Wednesday, December 09, 2009

my worst nightmare

Today was supposed to be a quite seamless day. Everything went well. Even the streets were agreeing. They were relatively empty. In fact, they were empty enough that I could cut at least 20 minutes from my usual one-hour trip to a studio where I teach every Wednesday evening.

I arrived early (regardless of my infamous image of being unfashionably late, I almost never arrive late to teach) and waited for the aerobics class to end.

When it ended, I said hello to the aerobics instructor. She left and I popped in one CD I usually use to build the Oriental atmosphere. When the participants had gathered, I went on my regular routine: asking if there was any first-timer (no one, but there was one lady who had only joined in last week) and explaining the posture - the most important rules of oriental dance so as not to get them injured.

And then I switched on to the second CD - the one I always use to teach, with the tracks organized to form a flowing exercise: first is the warm-up and stretch, second is the oblique-toning figure eights, third is the abs-toning camel and reverse camel, fourth is the abs and obliques with omis and big circles. The cardio begins at the fifth track with the accents, and the sixth track is for the shimmies. The choreography uses the seventh track, and the cool down is the eigth.

The CD was... unplayable. I tried to load, unload, reload, unreload... And still, the interface said: No Disc.

I had no option but to use the first CD. Thank goodness I could use the tracks to also do the toning and cardio (it was at a gym, so almost no art was involved, just really basic things where I can't be too idealistic and perfectionist).

But, alas... The song for the usual choreography was not in the first CD. However, there was this song that I've been trying to do a cutesy choreography with ("Kol Youm fi Omry" by Elissa - a Lebanese pop song). So I explained to them that the choreography would be even more basic and would be a spontaneous one (I wasn't kidding. I was really familiar with the song and had made a few outline steps a few months ago, but that was it).

I just realized... Ohmigod, Elissa again??? My first solo dance was to her "Ayshalak" and a few days ago I found "Ayami Bik" (also by her) and in the middle of finishing a choreography on the song. She's really something else.

"Kol Youm fi Omry" - Elissa

Sooo, with my very, very, very limited knowledge (plus the fact that I had to teach MYSELF and THE PARTICIPANTS a SPONTANEOUS choreography that I might NOT REMEMBER when dancing the SECOND TIME), I danced.

I did a little thing with the Egyptian walk (step, bump, step bump) and modified the step. There were 10 participants and only one (the lady who just came in last week) who kept losing the beat and the steps.

But the show must go on. I went on with the new choreography the second time (it was, thankfully, easy enough even for me to remember the whole thing), and promised the participants that it was going to be the new choreography that they would be learning the next week. I also told the one lady that I would get back to her after the cool down to explain the steps.

And then we cooled down and stretched and I ended the class, took a deep sigh, and gave the lady an extra ten minute to teach her about the step. I still didn't think it get to her, though. But she nodded and I told her with a big smile to practice because I wanted to see her executing the move next week.

Now, note to self: always bring a spare CD, always know a simple song or two by heart (especially if you teach basic beginners or at gyms) so you at least have a basic frame of the beat and can make a repetitive combo, always try to be patient (I suck at this, really, really), and motivate, encourage, and remind them to be patient with their own bodies.

Oh well, now I need to finish the choreography.

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