Monday, June 23, 2008

Vaulted Ceilings in Virginia

June 23 was "vaulted ceiling day." We had two classes in Virginia, both in repurposed buildings with wooden beams above. The first was at Center Stage School for Dance in the town of Pulaski in Southwest Virginia in the New River Valley.

Before we arrived at this school, the Roanoke Times ran a story previewing our visit.

The articile quoted director Melanie Ondich saying "He must be somewhat of a dynamic personality, because a number of people have written on his blog that even though he doesn't speak fluent English, his teaching is very good."

The article went on to say, "Guest teachers -- often from the Radford University Department of Dance -- have taught at the school of about 65 students before but never anyone as famous in the dance world as Lantratov, Ondich said."

We appreciate all the great comments, and hope that our class lived up to the advance billing.

We had a very warm reception at this studio, which appears to have once been some kind of town hall or meeting room, which gave the whole place a warm, rustic feel.

That tone was repeated at our second studio of the day, The Wilson School of Dance in Charlottesville. You may remember our reports from this school in the amazingly hot summer of 2007 and last winter when Valery introduced the students to the basics of partnering. Junaita Wilson invited us back again, and was as hospitable as ever, offering us fruit and donuts and pastries.

The school is in a former church building, and although it was warm, it did not reach the dizzying 104 degrees of 2007.

A special thank you to Juanita Wilson for helping us with some personal business. After we checked out of our budget hotel (one of those ones with a number in the name) my camera remained on the checkout counter.

I called and asked to have it sent to our next city but the clerk said, "We don't do that."

I offered to provide money for postage and she said, "We don't do that," and in one of those mildly bored "this is our policy" tones added: "If you want us to send it, you will have to figure out the postage, and mail us a box with the postage because we can't go and get one."

Fortunately there are a lot of hotels in Charlottesville.

My special thanks go to Juanita Wilson for fetching the camera and mailing it to us herself.

Unfortunately that means that these are the last pictures of classes you will see for a while, because it would be another week before we were in one place long enough to receive the package.

In honor of the lost camera:
End Title - Michael Giacchino