Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Day 20: On the Road Again

This was our most challenging day in terms of scheduling and travel. On January 27th we taught in two states and crossed into three states. Our first class was at 10:30 AM in Beckley, WV, and we finished teaching at 7PM in Salem, Virginia only to get back in the car and drive to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to sleep.

The teaching day got off to a very promising start at the Beckley Dance Theater. The director, Jerry Rose, had seen Valery perform the part of Napoleon in the ballet Napoleon in Moscow with the Kremlin Ballet. This was a pleasant surprise and a great way to start the day. The studio was bright and lightly colored. In the next room was a children's dance class with some competing music wafting through the walls. At one point, as Valery's students worked on their adagio the chicken dance played. Fortunately I'm not the ballet teacher, because I'm afraid I couldn't have resisted breaking into a few waddles. Valery had no such problems with his concentration. The Register-Herald in Beckley wrote a blurb about the class and published a photo.

Blacksburg, Virginia (pictured above) is a college town with an attractive downtown. We arrived early enough for me to browse a book store and the farmer's market before we headed to the studio. After the class we would have no such luxury. It was a small studio on the second floor. When we arrived a tap class was wrapping up. I don't know anything about tap, but I think the teacher told the students to "get ready to slurp," is this possible?

Thank you to director Carol and to Melanie and Ashley for inviting us to your studio. I'm only sorry we had to rush off so quickly afterwards. We like to have a bit more time to talk, but it was absolutely a case of drive by teaching.

We would probably have arrived at the Post School of Ballet in Salem, Virginia with ample time were it not for some confusion over the numbering system of the roads there. Apparently they ran out of numbers and every intersection in Salem is the corner of route 11 and route 11. I'm still not sure how it all works, but we did manage to find the place and it is quite a studio. Its spacious dance floor could probably hold two Blacksburgs. We enjoyed working with the students. Although Valery taught with his full energy, I was a bit too tired to take very detailed notes about the class, but I believe it was a success and we hope to come back next time we're in Virginia.