Thursday, February 15, 2024

Moving Under New Leadership

This is normally the time of year where I say nice things about Miss Chris.
This will not change as she continues to teach, choreograph, and help out in moving the Moving Company through various twists and turns towards the future in her role as Danceworks Founder.

However, I need to add another main name (and some helpers) to the "say nice things about" list as Miss Angelica has taken over ownership of the studio. The immediate addition to the list is because she will continue the philosophy of valuing artisticness and community over competition that Danceworks has had all along. 

These values are obvious in the continuation of the Moving Company. That feature to bring the joy of dance performances to those who can't get out on their own remaining as a part of the school was not a given for anyone taking over Danceworks, as it involves a trainload of additional work, planning, time and favor hunting. 

I'll repeat myself and say I've always held those who can make a living at their passion in a state of impressed awe.
Those who can do that and bring joy and happiness to others while they live their dreams get bonus awe. From my location wedged in next to, or behind the dancers, I can see the positive effect they have in the thrilled faces of their audiences.

The season went went very well. The Dancers were their usual amazing selves, adapting to insanely shaped (both in ground area and ceiling height) performing locations, without majorly taking out each other, randomly placed furniture or low hanging light fixtures. The variety of flooring between:
carpets that prevented any sliding of the feet 
ice rink like tiles was in full force as well.

The performers all looked extra joyous in the public finale show (combined with the local Girl Scout troupe to bring in donations for the food pantry) when they finally had a show on an actual, normally dimensioned stage.

The senior dance made me weep every time, which it does every year. However, since my niece Aurora was in it this time it was worse. She made a farewell painting to celebrate this year, decorating it (again, as she did for an earlier celebration) with shiny bits that fell off the costumes. 
This is how dancers mark territory.

Aside 1- I will NEVER forgive the losers in charge at the time for how badly Covid was handled, ensuring there was no moving company well into the following year. The Senior Dance with Anabelle and Kate would have been EPIC. 

My nephew Morgan remains the only male dancer in the troupe, and is doing fine. He also scored another "only' by being the only dancer, relative or otherwise, who acknowledged me on the occasions the "stage" was so strangely shaped that when the dancers run off to the side, they ended up squeezing into the area I was stuffed into and staring at me. Usually we ignore each other, and I try to avoid eye contact to prevent laughing. However, Morgan pulled up, grinned and quietly said, "Hi, Uncle Jeff!" before bounding back into the routine. 

Besides the philosophy remaining the same, the support network needed has not changed. Miss Chris was along to lend her experience at the shows. The "backstage volunteer moms" were also critical. Kim, Raquel and Maryanne kept the dancers ready and emotionally capable of dealing with the insanely restrictive performing areas they were provided with. As befitting her new role, Miss Angelica's family has joined in the road crew. Her Dad was at shows, helping with transportation, set up and anything else that was needed. Her fiancĂ©e also similarly lent a hand. Daniel is a good guy, who would immediately come over to me whenever he saw me lifting something heavy. 
This was both sweet (his behavior) ...
and very sad (that I must appear increasingly decrepit to young people.) 
Daniel is bound to be known as "Mr. Angelica" fairly soon. 
There's really no avoiding that.

Aside 2- Mr. Carl came to see the final show and appeared LUDICROUSLY happy with retirement.

With new ownership came new technology. Considering I have had many years of training using the little Pink iPod with a single button, (which is sadly too old to be supported, much like me) this was a bit of a switch.

Aside 3- (Bordering on grumpy old man rant) I do not understand how the younger generations, who have lived their ENTIRE LIVES with wireless, electric powered equipment that has a majority of  their being tied to it, can be as nonchalant as they are travelling about with a only sliver of charge on them. I've only experienced this having these things since... 
oh lets be generous and call it early middle age. 
If my charge is below 50% I start to stress out, and if I know it's needed for something specific that "panic line" is up around 75%.

Instead of my little pink friend, plugged into the small but potent Bose speaker, the music was contained on a laptop, with new, wireless speaker options like normal people use... 
so I'm told. 

Needless to say, I screwed up the music more times this year than I did in my inaugural year. Honestly, I probably screwed up the music more times this year than every other year combined. 

It is yet another testament to the professionalism of the Danceworks students that they continued their performance cleanly and calmly, with no indication that their tunes were being controlled by a fumble fingered, easily distracted, baboon.
However, being very familiar with my own babooness I tried to limit my button pushing, usually isolating the errors to the very start of a number, or between numbers.

In my (weak) defense, going from a single button to an entire keyboard was rough. Keyboards have many more than one buttons. This is especially true as I only needed seven of those keyboard buttons, but accidentally hitting ANY other one could stop the music. 
(Additionally, for those who have forgotten the Count's lessons on Sesame Street, seven is still significantly larger than one.) Also the various connections, wired and wireless to the speakers all caused different effects, as Miss Angelica tried to find the best combination for the show. I learned in the middle of one outing (but luckily not during a dance) that the Bluetooth for the microphone speaker would outrank the wired connection to the on loan Bose speaker and move the music from facing the audience and dancers to directly under my chair. I also learned how high I can still jump from a sitting position that day.

Miss Angelica showed up with a MASSIVE new speaker for the on stage, public finale show, which will be a welcome addition to the larger venues and outdoor performances in the years to come. The volume adjustments for that one seemed to be non-linear, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it...

There will be an eventually, because Danceworks, with its philosophy of art over competition,  and the Moving Company are both in good hands, and will continue bringing the joy of dance to those who can't go out to performances into an impressive looking future.

The company's bonds with each other were in full force as displayed at the end of year party, with all the dancers cheering each other on and shouting helpful hints as they tried each other's dances.
(Several teachers leapt into the tap dance as well!) To show the bond extends beyond the performers, Raquel copied her daughter's finale move by epically rolling across Kim's back. 

Miss Angelica stood in the "Miss Chris" spot, running the music as they both went through the motions of most dances, sometimes to demonstrate it to those trying to perform for their friends, and sometimes just from the sheer joy of passing their talents and passions to the new generation.


longbow said...

I'm with you on the charge. I see younglings with 17% and they want to play me a video. I get 2nd hand anxious that they're not rationing or looking for an outlet

Jeff McGinley said...

And yet their batteries never seem to die.
I think our anxiety is somehow charging their devices.
Thanx for reading

Antonia said...

Loved this one! And I love that you are still doing the music, what a blessing. I particularly loved the technology discussion, as someone who is easily flummoxed by any and all technology. And also the Hi Uncle Jeff with Morgan, that brought a big smile to my face!

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx much for reading.

Considering the "experience" I had that got me recruited for this initially was playing cassettes for juggling shows, I feel like my qualifications were overstated.