I love this time of year. There is a freshness about it as we get ready to go back to school and work and our lives return to their usual business. (Note for the Northern Hemisphere readers: I live in the Southern Hemisphere, so we’ve just had our summer holidays). I’m a middle school teacher by day, so I’m back to work today with some planning this week before the students arrive next week. I’m lucky that in my job I get to be both a classroom teacher (something I love) and a dance teacher (something else I love). So professionally this year will hold a lot of dance for me.
This year is a production year at school, which means a gentler less intense start to the year than a stage challenge year. I’ll start term one off by auditioning my dance performance group early in the term. I’ll work with them on a performance – probably a contemporary dance (though I haven’t officially decided yet) – for the end of the term (just before Easter). In term 2 these same girls will be busy learning a multitude of dances for production, and I’ll also be choreographing for the whole cast and leads a little as well – moving while singing rather than full out dancing. Term 3 will be a lovely break, we’ll probably try and fit in a workshop or maybe a trip to the ballet while working on a couple of dances for the end of year with the dance performance group. Term 4 will see the dance performance group continue their work for the end of year performances and will also see the whole school take part in a social dance unit that I have developed – good fun!
Outside of school, my teaching at The Dance Well Centre will continue, currently just with a Jazz 3 class, a Senior Stretch/Technique class and Senior Contemporary. In term 2 or 3 I’ll look at adding a new beginner teen class, and possibly a junior class. As we don’t teach an exam syllabus, I have a lot more freedom in what I do, but I am starting to build up a syllabus/curriculum of sorts to provide some continuity, so I’ll also be hard at work choreographing that.
I’m hoping later in the year to look at the possibility of establishing a teen/young adult contemporary performance group, along the same lines at Crow’s Feet, which is a contemporary dance collective for women age 35+ operating in Wellington. I’m still 9 years off being able to join that, so I’d like something to dance with in the mean time!
I’m also enjoying planning what this blog will look like in the year ahead. I want to separate it from The Dance Well Centre, because it’s not the same. Though it is of course related and there will also be digital (and non-digital) links between the two. This year I want to focus more on telling stories of what it means to be a dancer. Not just my story, but lots of stories, from all kinds of dancers. If you are interested you can check out this post for more information. I’ve already got four young dancers lined up and two dancers who started ballet as adults too. There are also playlists, student guides, posts for teachers and of course a little bit of my story planned too.
This playlist is the one I’m currently using for my intermediate jazz class. A bit of a mix of old stuff and some new stuff.
Warm Up 1 – Move by Little Mix
Warm Up 2 – It’s Like That by Run DMC
Tendu – Jumpin’ by Liberty X
Sauté – Go Deep by Janet Jackson
Spotting – Next to You by Chris Brown
Pirouettes – Oops! I Did it Again by Britney Spears
Chainés – No Scrubs by TLC
Combination 1 (Jazz/Funk) – Maneater by Nelly Furtado
Combination 2 (Latin) – Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez
Combination 3 (Classical) – I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Women by Britney Spears
So, it is with much excitement that I write this blog post. Because, guess what? Classes have started at The Dance Well Centre. That’s right! This super-exciting BIG dream I’ve had for ages has finally become a reality. I only have two classes running at the moment, but it’s a start and it’s awesome. My students are fantastic, and I’m loving having the freedom to teach my own curriculum.
With all the lesson planning, accounts doing and admin required, blogging has gone out the window a bit, so I’m hoping to get back into this more soon. I’ve got some more playlists lined up (what can I say, I love music!), plus some product reviews and articles. I’m also looking to profile some awesome dancers too – so if you think you might interested let me know.
This playlist is the playlist I use with my Choreography Workshop class this term – it’s a bit of a mixture and constantly evolving, but this is what it currently looks like.
The Pasture – Elephant Revival
Down to the Sea – Elephant Revival
Intro – The XX
Tear Drop – Massive Attack
Dreams and Disasters – Owl City
Armies of Your Heart – Elizaveta
Viva La Vida – Coldplay
Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People
Where Do I Even Start? =- Morgan Taylor Reid
Run Daddy Run – Miranda Lambert
Free – Rudimental
Abraham’s Daughter – Arcade Five
Brave – Sara Bareilles
Be Okay – Oh Honey
Heavy Cross – The Gossip
Breathe Me – Sia
I’m happy to take requests for different playlists, just leave me a comment. Now it’s your turn, what songs are loving for dance right now?
I’ve been a bit remiss in posting lately, but I have a good reason for it! Several, in fact. The first is that my son T. was born a month and half ago. He’s super cute and doing extremely well. And we are absolutely loving life with him.
The second reason is that I’ve been hard at work on making another dream become reality – opening my own dance centre. Of course, like the sensible person I am, I’m starting small, with just two classes next year. The space is all booked and I finished and launched the website this morning. So without any further ado let me introduce The Dance Well Centre:
We’re starting off next year with a choreography workshop class and a dance wellness class which you can find out about here. I’m pretty stoked with the website and logo, having built both myself. Now I just need to finish the marketing flyer and we’ll be all set.
If you live in Wellington and are between the ages of 12 – 18 and are interested in one of the classes then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Also don’t forget you can follow us on Instagram @dancewellcentre and like us on Facebook too.
And just in case you are worried – don’t be! I’m still planning to keep this blog going with it’s original intended purpose – to provide interesting and useful articles for dancers and dance teachers.