Jan-Feb 2012 | Queen Mary Gr 7
Technique: Sympathy-with-partner. Boys, think of facing your partner on the Rock Step. It’ll stop you looking like blank-faced mannequins.
Technique: What’s the Rock Step all about? It connects you to your partner.
Technique: Foot pressure — must be able to stop on Slow-1 or Slow-2 or either of the Rock Steps. Why? For balance & good looks.
Technique: Nose-over-toes. Get it. Got it. Now, you’re looking like someone worth watching.
The teachers want to move onto a 2nd dance. They want the kids to have a couple of dance styles to choose from for their year-end student-parent night. So, onto some Latin American — Bolero-become-Salsa.
Activity: Clap with me. Next, step with me, Bim-Boom-BAHHH, Bim-Boom-BAHHH. You got it. “Many Latin American dances are based on this 3-step pattern. You get one, you can apply to the others.”
Activity: Basic Fwd/Bwd Step.
Activity: Partner up. Boys step fwd on the left; girls, bwd on the right to start.
A good, attentive class. An unexpected interruption on Day 3 (something delayed half the kids at first, then several had to pop in & out during class for something) but that’s life at school.
They picked up quickly on the O/S & I/S Turn combo, then the Change-of-hands-to-behind-the-back-pass finishing with an I/S Turn. But, got snagged on the Cradle. Not unexpected b/c some girls will inevitably open out the Right Elbow and, bang!, find they can’t turn to the left.
Brain wave! Teach them the Underarm Pass (a la WCS) first. Gave it a try and, voila!, they all got it. “So, to do the Cradle, lead the U-Pass but don’t let go of the (boy’s) Right Hand.”
[Whew. Thank you, Maggie.]
85 kids in one class!! Woa. Didn’t expect that. Got a quirky smile from the classroom teacher, like she was saying, “Sorry, I don’t know where they all came from.”
Well, no matter. I taught 90/class at Cascade Heights once. Let’s get started.
“GOOD AFTERNOON QUEEN MARY.”
I got a few mumbled greetings in return. I wasn’t going to let the lack of an overwhelming & thunderous reply deter me.
“GOOD AFTERNOON QUEEN MARY.”
“Good-good-good after-after-noon-oon-oon.” That’s better. Got their attention. Let’s get to work.
Activity: Introduce 6-count rhythm. Follow my example. 1-2-3-4-5-6; 1- -3- -5-6. Now, add directions — Side, Side, Back-Rock.
Step: Basic step, danced in rhythm.
Activity: How to line up and get a partner. [Lots of anxious faces here. Boys looking nervously at the wall of girls, and vice versa. Plenty of anxious glances across the room, and mumblings to whoever's standing beside them. Good. All part of the learning. Once they're partnered & in lines, the fun stuff starts.]
Activity: Hold hands [Wow. Lots of resistance. But, a few words explaining why (it's about a conversation) makes the difference. Many are into it now. The others, they'll figure it out soon enough.]
Activity: Dance the Basic Step. Instructor counts. Then, music. And, change partners.
Activity: Demo the Outside Turn-Inside Turn combination — Tim & dance assistant.
Activity: Break it down. Mechanics of the Lead; of the Follow. Direction of turn, etc. Now, everyone, to my count; 5-6-7-8, slow, slow, … . [They're getting it, but alas, the teacher signals it's time to quit.]
“Okay, your homework is … .” Nothing gets a student’s attention like that dreaded word ‘HOMEWORK’.