Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No wonder the arts in the public schools are suffering...

So I go SMAPA on Monday night to take my usual super-awesome jazz class with super-awesome Taylor. On this particular night, there were 2 brand-newbies who obviously were friends and had come together. The first brand-newbie, we'll call her Willing, was, well, how do I put this nicely, a touch on the not-so-skinny side. The other, we'll call her Lazy Bitch, had more of a 'dancer's body' but definitely didn't just walk out of some company rehearsal or anything. Or even a different class. The point being -- these women LOOKED like newbies, not like dancers. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The class is, after all, a "open" level adult class. And yay for Sharon that she's getting new faces to her studio which, sitting as it does above one of the more sought after shopping areas in town, must fetch a crazy penny in rent.

But whatev...

There we are with the 2 brand-newbies. Taylor runs us through the warm-up (easy), on through stretches (super-easy) and then into the combination. Which he went over so many times I lost count. The whole thing was maybe 8 counts of 8. Which is NOTHING. And considering some of the other numbers he's choreographed for us, this was pretty low on the skill scale too. Anyway, after a couple of run-throughs with music as a class, we break into smaller groups so we can really 'dance' the piece. And of course, Taylor makes sure a 'regular' is in each group so the newer folks have someone to follow.

I ended up in Group 3, Willing in Group 1 and Lazy Bitch in Group 2. Which was cool, cause I wanted to see what these chicks looked like on the floor. I was actually surprised by how well Willing did -- she struggled some, sure, but she muscled through and her attitude was great and performance quality decent. I wouldn't say I was impressed, exactly, but I wasn't horrified. And then it was time for Lazy Bitch's group to go. I wondered if Willing's somewhat smaller compatriot would do as well. But! instead of trying the routine, Lazy Bitch took a seat on the window ledge. I though Taylor was going to lose his shit.

But wait, it gets better.

When asked why she was sitting and not getting ready to dance, Lazy Bitch responded in a tone of voice dripping with disdain, "We're dance teachers. And I learn best by watching. It's what I teach my kids."

Dance teachers? FUCKING DANCE TEACHERS? That has to be a joke, right? These two brand-newbies got paid to teach dance? Really? I was astounded. Not to mention the fact that no dancer worth their toe shoes would ever say they learned best by watching. Dance is something you learn best by doing you stupid cow. It's why on SYTYCD people re-do the steps for the choreography session over and over and over again. It's called muscle memory, and that shit works.

But anyway -- the show must go on, so to speak, so we kept running the number, all the while Lazy Bitch sat on her lazy ass. After a few run throughs, class finished, as it always does, with some across the floor work. Again, with Lazy Bitch sitting on her lazy ass with her holier than thou attitude, basically giving up on the whole class after Taylor tried once again to get her back on the floor.
(Willing, on the other hand, proved that while she may not have a dancer's body, she sure as hell has a dancer's spirit cause she worked it across the floor -- maybe she wasn't technically gifted, but she had the right attitude at least).

And then, just as I was putting on my shoes and feeling those awesome endorphins and that super stretched sweaty wonderfulness, my post-class bliss was shattered. Decimated. Because that's when I learned that Lazy Bitch isn't just a dance teacher in some shithole studio somewhere, like I'd been telling myself since her first mention of it earlier in class. Oh no no no. NO. Instead, I learned that fucking Lazy Bitch is actually a dance teacher in a NJ public elementary school. And that's when I threw up a little in my mouth.

Because I could dance circles around this bitch and
would possibly consider killing someone for that job. How the hell did she get it? I mean, seriously? I've been dancing all my life, hold 2 degrees, and even I don't qualify for a job teaching dance in the public schools.

And those poor fucking kids. Come. On. They're being introduced to dance by someone who can't dance and who thinks you learn by watching. Someone who basically gives up when challenged by a teacher. Hel. lo. Nice fucking life lesson whore. Next why don't you teach them that reading is overrated and college doesn't matter? It makes me sick still to even think about it.

And it makes me wonder if there will be any arts left in the public school by the time I can manage to get my license to teach there. If Lazy Bitch is any indication of the direction things are headed, I'm guessing no. And that sucks even worse.

1 comment:

~K said...

LOL..You should have kicked her ass in a dance off! :-) Seriously I have worked with k-12 education quite a bit and two things I can tell you.
1) Some of the folks in Public Education were scarily stupid and uneducated and yet had risen tot he top as decision makers.
2) Man there is a lot of ugly in public education. I always joked with my ex she never had to worry about me sleeping with the customers! :-)