This is a bit delayed. Since we got back from Michigan, I’ve been busy with family weddings, teaching, and my student’s recitals.
On day two of the Dance in the Mitten Festival, April and I got to take a wonderful Contemporary Class from Joori Jung, director of ArtLabJ. It started with a lovely warmup on the floor (and if you know me, you know I love the floor), which easily flowed into center work that quickly progressed into jumps, movement across the floor, and then some repertory.
After that we had some down time, had a late lunch/early dinner at a fabulous cafe, the name of which I unfortunately cannot remember and then it was time to check in at the theatre.
We were the last dancers to perform. I must admit I am terribly impatient waiting to go on stage, but the time finally arrived. The performance went well. We had lovely feedback from the audience after the show. Often in the dance world, we spend hours and months rehearsing a piece, to only perform it for one show, and then never dance it again. It was wonderful to dance this piece again. I was able to be present in the dance and my character (although I did have a small brain fart moment on stage…which I expertly covered). Now that April has graduated from Ball State, I am very grateful I got to dance with her one more time, and hopefully we’ll get to dance together many more times 🙂
We left the theatre at about 10:00pm, filled up the car with gas, I got my Tim Hortons (April got her low calorie Starbucks iced coffee) and we made the 4 hour trek back to Indiana. We loved being a part of the first Dance in the Mitten Festival and can’t wait for next year!
Many of my teaching inspirations come from my “dance mom”, the lovely Mary Anne Santos Newhall. One of these is to bring my technique classes outside at least every semester.
Monday, on Earth Day, I took my Modern 121 class outside to dance in front of Ball State’s famous Beneficence. Not only was it fun to dance outside, but it brought on a different movement quality. I remember when Mary Anne had us dancing outside, she pointed out all of the sensations; having a wide open sky instead of windows and walls, feeling the sun on your skin, and taking in all of the sights and smells around me. As I watched my class dance movement phrases I’ve seen them do many times before inside, I was amazed at how their movement quality changed just from changing our location.
I had the students perform an improvisation around Beneficence and then we pieced together some phrases that they just learned that day and others from throughout the semester. The combination of the beauty of mother nature and these lovely young ladies is quite a site to behold.
Today was filled with final exam reviews and creating my new website with breaks of meeting with my Modern 121 students for their end of semester meetings. Today was the last day of classes and while the exhaustion that comes with the end of the semester does have a tendency to make one emotional, I must say I am very sad that I won’t get to dance with this group of young ladies all together again.
For any educator, it is hard to help guide someone along their path, watching proudly as they grow as artists and individuals, and then have to let them go. Just like dance, education for me is very much about the moment. In dance, you have that one moment in time that can never be fully re-created or happen again. It is unique. It is the same for my classes. They exist for that time and then that group of dancers is gone. (Yet they are always a part of me). I can teach the same class and even have some of the same students, but that same group and their unique energy can never exist again.
Thank you to all of my students for letting me share a short part of your movement lives. May you think of me every time you shift your pelvis or use your Effort Actions 🙂