Friday, October 21, 2011

Fun Ballet Attire (Thursday)

Final day of "Fun ballet attire" for the fall was yesterday!

Ballet IV

Taking two days/week now, they were happy to be able to wear fun ballet again!

The girls got this idea of a pose a while ago, and decided to try it out. They come up with creative ideas and make class fun!

It's a cool class. :)

Actually, they're wearing these glasses for one of their angel dances. I know, angles in sunglasses?? You'll have to come to "The Coming King" to see where it fits. ;)

Ballet I/A with Miss Rachael

I've taught many of these girls since they were 4 or 5, and now at ages 8-10, it's fun to see how they're really improving and growing in ballet this year!

Ballet III

These girls are working hard with the challenges I continue to give them in their dances this year!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun Ballet Attire (Tuesday)

Four classes on Tuesday came up with fun and creative looks! :)

Ballet II
(one girl was gone)

Basic 2 with Miss Katherine
(My niece Sara was here on fall break, so she came to this class for fun!)

Wee 1 with Miss Miriam
(one girl was gone, and one was visiting from Wee 3)

How much "poof" can you get in one class? :)

Ballet IV

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fun Ballet Attire (Monday)

For class, girls are required to wear black leos & skirts, pink tights & ballet shoes. It helps keep things professional and not distracting.

However, once/semester, we have "fun ballet attire day" and the girls get to dress up for class! It's fun to see what they choose! :)

Wee 3
(one girl was gone)

They all chose something to wear from my supply, and evidently purple and red were the favorite colors of this class!

Basic 1 with Miss Rachael
(one girl was gone)

This class is a challenge, with beginners from age 5 through 11. But, they're doing well and it's fun to see them learning ballet for the first time. My assistants for the class (Rachael and Jubilee switch off each week) are very helpful!

Wee 2 with Miss Anna
(three girls were gone)

At this age, most every little one wants to be a princess and/or ballerina. :) With 10 girls ages 5-6 in the class, they can be a handful (Jubilee/Rachael are again invaluable assistants!) but they're also sweet and exuberant in their enjoyment of dance.

Ballet I/B
(two girls were gone)

This class had a dance party before class, made cookies and crafts (and brought me some!) and got dressed up together. It's fun to see students becoming fast friends with their classmates!

It will be fun to see what the classes come up with on Tuesday and Thursday! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Choreography for "The Coming King"

Preparing for a dance presentation is always a long process. The students enjoy learning their dance, but before I can teach them there's a lot of work to do on my own.

First, finding the right music is essential. It often starts the year before, as all songs I hear that I like after one presentation get put on a list as potentials for the next year. For Christmas presentations such as "The Coming King," I have to be intentional about listening to Christmas music long before the season arrives. This year, I started in April, listening to Christmas music on and off (much to my sister's amusement - there's nothing like hearing "Carol of the Bells" while it's 98 degrees outside!) over the summer. In August I got serious and narrowed the songs down to what I was actually going to use, and chose a name that fit the theme.

Then, I play the songs over and over and over, getting a feel for them, learning them intimately. I listen while I clean, cook, wash dishes, sew - whenever there's a time I can two things at once. As I listen, I get ideas for different steps, formations, or an overall feel for each dance. This makes the choreography process a lot easier.

In the week before classes began, I made the final decisions about which class was dancing to which song(s) and decided what they'd wear. After all, the costume makes a difference in the choreography. If the skirt is full and fun and twirly, for example, that class often does more spins, and different colored costumes play into formations.

Then, I start choreographing. I'm always amazed at the creativity God continues to give. I've choreographed over 100 dances since I started teaching and directing, and yet new ideas continue to flow. Sometimes it's a hard process, and I have to try different things before I find a movement I like. Usually, however, it just flows out naturally. It's fun to see God at work, bringing His story to life through dance.

There are 17 total songs for "The Coming King" and so far I've completed choreography for 12 of them, so the end is in sight! The students are learning their dances well, which is good, since my goal is to have the class dances taught by the parent observation days the first week of November.

I'm really excited about "The Coming King" and the diversity of the dances this time. From cute (Basic 2) angels with wings to older (Ballet IV) angels with fluffy, long tutus and gold/silver streamers, to tiny "mothers" (Wee 3) with baby dolls to "sheep" (Wee 2) and shepherds (a group of 5 men dancing to a hilarious song!), as well as many songs in between, this will be a memorable presentation.

May everything involved - choreography included - bring glory to God in and through "The Coming King!"