colliemommie: (default)
I got to go to Ukrainian dancing by myself tonight. Katrina opted to spend time with Bruce since he was home. Normally she has class from 6-645, then she eats and gets her jammies on and I take class from 730-9. It was nice to be on my own for two whole hours this evening.

And I have formally joined the ensemble and committed to being in the "big show" in October. It's official, I'm even playing Mama in the wedding dance. Apparently Natalie, the director, didn't realize that I haven't actually done Ukrainian folk dancing before, just lots of ballet and English Country dancing. She said she would never have known from watching me, which is vastly reassuring to me.

It's funny how much muscle memory I still have, and the good habits that have stuck, even though I haven't danced seriously in so long. I can watch someone and copy them without having to see myself, which is a huge advantage. I'm always surprised how dependent people are on mirrors. And I have my perma-smile still! my barre technique is still pretty good too; I accent movements properly, and my head and arm movements are automatic (though not always correct, I do classical ballet arms). My kinesthetic awareness can be way off at times, though. Which isn't surprising, I was at least sixty pounds lighter the last time I did this for realsies.

A small group is performing at the Zabava (pre-Lent party) at the Ukrainian club on the 22nd, so they were learning a version of the group's standard hopak modified for the small space. And I learned the basic hopak combo just by watching, which I am pretty damn proud of. The arms seem counterintuitive to me, but I'll get used to it eventually.

The hopak is probably what comes to your mind when you think of Eastern European dancing. It's the guys in the baggy pants doing huge jumps, and the girls in the red boots doing turns. The middle section is actually referred to as "doing tricks". It's individuals and pairs doing their best, fanciest moves, while everyone else watches and waits their turn.

Hopefully Katrina and I will be able to go watch at the club.
colliemommie: (default)
Katrina has her first Ukrainian folk dance class tomorrow! I am super excited!

Lisa from church (who is fabulous and has six kids, all of whom are equally fabulous, and a husband I kind of assume is fabulous by sheer proximity since I don't think I've ever actually spoken to him) mentioned this place in Carnegie to me. Her kids all go/have gone there, and they start classes at four years old.

Kat went to gymnastics and dance last spring at the local place I danced at years ago. I was really underwhelmed at the current state of things. There was way too much ballet being taught for children that young. Three and four year-olds are incapable of having proper technique, and teaching ballet without technique is bad no matter one's age. I realize this seems like an extreme position, but good technique is good technique for a reason: it limits the possibility of you maiming yourself. And with joints like mine that is always a primary concern.

When I taught there, kids that little did "creative movement" and learned their left from their right, and how to move different body parts in isolation or together, and how to hop and skip and blahblahblah. Much more developmentally appropriate.


And the woman who taught Katrina's classes is someone I know from the old days, and I didn't like her then and really didn't like her attitude at all now. At least pretend to be having fun when you're teaching little kids something you want them to think is fun.

So Katrina will be doing gymnastics at the YMCA, and taking folk dance at Kyiv. An additional plus is that dance is Mondays and gymnastics is Saturdays, rather than being back to back.

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colliemommie

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