Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mission Accomplished

So... judging by the vast array of comments on that last post, it was a widely popular one... ;) Ok, so only I found it funny. Oh well!

Moving right along...

I have officially passed my obsession on to my students.

I've been teaching them West Coast Swing dancing in PE for about the last month, and it's been absolutely hilarious! They've done so well! (Well, after they mostly got over the sheer revulsion of having to touch a girl's or boy's hand. OH! THE HORROR!

Any time we learn a new move in class that is a little bit tricky, or makes up somewhat self conscious (hello, body wave), our instructor brings out a great line, reminding us that it will not be perfect the first time: "You've got to go through the swamp of ugly before you get to the land of cool." I've been using it with my students. Last week, as I was excitedly praising them for how well they were doing (they improved a lot, all of a sudden, it was great), one of my students asked, "Miss Hillary, are we out of the swamp of ugly yet?"

I busted out laughing and assured her that yes, they were well into the land of cool.

I wanted to show them what West Coast actually looked like, and because bringing my instructors in was too expensive/not feasible, I asked around to a few of the guys in my dance class if they'd like to come to my school and do a demo with me. Chris was available, and willing, so he came to the school on Friday (his day off, at 8:30 in the morning - yay Chris!!!). It turned out to be WAY better than just having the instructors come, too, so I was glad!

We split the kids up and taught them some new fancy footwork (syncopations) to try with the moves they'd already learned. He did great - he jumped right in there with me, teasing the kids, helping the not-so-coordinated ones with their steps...

The other grade 5 class came in towards the end of the class and I got a few volunteers to do a demo. They were SO GOOD! And it was sooo cute to see them dancing together! Aaaah!

Then Chris and I did our demo. Yeah, dancing in front of 50 kids was intimidating! But also fun. The very first spin I did, they all cheered wildly, and I almost lost the beat cause I was laughing so hard. I tried taking a video to show y'all, but, er... I didn't think to check the batteries, and got only the first 30 seconds or so before the camera pooped out. D'oh!

Afterwards, I had the kids write thank you notes which we put into a big card (it's more like a book, actually!) for Chris. Their notes cracked me up; here are some snippets from a few:

... I wish you can teach us dancing all day [says the kid who NEVER pays attention and is totally uncoordinated!!!]
... and the fancy footwork you taught us were cool but also hard at first but then easy
... It feels better when we get our own fancy demonstration
... Do you get dizzy when you spin?
... Thank you Chris for Dancing even though you had a day of you SPent time dancing with us
... I liked that you came because Miss Hillary could teach us girls and the boys or girls didn't have to wait. Also because she didn't have to switch her brain [I was constantly switching between leader/follower parts and kept getting mixed up!]
... I never knew there were so many cool dance moves!
... The move that you did with Miss Hillary was cool! lmao (laugh my ass off) :) :) :) :) :) :) [she asked me not to read her note. Of course that meant I was gonna read it, and pronto. "Uh, yeah, you need to change the language here." *sheepish face* "Okay." She erased it and covered it up with smiley faces, but you can still see what was written underneath. Hahahahaaa!]
... You are a wonderful dancer and your in the land of cool already way to go!

Aren't they sweet? One student drew a picture of two people dancing. It's fanTAStic. I love the eyes and sly tipped up grins. Heeheehee!

I don't think most of them will ever admit it, but I think they enjoyed learning this dance! Obsession handoff - complete!


shawna said...

the kids notes are sooo funny! we did some cards and fans with our kinder kids for mothers day and had the kids tell us how to finish the sentance "i love my mum because..." and "my mum likes...." they were hilarious (the few i could remember i posted on my blog about a week ago)

Carrie said...

How totally fun! Love the notes and the picture! Your kids must have a blast in your class.

Amy said...

That is so cool!! And how cool for Chris to come and do that for you!! What a fun day for the kids!!

karen said...

That's such a great idea -- sounds like you had lots of fun. I'm still looking for the video though (even if only 30 seconds.......)!

Anne said...

What a riot! You are so going to miss those guys...but it's great you've had such a good year!