How's that saying go...adapt or perish? February 25, 2016 00:29

Tonight's Intermediate/Advanced class was all about adapting. I have a dedicated student who is living out of town during the week because of a temporary work situation. We've been trying various forms of web cam programs so she can 'attend' class. Skype was a dismal failure due to really poor connection quality. This time we tried Google Hangouts chat. There we lots of camera angle adjustments, audio delays that would come and go, music or my instructions that may or may not be heard. Can you hear me now? What if I face this way instead? Can you see my feet if I stand here? You've danced out of the frame! 

Towards the end of class we played a three song set of music to 'perform' to. When we finished I realized my virtual student only had a partial view of our bodies. Luckily she could still figure out the moves to follow along. A testament to her adaptability! It reminded me of my early days as an ATS dancer, when proper formations didn't always happen. Somebody would be out of position but we'd be on a small stage with nowhere to move for a better view of the leader. You'd have to rely on half the information! 

I was also reminded of something Kristine Adams said in the three day intensives I attended last month at the FatChanceBellyDance studios. Everyone wishes for the perfect performance conditions, in a theatre with a wood stage, the amazing sound system, fantastic lighting and the undivided attention of your audience. But she said we'll never learn to be a professional dancer there. We learn to be a professional on the tiny stage where only three people fit but four of us are dancing. Adapt! We'll learn on the uneven asphalt where the sun gets in your eyes and your boombox cuts out mid-song. Adapt! That is how we learn to keep smiling and continue dancing unfazed by it all.

So we closed our class tonight being really thankful that we have a virtual student in a hotel room with erratic WiFi, because we're learning to adapt and we'll ALL be better dancers for it!