The best thing to ever happen to self-motivated, self-taught artists is the Internet. Just a few short years ago, if you were interested in mastering a new skill, you could have been limited by your age, gender, location, wallet and access to teachers.

If you wanted to learn something a little unusual and lived outside a big city, chances are you were out of luck. You might not find anyone else who was into what you liked, or you might not find anyone good enough to teach you.

But that’s a thing of the past. Type a few keystrokes in a search engine and you can connect with other fans of pretty much anything. You can learn from the masters of the field through blogs, watching their videos, or listening to them on podcasts.

A good example is Adilyn Malcolm, a 12-year-old motocross racer who says she’s never taken a dance class, yet she mastered dubstep dancing on her own by watching and imitating online videos. It all started with a school report on Michael Jackson, and before long, she was learning from the best dubstep and popping dancers in the world, watching famous dancer Marquese Scott's YouTube videos over and over again, deconstructing his moves and mastering each one separately before putting them all together. This isn’t something a traditional dance class would have allowed her to do, and what are the chances she would’ve found Scott and been able to afford his services as a private dance teacher?

This is Adilyn's "America’s Got Talent" audition video, made when she was 11 years old:

Here she is dancing to "Higher" by Mark Rosas. The video was posted in 2014, so she was probably 10 years old. It might appear as if the videos has been slowed down, but this is all real-time Adilyn and her moves:

Welcome to the new self-taught age!

The world is at your fingertips. What skill will you learn next?

Michael Graham Richard ( @Michael_GR ) Michael writes for MNN and TreeHugger about science, space and technology and more.