Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Grown-Ups' Christmas Concert 2014


I felt a bit sorry for my Grown-Up students at the end of last year, in the lead-up to their Not Really A Concert. They were all convinced they were terrible and would mess up.  Every single one of them.  You would think that this meant they had a mean teacher who stood out the front frowning and yelling, but I assure you this is not the case!  I encouraged them, promised to do their dances with them on the night where necessary, praised them, and gave them plenty of revision, notes and videos to help get them ready.  Yet still they fretted. This is normal, they're like that every year.  They're not used to being showponies, and they always freak out beforehand and then they always have a good time during and afterwards.

The reason I was sorry for them was guilt, a conviction that the stress I was feeling trying to get 8 adult and 15 kid tap routines into 2 shows involving 60 odd performers within 4 days of each other was causing me to be less calm and zen in the face of their pre-show nerves. Immediately the kids' performance was over I was aware that a massive burden had been lifted from my shoulders and I was able to front up to all my adults' classes in their final week in a relaxed state of mind and try to put their fears into context.

What is the worst thing that will happen if you make a mistake? I said to them.  Nobody will die. Most of your audience won't even realise. Nobody will demand their money back, because we're not charging people money to watch this! So just enjoy yourselves. You know these dances. You know it'll be fun on the night.  And afterwards you can have a laugh and a drink.  You will be fine, I know it.

And they were.  They were all great. Yes, mistakes were made (including several from me) but the audience enthusiastically appreciated every single routine.  And that's the pay-off, that's why my students put themselves through it every year.  They're not professional dancers, they are just people who wanted to learn a new skill. They've learned something hard, something out of their personal comfort zones, they stood up in the face of their nerves and gave it a shot, and the reward? Applause, cheers, whistles, whoops and smiles.  Well-earned and very, very gratifying.

At the end of the night all the students, including some of the tap family kids, got up to join in the group Shim-Sham.

tapconcert14 shimsham

Then we took a bow, cracked the champagne and toasted a great night, and a great year, of tap. 

Flowers after the show

Students and party food.

The Advanced Class posing ala Mambo #5 (Five fingers held up, get it?)

Last ones left at the end of the night.

I have such lovely students, and I love my job.

Link to video... (Some music has been changed, owing to YouTube rights restrictions)

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