Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chin up! (pointe your feet)

Things are looking up!

I finally got a semi-schedule organized for next year and that makes the OCD in me calm down. I think as dancers our need for control and perfect spills over into our everyday lives. Things need to be certain and have a sequence. I am very pleased that i got the job i interviewed for. I feel that this studio will help me grow as a teacher and further fine tune my abilities to lead.

Speaking of abilities to lead, how do you convince a groupd of 7-8yr olds who hate ballet to enjoy it?! The youth camp i am teaching this summer is just not grasping the idea that ballet can be fun. I make the class easy and fun with lots of jumps, but i still get the "this is boooorrring", "i don't want to do this". It's very fustrating. That age group can be really rough and i feel that some of them are merely there because their parents needed a place to put them in the summer while they go to work.

I am having a good summer camp experience overall. I LOVE with the new studio i am teaching at. Such wonderful students hungry to learn. I feel like i can give them so much material and they just eat it up wanting more. It is a good fit for me and i really hope i can pick up one day a week with them at least.

Last weekend i shoot an engagement session with booba that went really well.( My choreography skills came in handy with coordinating different shots. I think my dance background will help with my photography practices because i already know a bit about lines and aesthetics. Although i have a LONG way to go learning about photography, i feel like i have a great teacher (thanks booba) and an open mind (and eye).

Shooting my first wedding tommorow!! I am SO excited. I just love this couple. We hung out with them and ate chinese a few days ago to talk about shots they would like. They are very layed back and will be easy to work with. AND it's a wedding on the beach, how beautiful. I love being an assistant.

Exciting things are happening and i feel blessed for my triple excursions. Which follow , from my heart, in this order:


My goal for this coming season is to excel in all three to the best of my ability. I feel fullfilled. Isn't that untimately the goal in everyones journey here?

What drives YOU?

My best to you all


Hannah said...

I teach 7 & 8 year olds in primary school so I get where you're coming from. They can be a little like "this is boring" but they can also be full of awe and wonder (just) at this age. Show them something they think is cool and they'll want to do it/ be like it.

What about downloading some utube clips or videos of ballet that really relates to them - if its boys, what about Carlos Acosta or Sergei Polunin doing something amazing (like big tourne en l'air or flexing their amazing muscles!). The children at my primary school couldn't believe some of the pictures of male ballet dancers who looked like pop-stars (notably carlos, but there are plenty more out there very similar). Also, you could look for clips of very narrative ballets linked to stories they might know (Northern Ballet Theatre in England do an AMAZING peter pan, and I defy any child to say *that's* boring - flying ballet dancers and all!)

From that point, you could build class around re-telling a familiar story through ballet - work the technique & moves into the story telling like a company like Northern Ballet Theatre (UK) do. Combine this with some wow moves might help?

I hope that helps - I'm sure you are a much more accomplished dance teacher than I, so I'm probably just reiterating stuff you already do, but it's how I'd go about it if I had to teach it within the curriculum and the children weren't interested!

Good Luck!!! xxx


wow, you sure are patient ! 7 & 8 yr olds are tough going, especially in ballet. But I think you can be especially proud to have helped them in some way through this formative training - because bad habits picked up now will dog them forever - so you will have done your bit to ensure a good foundation. And - to teach, is to touch a life.

Rebecca King said...

Love the OCD statement! It is so true! :) Good luck with all your endeavors.

~Jenn~ said...

I know how you feel with the 7/8 yr olds. I'm teaching a dance camp right now and my class is somewhat the same way. I think the difficulty with that age group is that they aren't so little anymore but they are quite to the tweens yet. Maybe changing up the music or assimilating some of the movements to artist they may know might help. Unfortunately the American youth doesn't have the awe and excitement over ballet as they used to.

An American in Croatia said...

I don't know about teaching 7 and 8 year olds but it's an uncertain, awkward age. I'm with Hannah as far giving the kids some context. Other ideas: Did you begin ballet when you were that age - talk about what drew you. Talk about what you've accomplished since about what performing on a stage is like (the guts and the glory). Show them pictures of you performing on stage. Your guy must have thousands of pictures of you all done up and performing with the makeup and the lights.