Friday, January 12, 2007

Day 4: Holland

One every visit to the U.S., Valery is amused by the many place names borrowed from Europe. I once read that there are 22 Moscows in America. (The largest is in Idaho)

Holland, Michigan was especially windy. It must be this way often because the door of Thea's Dance Central had a sign on it that siad, "Hold the door closed when windy." This is probably good to power all the windmills.

Holland actually does not have much in common with its European namesake, but it does boast a few wooden shoe gift shops and Dutch themed restaurants. Of course, we were here in the off season and not during its famous tulip festival.

We had two wonderful classes at Thea's studio. The first was for the more advanced students. It featured many tall, long-limbed aspiring ballerinas who followed the combinations with enthusiasm.

Next was a class for younger students. It was the first opportunity Valery has had to make use of the special training he has recently taken for teaching the youngest dancers.

This may be a moment to introduce a new topic-- CD players. Suggestion to the CD player industry-- standardization. Every studio has its own machine with its own quirks and variations. The pause button stops pausing when you advance the track, or the button that looks like it should control the volume is actually a self-destruct feature. Designers love to add more features to cd players, but I don't need my player to play through the computer or turn on my coffee maker. I just need to be able to find play, pause, forward, back and volume.

Our first visit to Holland was a success, and we hope to have a chance to come back. The closest we'll be on this visit is a trip through Ada at the Ada Dance Academy on January 18.

Next we're off to Muncie-- Ball State University in the morning, and a new studio for us, The Muncie Ballet Studio in the afternoon. In fact, we'd better leave now if we're going to make it on time.