A New Adventure

This evening started a new teaching opportunity for me. I wrote a few weeks ago about taking a brave step and reaching out to my community and offering dance classes and today was the first one.

As there was no sign up and no commitment, I was unsure of how many preschool aged dancers I would have for my Creative Movement class this evening. I was pleasantly surprised to see 6 or 7 young kids -including two boys!- come to dance with me. There was a small hiccup with the doors to the neighborhood clubhouse not being open, but we embraced the summer evening and danced on the deck.

I was hesitant to invest much money in my own preschool dance supplies- floor markers, props, stickers, etc until I knew the interest level and grabbed a few things around the house before headed off for a short walk to the clubhouse. The round outdoor place mats that I had grabbed just minutes before class ended up being a stroke of genius- everyone had a place to dance, a place to sit while they waited to dance across the floor, and two of them together made a perfect “puddle” for leaps. I will definitely be using them moving forward, and will probably hang on to them for as long as they last into my future studio.

I am excited and optimistic about this new adventure. I am set up to teach three classes a week at the clubhouse on top of my regular studio hours. This means I get more teaching time, an opportunity to be a part of the neighborhood, and some extra cash to start putting away money in a savings account for my studio.

My dream studio is beginning to seem very reachable!

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Spring Recital 2017

Last Saturday, during Memorial Day weekend, our studio had our annual spring recital. We actually do two performances, one with mostly younger girls, and one with just the older students. I had seven numbers that I had choreographed spread across both shows, including the one where my mom made the skirts (see “Costume Woe’s” and “Costume Woes Update”). Overall, my students performed well and both shows ran pretty flawlessly for a studio production.

While my younger students did a great job with their dances, my older students, for the most part, got out of it what they put it. I struggled for much of the year, and certainly when rehearsals started in earnest, to get the kids in one of my classes to commit fully to their technique and to class in general. Rehearsals were rough and only once or twice did I feel like the piece would look good on stage. My fears were real when the ended looked like what we in the dance world refer to as popcorn- every dancing at a different time much like popcorn popping at its own speed. Those dancers that gave it their all in rehearsals looked great on stage, those that didn’t give 100%, threw much of the dance off.

Another class, of younger students, had a rough time in several of their rehearsals, but worked really hard and it paid off. For all their troubles dancing together or remembering choreography in rehearsals, their hard work and persistence gave way to a great performance¬†that the students, the parents, and myself were all proud of. While I didn’t speak to the kids in the above class afterwards, I’m not so sure they felt the pride that the younger kids did.

Other than these two classes on different ends of the performance spectrum, my other dances went as expected. They went on stage, gave it their all, and danced well. I was proud of their performances, but it their rehearsal and performance stories weren’t as dramatic as the others.

Backstage is a crazy, chaotic place, but I did manage to snap a few pictures of the handmade skirts and pieced together costume in action. I also managed to grab a selfie with the class that had struggled but triumphed in the end.

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