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Teaching last night

I've really been enjoying teaching the Mashkalni choreography, this term. I was dubious at first, because it's quite simple and has a lot of repetition, but actually, when I look at it properly, there's a lot of other non-repetitive stuff in there that is partly easy peasy and fun, and partly A Right Bugger. There's definitely enough there that it stays interesting to dance.

I've been teaching technique as well as choreo, of course, throughout the term. Last night was due to be Percussives, but I relented. Percussives are what I call that really strong travelling tuck & pull back move that is so Egyptian. (Does anyone have a proper name for that move?). It was due to be the pinnacle of meanness in my plan to make my students really work their core this term. But I relented. I have to confess I just wasn't feeling it. (Reminds me a bit of the story of the singer who is studying music, and tries to get out of his singing exam by saying he didn't have the Saltana, but his teacher scathingly telling him well then he'd just have to do the exam without the Saltana).

And then my music lead (that connects mp3 player to speaker) died on me and I was having to do the whole lesson with just the Mashkalni music which I had on cd. So I embraced the improvisation foisted upon me. We practised the technique that we use in the choreo a bit, and mostly learned the routine all the way through to the end. I'm really pleased that we got it done because it meant the students could see the piece as a whole, and see what they were working towards.

It's been a half-term full of illnesses & absences. Given that it wasn't a particularly big class in the first place, it has meant that on any given week I've had to do a fair amount of catching up for the people who weren't there the week before. There are a few who I'll have to do the same for again after half term. But that's all good, it's revision. And we'll have a few rehearsals in the weeks before Hipnotic, so we should be able to get it reasonably good. There are two bits that need a LOT of work, because they're complicated and people are not all doing the same thing at the same time, which confuses some students. I totally understand that, and I accept it as the price of making up complicated routines!

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April 2018


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