In my last post, I shared with you my afternoon power snack (also a delicious breakfast, by the way..). Although the recipe does deserve its 15 minutes of fame, my day yesterday did not revolve around that little cup of creamy oats. To tell you the truth, the cookie dough oatmeal I was raving about was merely the back-bone needed, in order to do something even better.
Being a snack, it was fueling me up for much-needed unlimited energy and strength. With a schedule like mine, a little mid-afternoon power boost can really come in handy, when energy stores from breakfast and lunch are long depleted, and dinner is still a long haul away. So by the time 5 o’ clock rolled round, I was really looking forward to the dessert-like bowl of joy, while being even more pumped for what I was eating the oats for…My two hour session of… Jazz Class!
What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of jazz? Is it the music perhaps? Smoky bars with saxophone players and vocalists with voices full of soul? Or do you think of the dance, with its kicks, turns, leaps and walks?
Yup..those are the things normal people think of, when you hear the word jazz. But as it has been proven all too many times, I am not normal…
So you want to know what I first thought of at the mention of Jazz? You’re going to find it very amusing..
Even more amusing when you find out, I was expecting it to be taught in my first class..
Hysterical even, when – to this day – I have yet to witness a single choreography with it..
Can’t take the suspense any longer?
Fine..I’ll fill you in on my little secret….The first things that would come to my mind at the mention of Jazz were…
Jazz Hands! Bearly (hehehe) amused? There’s more… I also thought of..
“Just Jack “ In hysterics yet? Yup..I thought so.. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the talents of Jack McFarland – played by Sean Hayes – you absolutely muuuuuuuuust watch my all-time favorite show, WIll & Grace. Believe me, when I say, you are missing out 🙂 )
When I walked in to my very first Jazz class some many months ago, I was expecting it to be very “old school”. Very…jazzy, possibly even slightly sassy , and definitely Jack McFarlandy..! Needless to say, I left the studio half-heartedly. Not a single jazz-hand in sight..instead, I found myself step, piqué and chainé-ing to a lyrically based Paolo Nutini song. Nevertheless, I persevered, deciding to stick it out, even though it would mean learning this – more moderny – jazz dance style. It took some getting used to, but I have finally come to terms with the slightly different, non jazz-handy movements..
That being said, every teacher still ends up developing their own style and favorite ways to express themselves. In the end, it really comes down to the individual giving the class. Some choreographers might be more classically trained, and put a lot of emphasis on ballet-inspired movement, while others might live up to the Jack McFarland standards I have always enjoyed and wanted to learn. Thus, I try to vary the classes I go to (although, I admit to going to my favorite classes out of habit, and not vary too often) because that will definitely ensure the best all-round training and prepare me for almost anything. Take yesterday, for example; a jazz double session with two different teachers. I started off at my favorite teacher’s class, working on proper technique and perfect movement, moving only to slow-ish, mellow, singer/song-writer music (think Nora Jones meets James Morrison meets the Passenger…). Then, it was time for the choreography, consisting of mainly turns, pliés and other moves similar to the warm-up, where we could apply all that we had just worked on extensively.
The next class, on the other hand, couldn’t have been any more different. With up-beat music keeping us on our toes, we also started off the lesson working on basic technique (which is a very common way to warm up for class), only to be challenged even more by the fast paced choreography. By mixing classic moves with new styles, our teacher created a dance that was not only fun to learn, but also intriguing to watch! A choreography like that relies more on the power of using classical movement as a base for cooler, different looking steps…not so much on doing the basics perfectly!
So, the moral of the story is: Keep an open mind when going to a new class. Don’t let your expectations ruin the experience! You can profit from all the different styles there are out there, but only if you are willing to let yourself be taught…:) Tomorrow I will introduce you to my HipHop class; but until then.. With attitude and nail polish (is it catching on yet?)..Anoushé xoxo