First the Worst, Second the Best

July 18, 2013 | 10:41 A.M. | Imus, Cavite, Philippines

The second day is always better. 🙂 Two nights ago, we had our first official session for the GK SIGA dance program. It was… chaotic. So many more younger kids than expected and super makulit to the max! Thank goodness their sound system worked– amplifier + DVD player + CD of the kapit bahay (NOTE: walang safe koryente– they connect the wires themselves! O_O). It was super hard just to even get the kids to sit in a circle! Oh man… and everyone was so scared of the idea of presenting a dance move in their introductions… dios mio. How on earth would we dance if that was the case?! (is what I thought to myself)… Instead, we all said our name, age, and favorite song. But even then, all the kids were talking to their friends and nothing could be ears. And when I asked them to form lines to stretch. Yow. Kapow. They all just crowded around me and it took several minutes just to get the point across– despite their understanding responses during the program overview, I realized this was going to be more challenging that I had though. They didn’t understand the concept of spreading out for personal space during our stretch. :/ Kids were stepping on each other’s toes (literally) and were just super crammed together as they ineffectively stretched. They laughed at several of the stretches– especially the back bend and whenever my butt was in their face as I was squatting. Lol. I guess it definitely is funny to experience the first time around for a kid– but the whole play-falling thing– no, no– not in my class. Getting the kids to get into lines for across-the-floors was OMG. EVEN. MORE. HARD. THE. HARDEST. Kids wouldn’t stay in one spot– they kept switching and lines were just cray! Super stressful talaga– all whilst more kids were coming in and out of the doorway, kids were playing on the side, and more kids were watching from open windows. It was madness. Everyone was either distracting or being distracted. Thank the Lord above (hallelujah) for Mark and Marinel for being so helpful in organizing the kids. The funniest response was definitely after my demonstration of shanay turns– wow na wow talaga silang lahat. Even the guys outside applauded; that’s the influence of high culture for ya.

The first day made me realize how much more work I would need to out in and how new this kind of experience was for them. I couldn’t expect them all to just know how to get into lines and windows (though we totally use the tile intersections on the floor now 🙂 ) and I can’t expect them to understand what I say the first time. I can’t teach the choreo I was expecting to teach but I can hope that one day they can reach that level of difficulty. I was probably way too overachiever status with thinking that I could make three constructed sets for the showcase… lol. But after registering the kids on the second day and seeing their improvement in following directions and holding their attention span for just a bit more– I know this opportunity to dance is something they all give importance to and find happiness in. Though it will definitely be a challenge and will require extra practice on my part, I know these kids have the potential to improve and grow as dancers and individuals; they just need more discipline, direction, and drive. This is only the beginning of something that can be impactful to these kids if they let it. I’m excited to see how each individual participant grows throughout the program– personally, socially, and culturally. And I’m excited to see how the older youth will step up in planning the showcase set for Saturday, August 17th! 🙂

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