Today we participated in a little known San Diego tradition… Free Dance Day San Diego. It is a day where the dance companies in the building open their doors and host a variety of classes to provide an opportunity to try something new. Various levels and types of dance, from modern to ballet to tribal, and taught by some pretty well known choreographers: Javier Valasco, Courtney Corey, Jean Isaacs, Michael Mizerany, and more.
I happened to know about it because of my client, Malashock Dance, which is housed at Dance Place San Diego in Liberty Station. I’ve been talking about enrolling my toddler twins in modern dance class, because I think it’s more suited toward their personalities and interests. I had enrolled them in a tap and ballet class earlier this year, but it just wasn’t their speed. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t take to it, but I know they are still very young. And you have to know that I have a background in dance, 12 years and a few state championships. Dance taught me so much more than the technique and steps. I learned about self-confidence, dedication and channeling my creativity into something fulfilling.
So before I pay for some dance classes that they won’t go to, I decided that Free Dance Day would be a great way to try before you buy. The three of us arrived today, and I just didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t think the girls would participate. We met the teacher, Diana, who introduced herself directly to the girls and got down to their level. We were the first ones there, and after a bit, more girls and boys of various ages arrived. The youngest had just turned two, and the oldest girls were probably 10.
My girls were really shy, but I knew they had a lot of energy left in them. Doing what a mom needs to do, I encouraged them but didn’t push them to “play” with the other kids. It helped that there were older kids in the class, as A really likes hanging out with the older ones. She decided to join the class.
The teacher, Diana, was so patient and included everyone to participate. They got to make letters with their bodies, and show her how they think they should do it. They rolled across the floor, pranced across the room with a partner, and each took a turn jumping over a circle rug in the middle of the room. It looked like play, but they were learning the fundamentals of modern dance.
It was pretty cool to see all of this kiddo energy moving one way, and then in sporadic directions at once as she taught. I think A had a good time.
C didn’t want to go to class. She hung out with me in the hall with the other parents. But slowly crept into the doorway, watching intently and playing with some toys I brought for her. She was dancing for us in the hall, and tapping her feet to the music.
A was invited to the Saturday morning class starting in January and I may enroll her. Even if it’s something she and I do together, so she can follow her own path and try new things on her own; to create and foster her own individualism.
For more information on Malashock Dance, visit www.malashockdance.org.