sport & Fitness

It's never too early to brush up on the moves you'll be whipping out once we're done with physical distancing. You can officially learn from the experts, now that the Sydney Dance Company is running a virtual dance studio.  The classes are designed for everybody, from beginner to experienced dancers – and you can pick your poison, from ballet to jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, pilates and body conditioning – all for $28 a week. Just head online, purchase a pass or a membership and you're ready to get dancing around your living room. 

Alliance Francaise
Photograph: Supplied

Learn French with the Alliance Francaise

News City Life

Parlez-vous Français? Would you like to? The Alliance Française, which has been teaching French to beginners and les specialistes for 120 years, has made the transition online.  There are courses available for teenagers, kids and adults, as well as private tuition and group classes. Classes are taught through a combination of video conferencing and e-learning materials, as well as an app and email subscription to practise. 

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View of a person's legs wearing jeans, they are holding a patchwork tote bag in front.
Photograph: Supplied/Citizen Wolf

Fashion your own zero waste tote bag with this at-home kit

News City Life

If your sewing skills have gone a little cold, or you’re feeling a little wary about going on a shopping spree for supplies that could just end up languishing in the cupboard, we have just the project for you. Sydney-based ethical fashion factory Citizen Wolf have created a DIY Remote Tote Kit so you can make your own unique zero-waste tote bag at home, with the help of an online tutorial.

A man studying at home
Photograph: Marilia Castelli/Unsplash

Access 21 TAFE courses for free

News City Life

Gladys Berejiklian has announced that those now facing many months without the prospect of finding a job will be able to access 21 free online TAFE courses across a range of disciplines. The hope is that, via respected and recognised vocational training, Australia’s unemployed will emerge from this unprecedented period with the additional skills and qualifications to secure jobs essential to rebuilding the country's battered economy. The courses on offer have been broken down into five areas of interest: administrative skills; digital impact; health and medical knowledge; leadership performance; and business skills. 

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An acoustic guitar with a woman's hands playing
Photograph: Pixabay/Creative Commons

Take free guitar lessons with Fender

News Music

We all have an optimistic version of how we imagine we'll emerge from isolation: buff, literary and extremely well-versed in sourdough bread-making.  We can't promise all of that, but remember when you promised yourself you'd learn to play the guitar that ended up gathering dust in the corner? That ball, at least, is well within your court – Fender is now offering three months of free lessons online, in guitar, bass or even ukelele. The famed guitar maker has even got high-resolution videos with lovely real teachers, and you can track your progress online. 

Clay Sydney at-home class
Photograph: Supplied

Make pottery with kits and online tutorials from Clay Sydney

News City Life

To ensure those with a passion for pottery can continue to express their creativity during isolation, Clay Sydney will be offering all the materials, tools and tutorial support to take one of its popular classes from the comfort of your own home. Once your clay and sculpting implements have been dropped off, you can tune in to either a live-streamed class or, if you prefer to get crafty on your own schedule, a recorded instructional video. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, simply drop it off at Clay Sydney, where it will be glazed and fired to perfection, all without the need for any direct interaction between people. Order a kit here.

Stream a little stream

Mr McClelland's Finishing School crowd
Photograph: Supplied

Melbourne events you can stream online now

Things to do

Being stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Creative and resilient artists, performers, experts and craftspeople are now bringing the fun to you online. There are livestremed events, workshops and festivals happening all over the world – and there’s never been a better time to show your support to those who are facing uncertain times.

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