I wasn't planning on blogging today (I have QUITE a lot of work to do) but I just had to share this with you!
I taught two dance classes this morning. We stretched, did my crunch routine, learned a few ballet techniques, went across the floor, and made up a musical theatre combination in both. The first was the younger class. The second was three girls going into the 6th grade. (For some reason we had a lot of no-shows today... probably the nice weather! I was fine with it... I use the dance classes to keep myself in shape, so I'll dance no matter who is there!)
At the end of the second class, I was beyond inspired. I had the best time. It was as if I were teaching for the first time. The girls (two who took the class last week) came to dance. They soaked in every lesson I taught. They tried to fix every note I gave. They thought so hard, that they forgot to breathe! (…which is normal in dance and not as painful as it sounds.)
When we got to the fun part--making up a musical theatre combination (a dance based on acting and story-telling)-- I learned from them. "Jailhouse Rock" was the song we danced to. Not only was the style (1950's Elvis/Swing) above their heads but the storyline was, too. (You know... angry that you're in jail but the magic of dance possesses you into becoming a rockin' swing dancer... Typical.) Let me tell you, they worked SO HARD in the 40 minutes we rehearsed. Within moments, those three new students became actors & dancers.
The girls not only picked up the story and the characters on the spot, but they picked up one of the longest dances I've choreographed in one dance class. (I usually teach a shorter routine in class and focus on each move.) Those divas were SWEATY and OUT OF BREATH but they never complained. They even danced full out when I said they didn't have to.
I love dancing. I love acting. Put the two together and it is an experience, but let's be honest... It's exhausting. After class, the girls said their "good-byes". One ran up to me privately. She asked me “what inspires you to dance"? No student has ever asked me that. I mean, she had just been dancing for an hour and a half and she was STILL bright eyed, determined, and filled with adrenaline from performing. It was inspiring just to see that.
Of course, I didn't answer "YOU inspire me". That's awkward. Instead, I took a moment. What inspires me to dance? Why do I dance more than I act and sing? (When I started training, those were my passions. They certainly still are and frankly I think I'm better at those skills then dancing... so why dance?)
Finally I responded, "I get inspiration from my performance. I wasn't the best in class but I worked hard. I'd go home and practice in my tiny bedroom for the entire week and I'd return to class being the best. Come performance time I turned my hard work into a perfect performance. No one else did that, but me, and I liked that. So I kept at it!"
She replied, "Oh. Michael Jackson inspires me." Then walked away.
BELOW: The first video is Elvis's version. The second is from All Shook Up! (They take his music and turn the songs into acting pieces with a story line.) Check out the differences between the dancers!
It sure has been a while since my last post, hasn't it? I'm settling into the new job... as much as I can, anyways. Fast-pased days and a never ending supply of things to do seem to be the norm. It's perfect for me!
Since the last post, lots has been happening around here!
Billy Bishop opened May 6th. If you're a Theatre Geek (You wouldn't be reading this if you weren't. Theatre Geeks get ahead in life... proven fact. Anyways....) it's the perfect show to see. One man becomes sixteen different characters... and you believe he's a new person each time. Dana Hart transforms into these characters effortlessly for two hours, and he is onstage the entire time. It's fascinating, and if you're an actor or striving to be one... learn from him. If you're a history buff it's the perfect show to see. We have a WWI model airplane display in our Four Seasons Room and hanging in the theatre. You also missed our Food For Thought: WWI & WWII Poster Art Discussion led by Paul Biber. (Don't worry. We'll have more master class discussions in the Fall!) Artistic Director, Rick Fortney is in the show, too, so it's a big treat for TrueNorth fans!
We also had a great turnout for our Spring Break Spotlight Series. They were a series of classes during Spring Break trying out a few of our new Arts programs:
Act One & Two Acting
Boogie Down Dance (we danced to Katy Perry's Firework- that's my jam.)
Mommy & Me: Art and Games
Theatre Games Thursday
and Milk & Cookies Story Time!
At the end of August/Begining of September, I'll be sure to post our new Arts & Nature Education Program Calendar. One workshop I'm particularly stoked about... STOMP & SCIENCE! Stay tuned for that!
IN THEATRE CAMP NEWS:
I have a meeting with all of the summer theatre instructors in one hour. The theatre knowledge flowing out of them is extraordinary. I have worked with a lot of theatre camp staffs in the past. This wonderful group people and I can't wait to work with them. I can't wait for YOU to work with them! Every fun moment will be a great opportunity to learn and grow.
It's going to be a great summer. Fact.
Thanks for reading!
Maryanne Nagel will be directing the Center Stage Camp for grades 5-8. Check out her bio on the Staff Page.
Unlike Alex, Maryanne AVOIDS horror movies and snakes at all costs! A true stage diva, Maryanne loves M&Ms in her dressing room ("No peanuts, please") and can out-juggle almost anyone. She loves country music, camping, and fishing but refuses to bait the hook. That means she won't put the worm on the hook, because worms remind her of snakes. She hates snakes. (Anyone else sensing a practical joke this summer?!)