M.I.N.D.ful Monday Musings #029
Current State Of Mind
Hello beautiful humans!
I’m back safe and sound in Austin, cuddling with my two cats Tori & Charlie because it’s a chilly 45 F here in Austin and I recently left Minneapolis where it was in the 30s. I guess I brought the cold back with me, lol.
The weekend was great, attending the Bailame Dance Festival in Minneapolis. I taught 3 classes, DJed 3 sets, and even dabbled into event photography with my new flash. I also explored videography using a gimbal on my mirrorless camera.
I had some pretty fun social dances, and I’m happy with some creative and playful demos I got in Ninja. I had some nice in-depth dance conversations with Juleon, other kiz peeps, and a few more elaborate discussions with Serena & Alejandra.
As I was walking around taking photos during the festival, I ended up in Douglas & Alejandra’s class. As I was walking towards the class, I heard Alejandra's instruction echoing in the room. When I entered, they were teaching bachata partnerwork, and even after being there for about 10 mins, Alejandra was still the only instructor whose voice I could hear. Despite Douglas's presence, it was solely Alejandra's voice that filled the room.
It didn’t strike me then, but it did later in the artist room where I saw Alejandra unwinding between classes. What surprised me was that I did not hear the voice of the male instructor of the partnership for over 10 minutes of a festival class. We all know that this isn't typical in a dance festival setting, wherein most cases, the follower instructor gets minimal or no chance to speak during the class.
So seeing Alejandra in the artist room, I complimented her about how her teaching skills were improving consistently, particularly in how she can break things down.
Side story, Alejandra and I go way back to the BC times (before COVID) and I've witnessed her journey: from assisting classes at festivals years ago to now getting booked and performing more consistently.
I also asked her if she had taught the entire class and with my currently sleep-deprived brain, I believe she told me she had planned and taught 90% of that particular class.
This was an awesome experience to witness in person. Considering the topics of previous emails regarding communication channels in dance classes, what I observed (despite not being able to attend the entirety of this class or many of the other classes through this lens, nor frequently seeing Douglas and Alejandra instruct at their bookings), was not an equal division of instructional time between the lead and follower instructors (channels 2.2 to 2.6). Instead, the follower took on the majority of the instructional time.
1.0 Before Classes
1.1 - Lead Instructor To Follower Instructor
1.2 - Lead Instructor to leader students
1.3 - Lead Instructor to follower students
1.4 - Follower Instructor to Lead Instructor
1.5 - Follower Instructor to follower students
1.6 - Follower Instructor to leader students
1.7 - Leader students to Lead Instructor
1.8 - Leader students to Follower Instructor
1.9 - Leader students to follower students
1.10 - Leader students to other leader students
1.11 - Follower students to Leader Instructor
1.12 - Follower students to Follower Instructor
1.13 - Follower students to leader students
1.14 - Follower students to other follower students
2.0 During Classes
2.1 - Lead Instructor to Follower Instructor
2.2 - Lead Instructor to leader students
2.3 - Lead Instructor to follower students
2.4 - Follower Instructor to Lead Instructor
2.5 - Follower Instructor to follower students
2.6 - Follower Instructor to leader students
2.7 - Leader students to Lead Instructor
2.8 - Leader students to Follower Instructor
2.9 - Leader students to follower students
2.10 - Leader students to other leader students
2.11 - Follower students to Leader Instructor
2.12 - Follower students to Follower Instructor
2.13 - Follower students to leader students
2.14 - Follower students to other follower students
3.0 After Classes
3.1 - Lead Instructor to Follower Instructor
3.2 - Lead Instructor to leader students
3.3. - Lead Instructor to follower students
3.4 - Follower Instructor to Lead Instructor
3.5 - Follower Instructor to follower students
3.6 - Follower Instructor to leader students
3.7 - Leader students to Lead Instructor
3.8 - Leader students to Follower Instructor
3.9 - Leader students to follower students
3.10 - Leader students to other leader students
3.11 - Follower students to Leader Instructor
3.12 - Follower students to Follower Instructor
3.12 - Follower students to leader students
3.14 - Follower students to other follower students
Alejandra and I also discussed life on the festival circuit, strategies for lesson planning, the pressures instructors face in attracting students to their classes, and the challenges of balancing student needs and wants in a partnerwork lesson, among other things.
I'm hoping to have Alejandra on a podcast soon to delve more into her journey in teaching.
Thanks for opening up another newsletter! Enjoy the rest of your week!
Song I'm Currently Jamming To
At the festival this past weekend, I was talking about female kiz singers (apparently there aren’t that many female modern bachata singers) with Ninja and we were both in agreement about the awesomeness of this track, Sodadi by Chelsea Dinorath.
- Tinkering with hook steps with Sarah - Part 3.
- A carousel on actively seeking out feedback in your dancing.
- An image of the communication channels in a dance class and the 42 channels being used with the timeframes of before, during, and after a dance class.
- An image showcasing the 6 lanes of kiz.
- An image showcasing permutations of innovation syncopations & also on the whiteboard.
- Showing possibilities of syncopation across an 8-count.
- A fun dance with Kinnera at the Boston Kizomba Festival.
- A video explaining diamond saidas with clockwise rotations.
- The 16-count phrase mapping worksheet is now available for download!
Photo of the Week
I ran into Dahee one of the organizers of Bailame in the lobby at the hotel and snapped this candid photo with my flash!
Dance Meme of the Week
I am 1000% guilty of this!
Cool Video I'm Watching
A cool video about how to learn a language without studying (from a lazy person).
10/26-30: Bailame Dance Festival - Minneapolis, MN
11/3-5: Neokiz Weekender New York - Warwick, NY
11/17-20: Neokiz Intensives - Atlanta, GA
12/1-4: Attending Elevation Zouk Festival (Available for Privates) - Denver, CO
01/11-15: Attending Interfusion Festival (Available for Privates) - Arlington, VA
05/3-6: Neokiz Weekender in Edmonton - Edmonton, AB, Canada
05/17-20: Kizowna 2024 - Kelowna, BC, Canada
07/20-24: 8th Annual Neo Kizomba Festival - Austin, TX
Question Of the Week
Just like there are various love languages, there are also differing 'dance love languages'. The aim is to better understand and connect with the people we share our lives with, as well as to enhance our own self-awareness and empathy. In a similar vein, could it be that the dance scene is seeking the same kind of connection through its own love languages? We all crave connections, but does the meaning of 'connection' vary from dancer to dancer?
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of dance love languages, I invite you to watch my Youtube video on the subject!
Answer of the Week
How can I incorporate more turns, spins, and axis play into my kiz?
I would definitely start with the basics of getting a good grasp on 90° and 180° rock step pivots.
You can view past newsletters here.
Dope Dance Resources
- A cool project to create a global directory of dance events for dancers, artists, and organizers!
- Find out how you can thrive at your next dance event with the Ultimate Dance Event Survival Kit.
- Find out how you can organize your dance journey with the Dancer’s Training Journal 1.0.
- Level up your kiz online with Mr. Neokiz!
- Learn more about the Ultimate Musicality Course For Dancers to level up your musicality!
- Get the 16-count phrase mapping worksheet download for free!
- Join me at my urbankiz festival in Austin, July 18-22, 2024!
- Check out my dance podcast!
Thanks for reading!
Thoughts and feedback on the newsletter or on anything covered within are always welcome, just hit reply. The thing I love most about writing this newsletter is follow-up interactions with readers.
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