Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Class Number Struggles

     It's proving to be very difficult to keep consistency with students at this studio. I started out with my Intermediate Ballet class, which I should possibly just call Ballet since I end up with beginners or students of all levels. I really don't mind at all. I do like the complexity of more difficult choreography and barre work, but I also love seeing a student who has never taken dance (or not since they were little) grow and grow.

   I started my first class by just teaching my boyfriend, J. As I said in my previous post, he partially took my class so I could figure out how to fit everything into just an hour. The next week, I had a girl come in and take it on a whim and loved it so much that she signed up for the month. Jean kept coming, so that was great. I think I may have just had her for a few weeks. Then a friend came and brought her twin sister and their friend. I'd danced with all three in ballet classes before. T was with me for months, as was Jean. Then another of T's friends came and she was there for months as well. T was most advanced and en pointe. Jean and T's friend, Jenn, were both basically beginners. Neither had ever danced so it was interesting trying to manager the different skill levels. T and Jenn were adults and Jean was 16. It was mostly kept at a more basic level but some of the steps in the dance were more advanced (saut de basques, tour jetes, beat jumps, etc).

   So anyways, first Jean dropped off because she got a summer job. I was bummed out because she was my first beginner to teach and I was thoroughly enjoying watching her progress from week to week. Then I had to switch the class time to two hours earlier and I never saw Jenn again. Then around a month or two later, I lost T as she was transferring to a university over an hour away. I had no students for around a month and then a 20 year old I was in a musical (Hairspray) with in 2011 messaged me about wanting to take my class. She hadn't danced since she was 6 so she's basically a beginner. I am loving teaching her. She takes corrections well, is super quick with learning the terminology, and has passion and drive. I just need more like her! I heard I should be getting a 12 year old who is moving up because of the age group so I'm happy for that. My next dance requires at least 4 so I hope to get the very least!

   Now on to the Littles! When I got the class handed down to me, there were two students - Lydia and Dalia. Lydia is seven and Dalia is six. My first day teaching, Lydia was absent but I had little Dalia. She was so cute and sweet! She had good focus and good technique/knowledge of the steps for her age. There was a three year old that dropped in that day to try it (even though it wasn't her age group) and we played games that I combined with ballet steps and they seemed to have a blast.

   Lydia is a little firecracker. She knows the technique and picks up everything quickly but she is always trying to test me. She'll start out doing rond de jambes right and then when she thinks I'm not looking, will just kinda move her leg a little and squint at me with a little mischievous smile on her face. She keeps me on my toes (ha), for sure.

   I have since gotten two more students. Lilly is seven and though I have a difficult time keeping her attention sometimes, has passion for ballet that astounds me. I put on some music and she immediately recognized it as being from The Nutcracker. The same happened with music from Swan Lake. That makes me happy since she's so little. Her grandma also tells me that Lilly gets up at 5:30 in the morning every day, puts on her classical music, and practices barre and stretching, and so on. Good kid, that one.

  Samantha, I fear, has come and gone. She was five and transferred from another class into mine but I haven't seen her in three weeks now, so I don't think she's returning. It's so frustrating. And I haven't seen her or Dalia since the class before Thanksgiving.

   I choreographed a little dance to Christmas, Don't Be Late when I had three students, because there are three Chipmunks and had them all (in turn) doing a soutenu turn when each Chipmunk name was spoken. "Simon" - Lydia, "Theodore" - Dalia, "Alvin...ALvin...ALVIN!" - Lilly (on the first mention). When Samantha came to us, I just had her between Dalia and Lilly so timing-wise, it still worked out. Now that I'm down to two, there is too much time. I told them to do two soutenu turns now but it still doesn't quite work, but we will have to deal with that since the show is Monday.

I have lots of flyers and now that this show is about to come and go, I can get back to plastering any place I can think of with them. I have held off for the last month or so because it would be too little time for someone to learn the respective dances. So I'm crossing my fingers that I pick up more students! I want to keep my classes. I absolutely love what I'm doing.

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