7/07/2006

DANCin' DANCin' DANCE-IN! She's a dancin' machine...

song du jour: Last Kiss, Ishtar

mood: sore but happy (No, Jean not from that.)

This afternoon I did something wildly fulfilling that I haven't done in a VERY long time. I taught a dance class. The fabulous Nalan is out of town, so the also ultra fabulous Ofelia at Dance 101 requested that I sub for Nalan's beg/int class. Actually, truth be told, it was the first time ever that I taught a bellydance class, but I didn't let on, and no one caught on. I've rehearsed dancers for Nalan and spent a fair amount of time teaching friends, who felt behind in class, and teaching dance, whatever the genre, is like riding a bicycle, although even more truthfully, I can barely remember if I ever did shift from hauling records to the studio to the ease of tossing a few CD's in my bag. That's how long it's been.

My very first job ever (beyond babysitting) was teaching adult beginning and intermediate jazz classes at the ripe old age of 17. Or was I 16? By 18 I was teaching company jazz classes and choreographing. Teaching and performing were my primary livelihood until I was 22 and blew out my hamstring, followed by a brief comeback to performing when I was 24 and over the hill by professional dance standards back then. A lifetime ago and yet just yesterday.

I do love teaching metalsmithing, but teaching dance has a few added benefits about which I'd forgotten: I don't have to work out afterwards (hence being sore), and no one can obnoxiously try to interrupt and talk on top of me while I'm demonstrating. There's also the fun fact that I was done in an hour. Ok, so forget that I was working on the combination I taught until 3:45 am after searching iTunes Music Store for new inspiration (the song listed above...yum). The prep was fun, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the dancers did the combination. I only recognized a few of them, since I normally can't take class on Thursdays. Afterwards, several of them came up and thanked me for the class. One dancer not only liked it, she asked me if I taught any other classes around town that she could attend and to tell her if I ever did. Wow. That was as I was pulling out that newfangled little round plastic thing from the magic drawer that opened when I pushed a button on the scrumptious sound system. What decade am I in? Oh, right...

There will probably be more opportunities to which I'm looking forward. Nalan has been pushing me out of the nest, so to speak, for a long time, telling me I need to teach and to propose some of my ideas. I've been tossing around images (and a few steps) of what a Middle Eastern jazz style might look like. - When it's a craze in L.A., remember you heard it hear first! - Having such a strong technical background that is back and strong, I would love to merge it with my more recent passion of shimmies and undulations, particularly with a wealth of dancers well versed in one and learning another. Bellydancing is so amazing, but sometimes I do want, literally, to stretch my legs while shaking my curves.

Big thanks to the Cookie Monster for taking my munchkin to dinner while I taught and bringing him back in time for me to see my 2 #1 fans watching the last part of the class.

1 comment:

kate said...

. . . middle eastern jazz dance! I would soooooo be there!