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ClassBento virtual gnocci making class
Photograph: Supplied/ClassBento

The 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

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 Sydney 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 higer, check out our guide to the best online workouts you can do at home. Or skip all this expelling of physical energy altogether and pick up a mentally stimulating read from Sydney's best bookshops doing home delivery.

Where to find classes and workshops online

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. 

A kid in a dinosaur outfit
Photograph: Supplied/Australian Museum

Distract the kids with free online activities from Sydney museums and galleries


Sydney's coolest galleries and museums have heaps of great online classes and workshops that are easily whipped up and totally free, ensuring you keep the kids and yourself reasonably sane. Create dinosaurs with the Australian Museum, make sculptures with AGNSW and learn how to construct a zine with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and more. The activities on offer have the potential to keep you as enthralled as the grommets. Pull out the construction paper and crayons and get your hands dirty.

A topless dancer on his head, legs akimbo, with a female dancer lying on the floor behind him
Photograph: Supplied/SDC/Pedro Greig

Shake off lockdown blues with Sydney Dance Company's online classes

News Theatre & Performance

If you find yourself developing cabin fever during lockdown, then shake it off with Sydney Dance Company (SDC). You can take advantage of their brand new online offering, Classes on Demand. Filmed in SDC’ iconic Wharf Studios, nestled under the Harbour Bridge, Classes On Demand is a DIY library of video sessions that will teach you a raft of dance styles pitched at all levels of ability, from beginners to professionals who need to stay limber in lockdown. It's $29.95 for a month-long subscription, which is basically a dollar a day, with no lock-in contracts. You can access Classes On Demand by creating a subscription here.

Blocks of cream cheese and salt
Photograph: Unsplash

Become a master of dairy with these virtual cheesemaking classes

Now's as gouda time as any to learn how to make cheese. Maven of all things dairy, Kristen Allan is running regular virtual classes to get you manipulating your milk at home in no time. Find out how to make your own ricotta or how to transform your milk into labne and yoghurt with Allan's bespoke workshops. Participants receive a shopping list and recipe ahead of the livestream class and can ask questions along the way as Allan cooks (virtually) alongside them. The classes are live but recorded so you can return and pause when you need. 

Luxury Clay Hand Building with ClassBento
Photograph: Supplied/ClassBento

Get stuck into these at-home pottery kits and classes

Things to do Classes and workshops

With many of us spending more time just pottering around the house, there’s never been a better time to try your hand at being a literal potter. Although they’ve had to close their studio doors to the public, a bunch of local ceramics studios have adapted their businesses so you can get busy moulding your own mugs, vases and assorted sculptural vessels at home. Go on, allow the tactile task of rolling clay between your hands to remind you of the sensation of human touch as you get your Swayze on and re-enact that classic scene from the 1990 romantic hit Ghost


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.

Artist Charlie Bennell teaches online painting class
Photograph: Supplied/Bondi Paint Club

Sip and paint at home with these digital art classes and craft packs

Things to do Classes and workshops

With arty and crafty endeavours seeing a boom lately, it's high time to gather your tools and unleash your creative juices. However, 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 glass topped up.


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. 

Person sits in their kitchen with cooking supplies laid on gingham tablecloth, they watch class on laptop.
Photograph: Supplied/ClassBento

Take virtual classes in arts, crafts, cooking and cocktail making

News Art

Have you ever wondered about the ancient art of kintsugi? 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 workshops and classes taught by local experts. 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). If activities like painting your pet, learning to sculpt with clay, calligraphy, Turkish mosaic, or getting green-thumbed with kokedama (Japanese moss balls) doesn't perk your interest, perhaps they can tempt you with cooking classes and DIY cocktail hours?

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.

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. 

A man with a guitar sings with a guitar
Photograph: Unsplash

Refine your belting with this online singing course

Ever been struck by the thought "wait... am I a good singer?" while tackling a Mariah vocal run in the shower? Well, you have this renewed lockdown to finally find out with All Ages Music's online singing course. Learn how to control your pitch, breathe effectively and add dynamism to your range with these four or six week courses that focus on building the craft of singing. There are group or private options if you're feeling shy and an Adult Glee Club to join if you're anything but.

Chuck your shoes on and go for a quick jog


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