Neverland

Hello all!

It’s no secret that a huge part of my love for performing arts revolves around,well…performing. My school doesn’t have too many performances yearly, just one day’s worth, to be exact, so this one day a year tends to be extra special. This year, we presented Neverland, an original continuation of  J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

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With my 4 year-old class: the pixie dust faeries.

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When I wasn’t doing someone’s hair, pinning crowns on dancers’ heads, or helping with a quick change in the wings, I managed to snap a few shots backstage. It’s the culmination of almost a year’s worth of steady work; this year, I was able to test out my story-telling abilities a bit more, which turned out to be quite fun! When it comes to creating, I’ve discovered that the music and the dancers can make or break the whole process. Things that seemed initially daunting tended to fall into place with these two well-matched ingredients. We also often say that the process of producing a show is quite a bit like a train, consistently gathering momentum. At a certain point, there’s not much you can do aside from stepping back to admire the end result. Sure, there are always things I wish I could tweak and adjust, but it’s strangely refreshing to be able to let things be once we get into the theater. After all, if someone isn’t pointing their feet/looking up/straightening their knees by now, chances are that stopping a dress rehearsal to discuss minutiae isn’t going to help.

Despite being incredibly proud and relieved after a successful show, I tend to experience a huge let down afterwards. Going from daily rehearsals and being constantly occupied with the details of a show to…nothing, can be challenging. Part of the beauty of dance is that it’s entirely ephemeral- each performance, each moment in rehearsal is unique and can’t quite ever be recaptured. This being said, I’m sure you can see why the end of a performance could bring a bit of melancholy along with it. Luckily, it doesn’t tend to last long.

Next year will mark my studio’s 25th anniversary, and I’m certain we’ll have something extra special planned. I’m not quite sure what that will be yet, but I think it’s important to have a new project, a new adventure to look forward to! It certainly helps take some of those post-show blues away. I’m so proud of my students, and know the next year holds something exciting.

As for now… I’m going to the beach!

EVA♥

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Kids Continue to be Hilarious: Part 4

Hello everyone!

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It’s finally time for Part IV of My “Kids Are Hilarious” saga (here’s Part I, Part II, and Part III)!

At this point, I’ve most likely forgotten the vast majority of ridiculous kid stories. It’s safe to say that they’re pretty much a constant in my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I often keep these little anecdotes in my back pocket to bust out in most social situations. Lull in the conversation? Share a kid story. Awkward silence in a meeting? How about a kid story? Need some good brunch conversation? BAM! Kid story! And, without further introduction, I give you a few of the most recent gems, straight out of my students’ mouths.

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One of my students ran up to me one morning and excitedly pointed out that she was wearing “lipstick” that day. It was marshmallow lipstick. She then demanded “Do you want to smell my lips? Smell my lips!” 

Twice a year, we open our studio space to visitors who would like to observe class. I’ve noticed that the littlest ones often bring the biggest entourages, which can be quite distracting at times. This last Visit Day, I had one of my students run up to her grandmother in the middle of class, lift up her tutu, turn around, and demand “Pinch my booty!! PINCH MY BOOTY.” She refused to dance until they had all done so.

Some of the best moments seem to happen when there is an audience present. On another Visit Day, while I was coaching the kids on how to properly stand at the ballet barre, one of my students decided to loudly elaborate on why we don’t hang on the barres: “Because, if you hang on the barres, they could fall on you and crack your head open and then there will be blood. Blood everywhere, and your brains could come out. And then you’ll cry and cry and then the ambulance has to come.” After this, I had to turn to our audience and reassure them that we had not had any major accidents involving the barres.

Although most of these quotes come straight from their little brains totally unbidden, I can usually count on our “talk time” during class (aka: the “Question of the Day”)  to provide me with some interesting insight into their worlds.

In response to “What is your favorite flower?” We got: A Hi-biscuit. 

“What’s your favorite kind of candy? A muffin…but with frosting.”That’s a cupcake, right?

A few weeks ago, I asked them what their favorite thing about springtime was. The answers were typical things like butterflies, rainbows, and sunshine. What I wasn’t expecting was for one of my students to yell “JESUS!! JESUS. He is the king!” 

 When I asked one of my students what her favorite sandwich was, I got something that sounded like “Iliiiithekiindwiththemannoooandapeaandda…. an’ wainnnbow sprinkles.” Needless to say, I sometimes have a hard time understanding her. However, I feel a little less bad when other students have an equally hard time. “At home, I have a Frozenyuckis!” While I asked her to repeat herself, one of the neighboring five-year-olds looked up at me, bewildered, and asked “What’s a yuckis?” I don’t know, kid. I really don’t know.

Maintaining a poker face can be difficult at times; especially when they volunteer things like “Oh! Cindy can’t come to class today, because she’s in New Hamster.” This place must also be somewhere near Pepsicola, Florida, a magical place we’ve also heard of.

I do appreciate these insightful outbursts. Sometimes, they’re really profound things like: “Look! I have two arms! I’m so cool!” 

I have one little one that likes to dismiss her father in a not so subtle way each time he drops her off at class by loudly shouting “Bye! Bye Dad. BYE!!!!! BYE!!!!” until he leaves the room. We guess that he can’t quite take the hint.

And, on that note, BYE!!

EVA ♥

Back to School

Hello everyone!

I’ve survived “back to school” season, but it’s all been

…shenanigans.

Yes, that’s the only way I can describe the last few weeks.

Don’t get me wrong- I spent my entire summer missing Dance Arts. But, jumping back into teaching when September rolls around feels very much like being asleep for three months and then rolling out of bed to run a 5k. Ouch. The students never cease to amaze me, and I have a wealth of quotes from them already. I’m certain there’s more coming in the very near future.

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It’s like herding little gerbils, bless them. Look at those straight lines!

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Here are some of the latest gems:

“I don’t need this. I don’t need this. I DON’T NEED THIS.”– child when handing me a dirty band-aid. Great, honey. I don’t need it either.

“Ew, oh! Excuse me. I just burped.” Mid-sentence. Of course.

“I’m so tired today, because I had second grade.” Life is tough, kid. What else can I say?

“Wait! Your favorite thing isn’t lunch?!” Upon learning that the boss lady’s favorite thing is, in fact, dancing.

“He has a brother. I think his name is Colon.” I’m sure it is.

“My dad has a farmer’s tan!” 

“Can I take my leotard off? I’m hot!” No, no you are not dancing naked.

What’s your favorite pet? “Ice cream.”

“This is Miss Izzy. Did you ever meet Miss Izzy? ‘No, but I know how to do cartwheels.'”

“No, those aren’t my shoes.” Her name was on them. Of course they were her shoes.

and, my personal favorite:

“This is Miss Eva. She used to dance here when she was seven, then she went to college and got her degree in dance!” at which point a little voice said:  ME TOO! I’M FOUR!'”

Oh yeah, I remember you!

EVA♥