Part 1 of 2: The Impossible Task of Finding a Dance Class

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Find a Dance Class



If you haven't read my previous post that can be found - here - I'd recommend reading it so you know what kind of struggles I am having Professionally, before jumping into the problems I am having Personally. The reason I say this is because well, they're compounded. Not even compounded- they're codependent, interconnected and damn good friends, my problems.

Moving onto the topic of this post: Finding a Great Dance Class. I find this task IMPOSSIBLE. So when I find a class I like, I tend to stick with it, even if no one understands the reasons why. Bullet Points Ahead: plunge forward my friends!

-I am at an odd level of ability as a Dancer; I am far better than "Student" but less proficient than "Master." I fall somewhere between Intermediate and Advanced in most any type of dance that I've pursued seriously. Let's look at the Big Four Styles
*Ballet- Intermediate (my technique and flexibility have always been a little poor, but my comprehension and retention of the steps is awesome.)
*Tap- Intermediate (due to lack of being able to find classes as an adult that could keep my skill set challenged.)
*Jazz- Advanced (again, my flexibility is poor but other than that and a healthy aversion to multiple turns, I'm golden.)
*Modern- Advanced (flexibility problems as indicated before but this is truly probably where I shine most in the Big Four.)
And those are just the ones that people could easily quantifiably judge me on. There's also the ones I've not pursued seriously that I'm solidly Intermediate in (belly dance) and those areas that I hit somewhere between Beginner and Intermediate (hip-hop, anything in heels, and Ballroom dances.)

-Where I truly Excel, and where I choose to Teach, is the realm of hybrid styles of dance. Where I can always find something too easy and always find something too difficult. Burlesque, Musical Theatre Dance, Go-Go, Chair Dance, these are the things that make my heart sing, my body work its best and everything just to make sense.
When I nailed those Theatre Conference Workshops last Fall, I was ecstatic because I knew I'd just FOUND my place as a Professional. Whenever I absolutely crush an Adult Dance Class that I'm teaching, I soar with purpose. Every single time I take the stage, shining and  nearly naked… I just get it.
There are always things that are going to be too difficult for me (fouetté turns, ha!) and always things that will be too simple for me, but in a world where the vocabulary pulls from everything, I have a far better chance of finding more things I am capable of doing. Need to do a turn here in a Burlesque routine? I have 15thousand (exaggeration obviously) types of turns I can choose from. Especially as the choreographer or instructor of a class. With a mixed-style dance I can gauge the talent pool in front of me and I can pull from anything I choose to make it work for those people- and no single move ever has to stand out as "woah, that’s not Ballet" in the middle of a dance. I like that.

So there's the basic premise of my status as a performer. I'm a mish-mash at an Intermediate/Advanced stage who can always find something too easy and always find something too challenging in the right settings. I prefer to flounder most of the time than to find things too easy. I WANT to try to be better, constantly.

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A few months ago I took a Master Class with Brian Brooks. It was aimed at a dance school for children and I was easily old enough to be every other participant's mother. But I was there in one of a few teacher spots they'd opened and I was NOT going to pass up something like that.
I spoke with him after the Class and he said to me some of the best words I've ever heard. He said to me "you still look good out there." He didn't say "you should be doing what I do!" Because that would've been unqualified bullshit and we both would've known it. He didn't say  "You're too good for the place you're in" because that's probably not true either.
What he said was "you still look good out there." Which, to me anyway, means the following:
-He didn't mind watching me.
-He didn't have any criticisms about the way I danced his choreo to any extent that he felt the need to make corrections.
-He said "good" not "like you're having fun" or "like you enjoy it" which could be taken in multiple ways. He said "good."
-I am doing exactly what I should be doing, where I should be doing it, and my constant desire to improve is serving me well.
-Reassurance can come from unexpected, but highly needed places.

This concludes Part 1 of my 2 Part Saga of Dance Classes and why finding the correct class is so difficult for me. Part 2 is on its way.
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