26 April 2013

09 April 2013

Dancing in front of the Family Tree

Michigan; debuting the new GS format; 2 Day GS ATS® Classic and 2 Day GS ATS® Modern at the CCPlus Dance Center, hosted by Czigany Dance.

We asked our FCBD® Sister Studios how we could streamline the 4 day 20 hour course and they gave us great insight which we put to use; the Anatomy and Music lectures will be available as On-line Classes, with pop quizzes, review and practical application in the studio class; after this year Floorwork will become an option as it's not really a general skill. We are keeping it through this year because it was in the course descriptions that had already been booked-but it's really a specialty and not applicable for everyone and you can certainly be a full-fledged ATS® dancer without it! We've also arranged the step families as topics whenever possible (walking, undulations, etc.) and added a What is ATS®? talk at the start of the course so the whole package is a continuum rather than a roster of steps. 

With this lighter load we've been able to expand the number of students we can accommodate in GS for ATS®, thereby reaching more students at one time. Suffice to say the new format is a success!

04 April 2013

Good afternoon! Well, it took me a bit longer than anticipated to get back to updating the blog. Just a few days after the KickStarter ended .... $10,000 over the goal thanks to all of you! ... we took off to Seattle for Cues and Tattoos. Silly me. I thought it would be easy, since it was a short trip with the whole troupe, teaching two 5 hour intensives on Wed/Thu, having the day off before the show on Fri, just vending all day on Sat so I could relax and chat with people, teaching two workshops on Sun and flying back that night.

No seriously, that's an easy trip for me. It wasn't 10 days long and the sponsors (Adriene and Julia of Hipnotica) are great. How is that not an easy trip?

Well, let's see; the 5 hour intensives were actually the easy part. Being in the same room with the same people for 2 days removed a lot of variables and made it a nice routine. The intensive even took place in the hotel, so literally all I had to do was walk out of my room, get on the elevator and land in the classroom. Plus I had Kae and Wendy to help.

That's where the easy ended however. The rest of the troupe arrived on Fri morning. Their room wasn't ready so they came to hang out in our room. I was knitting the last bit of lace collar for the infamous black vest and I really needed to concentrate. They accommodated me by sitting quietly, but it was still more distraction that I had anticipated (more on the infamy of the black vest at a later date, suffice to say that I absolutely had to finish it at that precise moment in time or I would have thrown it out the window.) OK, I did have a bit of R&R when I went down to the gym for an hour's workout with an episode of Breaking Bad. Sons of Anarchy is over for the season so I had to get my fix somehow. Getting ready for the show was fine, walking to the venue was also fine because the Seattle weather gods took pity on us and it wasn't raining. The show itself was so-so, I thought we could have done better. But the event as a whole was replete with performances with a bevy of guest artists. There was a private after party at the hotel. It was very nice-drinks and snacks provided by the hosts-but I really should have gone to bed and gotten some rest because the next day was 12 hours of vending.

I think that's what did me in. My intention was to set up the booth and just bask in the happiness of the crowd and enjoy the day's show (which included a fantastic performance by my students as Taksu Tribal.) To a degree, that is what happened ... but it was 12 hours of basking and happiness and .. wait for it ... there was another after party at 10:30pm. I really shouldn't complain. I had elected not to dance in that show because I knew I would be whooped and had to teach and fly home the next day. The troupe had to get into costume yet again, and we all had to find our way over to the new venue. There was a moment when I was sure that I wouldn't make it, but my lovely booth-mate Shannon propped me up and we actually ate dinner and caught a cab, arriving at the bar just as FCBD® hit the stage. The show was stellar. I was really pleased to see my troupe kick it out. Adriene was nice enough to give us a ride home when I began to complain loudly and in a very unladylike fashion about the fact that we were so far from the hotel. Really, she is the nicest, calmest person. A saint, if you will.

Back at the room, my troupe-mates thought it would be a lot of fun if we all drank wine and chatted for another hour. I had to, again, complain loudly and in a very unladylike fashion that the party was over-go home! Sigh. Sorry about that.

Sunday was a flurry of packing up the booth early so we could teach the last two classes and then catch a ride to the airport for our 8:15pm flight. Everyone worked like a well-oiled machine to that end. Of course at the airport, as our outgoing flight had to negotiate with the San Francisco weather (why does a city that is known for fog not have runways that are set up to deal with fog?) they threatened to delay our flight. It was in fact delayed by 30 minutes, but I can't complain (loudly and in a very unladylike fashion) because two flights filled with dancers that were also coming back to SF where delayed several hours.

So anyway, that' my story and I'm sticking to it. It was a great festival and I'll attend as long as they keep inviting me, but next time I'm getting my own room and bypassing the after party festivities so that I can behave in a gracious and ladylike manner throughout.

Thanks to everyone who had to put up with me!