So first off you have to know that my husband broke his foot two days before. While he got amazing treatment, it did mean that we spent a lot of time in the hospital and he was forced to spend a couple of days at home.
I have a plan for the days when I am working in the evening. I tend to write or edit or generally work on "Teaching Belly Dance" for a few hours, then around 11 I write my lesson plans which takes about an hour, then I move on to my music plan, which is about an hour more, then I often have to practice (particularly if there is some choreography in the lesson). I cant teach it unless I can do it - and being able to do a move or a combination a month ago is not the same as being able to do it tonight ! So that was my plan last Tuesday - not particularly a busy day.
Then my husband asked if we could run some errands - of course I am taxi, because he cant drive with a broken foot.
One of those errands was to drop a check in with the garage. Its a bit of a drive, but we had time.
Three hours later they have finally processed the paperwork and we have an appointment "soon" with the correct member of staff who can take the check. My phone is dead and we have watched three episodes back to back of some weird crime drama on their TV with the sound off. It was the pool boy...
oh and I have an hour til class.
Thankfully I had done my lesson plan and music plan.... practice not so much... and I hadn't downloaded my music plan to my ipod.
I get home, charge my phone, put on make up and go to plug in my iPod.....Nothing. Its not flat, its just crashed. Its now five minutes til leave the house time. I do that reset thing with the outer and inner buttons..... nothing.....I grab water and try to re-set again..... and I reset again.....Now I really have to leave the house. Thankfully I have music on my phone, but not for my plan.
I have millions of track - just millions - and I like to have a theme or a pattern running through the weeks for my classes. I spend a lot of time picking just the right track for each activity - but I cant keep all those tracks on my phone, its just not big enough. Instead I keep a minimum list of essentials :
- I have the "Basics", which are the top 15/20 moves I teach
- Across the floor - ten tracks that work for that activity
- Cool downs and warm ups - again about ten each
- Favorite drills
- Choreographies that I know I can teach in an hour class or as a mini workshop
- Regular beats - from dead slow to mega fast
- Drum solos
- Simple Shimmies
- Slow melodies
- Your first belly dance lesson (the lesson I teach as a one off - includes warm up and cool down)
- 1001 shimmies (a workshop I teach)
- Come Back to me (a Choreography I teach to beginners in an hour - includes tracks for move break downs and warm up/cool down_)
- Desert Hero (same as above)
- Folkloric tracks
- Examples of key instruments
- Turkish (something for all styles - folkloric to pop)
- Egyptian (Classical to modern)
- Zill drills
- Party playlists
- Performance playlists
That's easily 300 plus tracks - enough for any emergency ! (fingers crossed)
As I leave the house I am doing a quick brain scan "how many of the tracks I wanted to use are on my phone?"
Of course when I arrive the iPod is still dead, so I start my class with a warm up and start to re-plan my lesson.
Here is what I wanted to teach:
- Soft warm up
- Heart rate warm up
- Hip drops to a Saiidi Rhythm
- Reverse Figure 8s
- Swings (double hip drops)
- Free dancing drops and forward and back step (fakeloric)
- Shimmy with Saiidi breaks
- Across the floor with hip drop hits
- Cool down
While that was a great idea I knew a lot of it wasn't going to work. The Saiidi drops need a saiidi pattern, but while I knew I would have something saiidi in my folkloric playlist I couldn't be sure of the speed. If I took that out then the shimmy with a saiidi pattern had to go too. I started the lesson with the Reverse 8 to a piece from my basics playlist and thought on.
I really wanted to work on hip drops, because we learned basic drops the week before and I like to build on new skills. Instead I needed to work on a regular beat to fit the music so I switched to the "MacDonald" hip drop that goes in-front, neutral, behind. I knew I had regular beat music from slow to fast so we did some at a mid tempo.
From there we went back to the reverse figure 8 and mixed it up with the other horizontal figure 8 and I talked about the emotional difference. They had their "two move free dance" to another track from my melodies play list. - Just 8s and reverse 8s and the emotional connection.
While we were dancing I remembered that one of my favorite drills is a hip drop combo (drop in-front, behind, in-front, in-front, behind, in-front, behind, behind) -so that was next on my list.
At this point the time was flying, we were dancing, the students were learning and my sense of panic was dropping !
Finally we marked out both the beat and the melody at the same time on our body - first by stepping to the beat and moving our arms to the melody, and then following the melody with an 8 and clapping the beat. Then they followed my bouncing butt while I danced the same way - trying to mark the beat and the melody both at the same time. (I dont like to do too much "follow the bouncing butt" - but on this occasion it was acceptable)
With that our time was done and we settled into our cool down.
Thankfully the second class were working on a choreography and I could break down the moves and combos to the regular beat music and a couple of modern Egyptian numbers - and the track we are learning WAS on my phone (I must always check).
I strongly suggest that teachers have at least three options for music with them;
- IPod or music player
- Music on their phone
- Finger cymbals
And bring back up cables, players and speakers. I have taught lessons with just my finger cymbals and its not much fun I can promise !
Which means that today my lesson and music plan are already half planned - we are finally going to work on the Saiidi beat and add in some different ways to mark it (shoulders, chest, tummy....). Fingers crossed.
Thank you Universe - I win that challenge - but please, no more.....