Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ballethnic Dance Co.

Sorry I've been behind a bit on my blogging!  Things have been pretty busy in my world recently.  The end of last week brought some exciting things for my students at school that I'm excited to share with you!. 
On Thursday, I scheduled members from the locally-based African American Dance Company, Ballethnic to come do a workshop with my 7th and 8th grade dancers to help celebrate Black History Month.  It was nice and refreshing to have some other professional dancers in the dance room.  Sometimes teaching in the public school setting (instead of a private dance studio), can get a bit lonely in what you are doing since no one is a part of the "ballet world."  As much as you try to explain to other teachers and administrators, I don't think they will ever truly understands what you are doing with your students since they're all basically academic (expect the fine arts/PE department) educators. 

The Ballethnic dancers seemed impressed with the dance program at my school and the facility we have.  It reminded me just how lucky I am to be where I am at.  It also reaffirmed the fact that the ballet world is a truly a small world as we exchanged stories of who we knew and who we have danced with in the past before and after the workshop with the students.

Although my students seemed somewhat timid at first (I mean there were unfamiliar professionals in the room--including two men with African drums!), once they got started, I think they really enjoyed the class they gave.  I was so excited to hear one of the dancers explaining to my students that ballet is the basis of all dance as they warmed up.  Thank you!  Maybe now they will believe me after hearing it from somebody else and quit groaning when I tell them "We are doing ballet today!"  The live drumming was awesome and I loved the African choreography they taught the kids at the end of the class period.

Hopefully my students are inspired and energized!  And hopefully I will have the opportunity to bring in more dancers to give my students the opportunity to work with someone other than your's truly.  I'm sure they get sick and tired of having me as their only dance teacher every single day, all 3 years of their middle school career!

Oh yea, and the bonus for me in this whole experience is that my administrative evaluator is cousins or something with one of the co-founders of Ballethnic.  This lady was one of the dancers that came to do the workshop at our school.  Anyways, my administrator came in to my room and watched the whole first class.  She seemed so very excited to have them at our school.  She also decided to do my 2nd observation of the year while they were conducting the workshop.  Score!  We'll see what she says when we have our post-observation meeting this week--but I'm guessing it will be all positive! :)

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