Nov 8, 2009

Skating with the little guys

First rehearsal today for the tots in the Nutcracker on Ice. We call them the "Dream Fairies and Wizards" and theirs is the music just before the Kingdom of Snow at the end of Act 1, if you're familiar with the ballet.

Of course, the main thing with 3 to 5 year olds is just getting them across the ice. The music is a little bit more than two minutes, and you have to make sure the fast ones have something to do, and the slow ones make it all the way. Sometimes 2 minutes is barely enough time!

So there were some good things and just one bad thing today, pretty good for a tot class! Number one-- everyone was there! I think this is unique in the 30-year history of the Nutcracker on Ice, especially at a first rehearsal, especially for tots. I've had rehearsals where fewer than half the kids showed up. I've had kids skip every single rehearsal and then show up for the performance (and parents, if you do this, don't try to tell me the kid was there, because I take attendance). Second great thing-- I had had all of them except one in class so they all knew me. This is critical with tots. They're often afraid of new people, so stepping onto the ice and already knowing everyone's name was great. Plus, a lot of them knew each other.

Now, the bad thing. The coach who was supposed to choreograph this didn't show up, didn't call, didn't leave any instructions. Luckily the music was in the pro's room. So I had to choreograph on the fly; however a few weeks ago I was at a coach's seminar and the instructor had taught us a game for tot class. So I used the game as the choreography. Plus, since the kids were all from my classes, they already knew the game.

It made me feel really good that pretty much every child in my tot classes signed up, and pretty smug that apparently the kids in other people's tot classes did not. Of course I'm equating correlation and causation here, but whatever. I'll just twist my arm here, patting myself on my own back.

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