It's time for round two and this time working not with the Maine State Ballet, but Center Stage Performing Arts. I have four recital classes with Center Stage, all ballet with the exception of a ballet/tap combo class for little ones. I love working here. The dynamic is different than that of Maine State Ballet, it's less ballet oriented, more recreational in terms of the kids' commitment level, but so much life breathes in the studios. Everyone wants to have fun which, although sometimes a challenge when trying to run a structured ballet classroom, is a great thing.
With two shows, and a full weekend of recital hoopla, I'd say with complete certainty that it was a success. For the most part, my routines went off without a hitch. It's interesting to watch another teacher's recital piece and listen to them tear it apart and express disappointment with timing or formations although you see nothing wrong, and then when your piece goes on you find yourself doing the exact same thing. Once a dancer, always a dancer, and dancers are perfectionists. Although full of pride for our students, there's always room for improvement.
For the first time, I got to hop on the headset and speak to the crew regarding lighting and starting and stopping the music for each number. Kept the show running smoothly and nothing burned down so I'd say I did a fair job!
Lessons learned this year:
Have an extra pair of comfy shoes on hand, change in and out of the heels. You'll be grateful for it.
When you have a little one crying, you have to use very keen judgment about whether or not to talk to them. With some students it will help immensely, with others the attention will make them cry harder... I had an instance of both. There's a definitely a learning curve to this aspect!
Plan ahead. When you have three of your numbers back to back, especially when the students are young, you're going to be doing some running! I made sure the little ones were arranged in order and waiting in the hallway outside of the wings before I went in to watch/be there for my older class. So glad I did!
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It's an experience being part of a recital. Each year is unique and consistently rewarding. Working with kids is never an easy job but shaping young minds is one of the most important things a person can do.
How did your recital go? What did you learn this year? Leave a comment, it makes my day.