An American (Tribal) Girl

May 29, 2008 § Leave a comment

I start teaching dance class again next week. It’s been about two months since I took my class on hiatus. Now, my dance studio has expanded to twice the size, is getting a new name and is re-debuting next week. And so is my American Tribal Style class–in a new and (hopefully) more convenient time slot.

I’m a little nervous and not sure where to restart. I will have a couple brand new students. So, I suppose I should start at the very beginning again. Review will be good for all of us anyway.

It’s hard to start at the beginning. I get excited and want to show the class my very favorite moves–all at once! And I want to get to the advanced stuff right away so we can start performing the most fun and impressive things and show people what this dance form can be!

But I have to learn to have patience. Building a whole program from the ground up is a slow process that takes discipline and time. How long did it take me to learn the bulk of the ATS language? A couple years? Two or three? Hmmm….

Plus, I don’t have a huge student base yet–not enough for multiple classes–which means I teach one multilevel class. The challenge here is keeping the class fast-paced enough for the more advanced dancers while going slow enough to not scare off beginners. It’s a precarious balance.

And finally, there’s the time limits. I have one hour to teach my class. I wanted to use the same class structure that my American Tribal teacher used: warm-up, one fast move, one slow move, fake-it-till-you-make-it/leading circle, and a cool down. I have no idea how she managed to fit that into a single hour and still include proper posture, technique, equal break down and practice on both the right and left sides, intent, facial expressions, zils!… I tried this structure the first go around with my class and kept running out of time! I may have to turn it into alternating slow movement days and fast movement days. We’ll see.

So now, I just have to start, be patient and see how everything develops. Wish me luck!

Spontaneous Pictures

May 7, 2008 § Leave a comment

The nice thing about performing at spontaneous events like festivals is they’re fun! The bad thing, sometimes people have cameras and get pictures of you being, well, spontaneous.  But this can also be amusing. Take these belated Alabama Renaissance Fair photos of my dance troupe:

That’s me in the green skirt. What am I….looking…at?  I couldn’t tell you. No idea.

And what are we doing here?  That’s Liz in the red skirt and Danielle in the yellow.  At first glance you might think we’re dancing….but I don’t think so…Is Liz telling me to do something? And I’m trying to follow directions and am, um, unsure? amused? Am I just trying something? Danielle seems to think it’s funny.  So, uh, what were we doing? At least we look like we’re having fun.

And this is my favorite.  Clearly, Lisa is introducing us, but look at the face I’m making.  “Huh?  WTF?”  Even better, Joe, the drummer behind me in the red hat is…punching his fist in his hand? What the hell? Were we about to dance or kick some ass?

But sometimes the random photos can be good; the kind of photos you hope are taken when you’re performing.

We can just pretend I always look about like this when I’m on stage.  At all times.  I like that.

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