I’m nervous. My classes for the fall 2011 semester start tomorrow…the first classes in the brand new schedule. After 10+ years of perfecting the old method, I’m embarking on something different. And I’m nervous! Well, I’m actually nervous at the start of every new teaching year, so this really isn’t new. But it feels new. I guess those butterflies are a good thing because they mean that I haven’t gotten blasé. They mean I’m still anticipating & looking forward to new things.
I’ve been putting a lot of time and thought into my lesson plans…probably more than usual because I really want to do it differently this time around. I don’t want to fall back into the same-old, same-old. I want to teach the things that interest me at the moment. How can my students not benefit by coming with me on a journey of exploration?
The first Special Topics class is going to be on finger cymbals. I love the finger cymbals, and I am actually quite a good player; however, I rarely play them in public. And in traditional classes, it seems we never had time to do more than the odd session here and there. I want to change that. I want to rediscover my love and ability with my zills, and I want to help my students to discover it for themselves as well. So we’re going to spend our first Special Topics class learning some patterns, watching a bit of video, and generally becoming familiar with having them with us while we dance. There is so much material to cover – so many ways to explore playing with the cymbals that I can promise you this will not be the only class on the topic. I expect we’ll come back to it a few times during the year. Maybe even in the very next class! If there’s something you want to learn about, please let me know and I’ll see if I can work it in! How lovely to have this luxury to go in-depth and spend as much time as we wish on a subject!
The Repertoire class is going to learn a Reda-style Hagalla this term. I have always been fascinated with Mahmood Reda’s choreography and when I came upon choreography notes from a workshop I took a long time ago, I decided that I would like to spend time with that old dance, explore the folkloric theatrical Hagalla, learn as much as I can about the actual Bedouin tradition and share it with the class.
The Introduction to Bellydance – Fundamentals level 1 will be pretty much the same as it always was. There’s just a certain amount of information & movement vocabulary you absolutely need to have in order to begin your journey and I always look forward to spending time with brand new dancers. And hey – for the first time ever in 10 years, this class is NOT full! I’m not sure what to think about that! But it’s okay – the students that are there will get extra attention – yay! There are still 4 spaces open, so if you want to sign up, let me know ASAP as classes start Wednesday.
Hang onto your hip scarves, ladies – here we go!