They Did It Again

The end of session recital struck again this weekend, and the 30+ students I teach descended at once.  I spent the first 3 hours of my day coordinating last minute rehearsals, trying to stretch and warm up a few dozen excited and nervous girls, and answering a million mundane questions.  And then the room filled with parents, grandparents and friends, and the girls lined up eagerly to perform and cheer on their friends, suddenly quiet as the magnitude of the day struck them.

I tried to upload a video yesterday from my phone, but technology did not cooperate with me – so this is what you get today.

The girls I teach are so much fun.  They are committed to learning, interested in every aspect of aerial arts, and constantly surprise me.  I love watching them figure it out, watch them finally nail that trick they’ve been working on for weeks and see their faces light up when they realize they did it.  I’ve been telling them over and over again that the knowledge is in them, the execution will be perfected, it takes time and most importantly, the ability to relax.  When we get to the recital, they don’t think they’ve got any of it, and then they surprise themselves.

I’ve been bragging about them quite a bit since yesterday, playing the videos every chance I get and telling the story of each of these girls.  This one couldn’t do this trick and it made her cry, but look – she did it perfectly!  And this one – it took a long time to build up that strength, but she got there.  Or this one hated the fabrics, but rocks the trapeze!  I love them all and they all stand out for me – their strengths and weaknesses, their favorite moves, their attitude and endurance.  It’s taken some skill getting to know who I can be stern with, who needs a bit more encouragement, and when to crack down and when to give up on the cracking down and throw in a silly exercise to loosen the sour faces.

This video clip is Ellette and another student (They are inseparable for the most part).  They picked the apparatus, and we experimented with height.  And then they choreographed a good deal of it on their own.  When they got stuck, I jumped in with tips, exercises, new tricks, endurance training, and the one day we were all stumped, I sat down with them and watched videos and looked at pictures and brainstormed as a trio.  Seeing them perform it in the end was a huge sigh of relief.  It turned out beautifully.  I can’t wait to see how they continue to develop as artists!

This Post Should Have Happened Sunday

My Sunday posts have been lagging a bit since my shoulder injury.  Luckily, my teaching hasn’t been impaired, since we were mostly running through our recital routines over and over again.  Then talking about the routine, then rehearsing again.  This meant that my Sundays were spent next to the speakers, hitting “Play,” “Pause,” “Volume,” and “Stop” and counting out the music for the girls.  Our fall recital was last weekend, and I was running around from noon, when I held an open gym session for anyone wanting a little extra practice before our recital at 3.  I continued running around throughout the recital, helping the girls get ready, running the music, and introducing each class to the audience.

Fall 2013 Aerial Girls

The girls were better than I could have hoped.  It always amazes me – right up until the recital I’m usually biting my fingernails and thinking we need a couple more weeks of rehearsal because they’re not quite getting it.  But, the day of the recital they pretty much nail it.

The session to recital process of the dance academy, where I teach a session and then there is a recital, all in 3 months, has been a bit challenging.  I want more time to work on skills and technique, but it is a fun rush of adrenaline when we get towards the end and I watch the students settle down and get serious.

Want to see one of the pieces?

That’s Ellette doing her “solo” intro with the other girls (they were paired up).  The song is Crystallize, by Lindsey Stirling.  I’m excited for the new session in January, when the recital isn’t a “Winter” theme like this one and I have a bit more liberty with my song selection (most of my songs are already chosen, but I’m always looking for inspiration!)

Sunday

Some of the costumes came in for our recital next month. I’m so excited! They are beautiful!

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