Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I got the job!!

Before all this Ben-getting-laid-off crap even happened, I kept having this really strong feeling that I needed to get into dance again, as a teacher this time.  I haven't danced for 15 years, plus I'm 30 pounds overweight.  And I've never danced professionally.  Or taught dance.  So I thought, "Nah.  Nobody would even want me around." 

But the feeling persisted.  And then I saw those videos of me dancing as a teenager and got all emotional and thought, "Ah, what the heck.  Let's just put our feelers out there."  So I sent resumes and letters of intent to every local dance studio.  Except for the studio I got kicked out of when I was 15 (not my fault).

Kay, now I feel compelled to tell you why I got kicked out.  As you know, I am a peace-loving kind of gal.  I'm easy to work with.  I play nicely with the other children.  My dance teacher was kind of a hard-arse, but being the peaceful people pleaser I am, I put up with it, because she made me a good dancer. 

My mom is also a peacemaker, but she is also very, very frank.  And one spring, when I had to have two different costumes, and Hard-Arse wanted to charge $100 for each costume, and they were, like, leotards with sequins glue-gunned onto the costume, my mom gave her a call.  Here's how the call went:

Mom:  Hey, I was wondering if we could maybe use this costume sometime down the road, so I don't have to pay another $100 for a different costume this winter for the winter recital.

Hard-Arse Teacher:  What???  Are you questioning my artistic capabilities?

Mom:  Um, no...I just find it hard to justify spending $100 on a costume that will never get used again.  Just trying to save some money here.

Hard-Arse Teacher:  That's it.  I'm kicking Karlenn out of my studio.  I don't want to see you or her or her little sister ever again!! [Side note:  Beads was also dancing at the studio.  Before she discovered the world of horses.]

So see?  It wasn't me.  It was Hard-Arse's problem.  She ended up kicking out like half of the advanced class, her secretary, and even her co-teacher, who was amazing.  And from what I've heard, she continues this practice today.  If something makes her mad, you're kicked out.

Kay, so back to my story.  I sent my resumes to a bunch of studios in town, except for that studio, and I thought, meh, I probably won't hear from any of them.

I heard from all but one of them!!  No kidding.  I interviewed with one and taught a class there.  It was a ballet-only studio and very advanced.  My foot was giving me a lot of problems, but I did the best that I could, and I felt like I challenged the girls.  I began the class by introducing myself:  "Hey, I'm Kar.  I'm 30 pounds overweight and have a foot injury.  Sorry about that.  So let's start with some plies!!"  At one point, to show them how their feet should look in the air during a particular jump, I had to hold onto the barre, kick my feet in the air, and hold them out there while hanging onto the barre.  "See?  Your feet should look like this. But you'll be jumping through the air. Not hanging onto a barre."  The class went well, injured foot aside, and the main lady said she had an opening in the fall and would call me.  And that's the last I've heard from her.

 (This is the move I had to lean on the barre to show them proper form.  It's called a brise.)

Another teacher has e-mailed me twice, expressing interest, but has kind of fallen off the earth.  So whatevs.  Another called me and left a message, and I called her back, but she has also kind of fallen off the earth.

Then last week, this studio that mainly specializes in jazz dance called me.  The gal who runs it (who is my age) interviewed me and asked if I could teach a class so she could watch me in action.  She said that ballet was their weak point and that they needed better technique so they could have an edge in competition.  In fact, she has required her advanced dancers to take ballet classes at one of these other studios to maintain that edge.  Ballet really is the building block for most dance.  Like amino acids being the building blocks of protein. (The only thing I remember from science class in school.)

Essentially, she needs a ballet specialist.

Enter Kar.

I mean, I took jazz, and I could teach a jazz class, but it's not the area that I love the best.  So this position is right up my alley.

And no, I haven't told her our situation yet, because I haven't known where on earth we'll end up or what we'll do.  As soon as we have concrete plans or a concrete job, then I'll let her know.  But honestly, let's say Ben gets a job out of town.  I'll have to stay behind with the ninos and have to sell the house for who knows how long.  You know what I'm saying?  Why not dance in the meantime?

Anywho, I observed her Ballet 2 class last week and then taught it today.  I downloaded "Ballet Goes Pop" off iTunes - which I thought was very cool of me.  Pop music made into piano music for ballet class??  So fun! 

 (We did this.  The girls were so confused.  I had to do a lot of work with them and a lot of explaining.  Which is why we only did, like, 8 different exercises in one hour.)
My class didn't impress the girls.  These girls are jazz girls and haaaate ballet.  Hate.  They didn't give me attitude, and they worked hard, but I can tell when someone is into something and when someone is not.  I taught enough boys who hated English to know that look on their faces.

 (How did someone sneak a camera in there??  Do you like my artfully arranged legwarmers?  Haha!  Um, I wore a Buffalo Bills t-shirt and biker shorts.  And the girls I taught were NOT smiling.)
I managed to put together a class that wasn't too hard for them, but still pushed them a little bit. 
 (This is how their feet look during jumps for now.  Something we'll be working on.)
The main lady observed and was really excited afterward.  Then and there, she said, "You're hired.  Can you teach this class for the rest of the summer?"  And I said, "Heck yes."

We just need to hammer out the details of pay and all that - I don't expect to make a fortune.  I'm mainly doing this for myself - something to get me out of the house and doing something I love.  But I'm set to teach this one class the rest of the summer.  And I'm so excited about it.  It was a BLAST.
(I'm only including this picture because this is one of my favorite combinations ever - the four swans.  It's a really hard, fast, cool dance.  Almost all of it with their arms linked.)
I don't know why I felt compelled to continue on this path if we might be moving, but I still feel impressed to keep going with it, so we'll see what happens.  Maybe just so I can have something to put on my resume and try to get a job teaching dance wherever we land.  Because I want to keep going down this road in my life.

If the other ladies call, unless there's something in my contract saying I can't teach at other studios, I could entertain that idea of being kind of a roving ballet teacher.  I wouldn't mind teaching more than once a week.

Ben is in Vegas, being interviewed as we speak.  I'll let you know when I hear anything from him.  Cross your fingers for us.


Kathleen said...

Yay! Congratulations to you!! I'm so happy for you. I know you will love it and you will probably make some of those grumpy girls love it too.

Mindy H. said...

Congrats! I know you will convert many of the jazz girls to ballet before the end of the summer. You area going to have so much fun!

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