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Archive for September, 2013

More “Harvest”

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Craig was busy today: He picked most of our remaining peppers and set about pickling them, along with some okra and carrots from the farmer’s market. He blanched the tabasco peppers and put them under vinegar to make hot sauce (far left).

Meanwhile, I worked on our fall garden out on the patio, mostly transplanting seedlings (plenty of basil, romaine lettuce, and collards. Still need a few more tomato plants). Happy fall!

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Today one of my Primary students asked me what I did after her dance class ended.

“I eat lunch, then I teach another ballet class.”

The little girl said “I didn’t know ballet teachers ate lunch.”

I love these kids.

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Reasons today rocked:

1. I booked my flight to go to my good friend M’s wedding in two weeks! In addition to going to her wedding (our high-school possee once vowed we’d all be at each others’ weddings), I’ll have a few days “vacation” in PA to visit my friends and family and enjoy the mountains. I leave in 12 days. Can’t wait!

2. I finally (finally) (fiiiiiiiiiiiiinally) decided on what my ballet soloist will dance at competition this year. She wants to do a “character” ballet piece, and I’d been hemming and hawing over what character would be perfect for her. Finally– one week before rehearsals begin– it hit me like a hailstone. Ten minutes later I’d selected the music, and thirty minutes later I had half of it choreographed. She’s going to be a very magical character from a popular book series… but more on that in a future post. 🙂

Today was long, and today was tiring…but it was a very productive day.

Now if you’ll excuse me; I’m off to eat some pizza that my wonderful husband made, have a glass of wine and wind down this day. Have a beautiful night, internet.

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Quick notes from first rehearsal.

I had my first Oklahoma! rehearsal this afternoon, and it went marvelously well.

We started with “The Farmer and the Cowman,” because it’s the biggest, danciest number (I like to stage the biggest numbers first and get them out of the way). All told, the number is just under six minutes long, with 20 performers on stage. The actors– mostly high-school age– were very enthusiastic about learning the choreography and eager to work. They stayed focused, asked questions, and worked together well.

We set the entire number in an hour and forty-five minutes. If that’s not a great first rehearsal,  I don’t know what is!

I actually didn’t think we’d get everything done in one rehearsal (see: six minutes long), and had scheduled our second practice (Friday) to finish it. Now we can spend that day reviewing, cleaning, and fine-tuning instead of finishing the choreography.

We’re off to a great start, and I’m feeling good. 🙂

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Ten Years

On this day in 2003,  I got my driver’s license, then drove myself to teach my first official ballet class as a dance teacher.

Since then, it’s been ten years of driving around to dance. I’ve gone through six vehicles (!) and driven hundreds of thousands of miles to teach dance classes, rehearse, perform, and take class myself. Whether it was driving through back roads to teach a tiny building in the mountains of PA; or crossing two state lines just to get to rehearsal in NYC; or zipping from a rehearsal downtown to a studio in a far-off suburb; it’s safe to say that dancing and driving have been the staples of my adult life.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Oddly enough, the reason it took me so long to get my drivers license– I was 17 and a half– was that my dance training schedule left little time for learning to drive. Priorities, I has them!)

Here’s to ten more years of getting behind the wheel to get on the dance floor. I wouldn’t mind it if these next ten years saw fewer car troubles, though.

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Enrollment is still going on at the dance studio, and some of the classes are getting new students every week. Yesterday my new students included a pair of sisters, the younger in my Primary class and the older in Level One.

The poor younger sister (4 or 5 years old) was scared– sat on the floor and cried through pretty much the entire class. I went about class as I normally do (to show her that I don’t bite/neither do the other kids), occasionally gently encouraging her to participate. When I saw she wasn’t having any of it, I moved on– no sense in cajoling an already-terrified child; she could become even more intimidated and it would take class time from the children who were participating. As long as a child isn’t disrupting class or in a position to hurt themselves (e.g. laying on the floor while others are dancing), I have no problem letting a new student watch class until they are comfortable participating.

Afterwards, speaking to her mother, I said that she might try again next week– some young children are scared the first class; but after watching once, they feel ready to dive in (I’d just gone through the same thing an hour earlier with my 3’s class). If she still wasn’t into it next week, maybe she wasn’t ready. Then I added that she might feel better about dance after watching her big sister take class (I’ve seen that a lot, too).

Later, after my Level One class ended, I was packing up my CDs when Little Sister walked up to me and silently hugged my waist. I caught the Mom’s eye and she gave me a thumbs up.

I think we’re gonna have a great class next Saturday.

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