Friday, January 26, 2007

The Three T's in my life....

I think I may have found a new calling besides Theatre. Teaching. I am absolutely loving teaching my class in Fabric, I've got really good students, and they are so completely into the subject that the three hours just fly by. I am trying to teach them more than simply what fabric is and how to chose fabric for garments, I am giving them the history behind fabric and how fabric and fashion shaped industry and even countries. For example, cotton and the invention of the cotton gin directly contributed to the increase of slave importation in the South. A few years before Eli Whitney invented his cotton gin, the South had voted to stop the importation of slaves into the States. Then along came the cotton gin (which put Eli into the poorhouse by the way) and suddenly plantation owners needed lots labour in order to make huge amounts of money off of their cotton crops. And why hire workers, or pay for indenture servants, when buying slaves had been so much cheaper a few years ago. And so that resolution that had been passed mysteriously disappeared from the books. And slavery became the horror that we rarely hear about in history class. Not one student was aware of this fact, and bringing to their attention the ramifications of industry on people made me feel like I was actually teaching them something that was beneficial and made them stop and think. I can see how teachers become so passionate about imparting knowledge and encouraging discussion, it really does make a difference. Although I have to laugh as my dad mentioned to me that I managed to chose career paths that did not exactly make money - theatre and teaching.

And then there is the third T in my life now, Tango. Oh yes, you did not think that there would be no mention of tango in this post, did you? Heh heh heh, I have decided to give in to the all encompassing world of tango as it has saturated all areas of my life now. First of all, one of my pairs of Argentine shoes came in this week, and can I just mention what a world of difference the right shoe makes!?!?! I am not suddenly perfect, but my balance is better, my feet don't hurt at all anymore, and, well, they are hot! They are not the red pair, those have been delayed until the first of February (grrrrr) but they are a pewter leather open toe 3 1/2" heel. Yummy. And boy do they fit nicely! So, went to a milonga Wednesday night, and I am not even going to go into it. I was a mess, and then I got upset with myself, and the universe crumbled.
But last night, practica at MIT, and one of the better leaders in the community, lets call him S2 (as opposed to my S), spent about an hour working with me on communication and embrace. Those were the only things that we focused on, and it was beyond helpful. It was another leaps and bounds practica. I had a "light dawns on marble head" moment with my embrace. S2 had me work on keeping elasticity in my embrace in both open and closed embrace. I was almost getting it, just not quite, when he made this analogy "Image your embrace is like water, sometimes it moves up in one direction, sometimes it moves down, but it is always fluid, even if it isn't moving at all." Bingo! Give the girl a prize, she got a clue. I had not been moving my left arm at all, it was always where I had placed it on the leader's shoulder. None too comfy for them or me. But once I grasped the concept that my hand should move to accommodate the dance, well, doors opened up and angels sang from above. OK, maybe there were no angels, but there was a little bell that went off somewhere. Ok, great, keep awareness of the movement to match the embrace. Good! What a relief. Then we worked on presence and communication in the moment. I had to stop thinking of the dance and start thinking of each moment, each step, and keep the present the utmost of importance in my dance. Wow, so much easier, so much less anticipation. It's a whole new world! The funny think is that everything S2 was telling me was pretty much the same things that my S was telling me, but in a different way, so I am starting to get the concepts I think. Here's hoping anyway! Saturday night is the all night Milonga in Providence and I can not wait to dance as every thing that I absorbed can only make the moments better. Yea! Tension be gone! Let the dance begin!


Caroline said...

Regarding cotton and slavery - more people need to know about this. I've always appreciated it when teachers provides background info for it gives depth and meaning to what otherwise could be dry facts.

Regarding your progress in tango: yay!

miss tango in her eyes said...

Thanks for the history lesson! Interesting information.