Friday, July 6, 2007

Garrett, Indiana July 5-6

We now take you to the travelog portion of our blog...

On Independence Day we load up the car with our suitcases and a couple of boxes of A Child's Introduction to Ballet, plug our portable CD player in to the dashboard and start our adventure. En route Valery listens to class music and waves his hands in those familiar motions representing the feet.

He brought two new CDs with class music from Russia, and he is now filling our drive time with classes of different levels that take place in his head. This helps pass the 3 1/2 hour drive quite well.

A huge amount of mental preparation goes into planning classes. After arriving at our hotel Valery continues to run combinations in his head, listening to the CD player through headphones and doing plies in the corner. I watch fireworks in the distance through the hotel window.

The following moring we're reunited with Patricia Krus. First, we want to congratulate Patricia (Patsy to her students) on her retirement. Our classes and a competition in Texas will be the last big project before she hands the reins of the Patricia Krus School of Dance to Alicia Smith.

Patricia has planned a wonderful book signing event in the Knights of Columbus Hall beneath her studio. (The studio is on the second floor) She has set up a small table with flowers and a table cloth and the 19 track CD with musical selections of great ballets from our book is playing in the background.

Book signings are always hit or miss affairs. Unless you're a big star there is not usually heavy traffic. So it is a relaxing way to start our tour and very successful. We go through an entire box of books. (Note to self: I have to order more copies of the book)

The 19 track CD is nice but short and after playing it through three times we switch to Valery's class music and he goes back to his mental preparations.

The double class (a three hour class) that follows is also a success. For the younger students Valery has prepared some special combinations that are both fun and educational. It is great to see the children enjoying the material.

On the 6th of July, Valery builds on the material from the first class. There is, as Valery likes to say "good emotion." We bid farewell to Patricia Krus and our Garrett friends with hugs and tears and head on to our next city. We hope to return to Garrett in the future and hope to see Patricia Krus and all our friends there again.