This week (11/21-11/23) in the Target In-School Artists Residency Program, I introduced flamenco rhythms and technique; Began work on the flamenco choreography; Introduced Epiphany; Reinforced the Junkanoo steps and music; and Continued our yoga practice.
The students really enjoyed and focused on the flamenco technique; they continue to enjoy the yoga with some kids remarking they want to become yoga teachers when they grow up; they love the free spirited moves and music of Junkanoo.
I note that the children do not deal well with the transitions between the three class elements and it often takes us much time to get them settled back into the rhythm of the class. I have decide to approach the class differently when we return on Monday. I will start immediately with a predetermined warm-up (using flamenco, Junaknoo and yoga movements) for the first 20 minutes which we will return to at the beginning of each class. I will then go right into the flamenco choreography which I will run repeatedly with them and then add more steps as they are ready. If time allows, we will return to a more meditative yoga session at the end of class as a way of closure.
I am enjoying working with my assistant, Carol GS. She is an eager learner and is becoming connected to the class dynamics and has good insights to share n the creative process and on dealing with 33 third graders (ha ha). She is still finding her own way into the class and tries many ways to be involved and effective.
Today, I taught a special lesson on Aparigraha, non-possessiveness, and I explained that each child is born with special gifts....some run fast, some dance well, some are artists, some are good in math, some have straight hair...and that we should each be thankful for the gifts that we were born with. I gave each student a slip of paper and anonymously they wrote down something that makes them special. They came up with many things such as I stated above but one girl noted that everyone hates her and she has no gifts and she ended by saying "help me". This is a cry for help from her and I have noted previously the ups and down of her moods and the valleys are deep there. We will pay special attention to her and try to keep her involved with the program, to find her place within it. I am trying to decide how to share these thoughts with the students and with the school.