Monday, November 23, 2015

Like There's Nobody Watching

You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching.  ~William W. Purkey

We took a field trip to the Pacific Northwest Ballet rehearsal studios last week. As you can imagine, most of the girls were quite excited, arriving at school in leotards and tutus, while a few of the boys were dismissive, saying the word, "ballet" as if they were spitting it, but it was just for show. It's always exciting when we get out and go somewhere together.

It's a fantastic field trip, one I've taken with children several times in the past: a bus trip to Seattle Center, a short movement class in one of the studios, a chance to closely examine some of the fancy tutus, then a few minutes observing the professionals rehearse, in this case for the upcoming season of the new production of The Nutcracker, a show many of these kids will see every year throughout their childhoods. Then a snack on the fly followed by another bus trip back to the school.

It's a great field trip because it's "hands on" and includes a bus trip. Indeed, as far as I'm concerned, it hardly matters where we go on our field trips just so long as it meets those two criteria.

I don't expect any of the children I teach to become professional ballet dancers, even as many of them include that one their list of things they want to be when they grow up.

I do hope that at least some of them will be inspired, especially if they didn't initially think they liked ballet. The thing about teaching is that you'll probably never know.

Unless you get to see a boy dancing down the hallway like there's nobody watching.

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