Last week I gave three out of five classes a "free-write" assignment -
I asked them to crack open their minds on the topic of "Arrival" and just write for ten minutes.
There were questions and concerns, but once those were allayed, and I reminded them that I didn't even need their names on the top of the page... ("So just vent on paper?" "Yes...with Arrival in mind as a place to start." "Oh! ok!!") there was a sense of freedom in the room as they became the quietest I have ever experienced them and just plain wrote about whatever came to mind for 10 minutes.
Afterward, we discussed what they had discovered - that an arrival is usually the ending of one thing and the beginning of another, but that nothing really ends....or that often the assumption is that Arrival is a happy thing, but maybe it isn't always -
I have read personal accounts of birth, or relationships, of death and interpretations of dances...words of songs and even thoughts about my arrival to them as a teacher...
And I am thrilled at what we've found together -
In my first intermediate class (the class that seems to have gotten more circus partnering out of me than the others) I used this free write as a way to begin finding a title to their piece. I loved all of the conversations we had about beginnings and celebration of successes however small they might be -
In the second intermediate class we didn't use it as a title search, but we did find much to talk about and explore on the various ways arrival affects lives... they also wrote about what is like to have a different dance teacher and how the experience is good for them as dancers.
For me, this week's challenge will be:
- tying up the loose ends in choreography
- supplying classes that will keep feeding this new sense of emotional connection to why we move
- continuing on with the movement info I really want to leave with them