Ally’s Movement Journal – Sept. 16th

Steve, when you told us on Wednesday that we would have to do a flash mob dance in public, in front of everyone, I just about died. I did ballet as a child, but beyond what the Royal Academy of Dance  taught me, I can’t actually dance. I even told my elementary school PE teacher that it was “stupid” that we had to do dance and I shouldn’t have to do it, because I already knew I wasn’t going to grow up to be a dancer. So, long story short, flash mobs just really aren’t my thing. But! Dare I say that I actually enjoyed myself? The instructor was just so enthusiastic it was contagious! I have so much respect for people like her, who are able to get up in front of the crowd and just radiate excitement and positivity.

Before the whole flash mob exercise, I was wondering aloud to some classmates about why on earth we would have to do this and what it could possibly do for my teaching. But, having thought it through a bit, and thinking about how I felt before and after, I’ll concede that there was a good point and it is beneficial to my teaching practice.

We’ve heard from our profs about how teachers have to be actresses, to not let our fears, personal opinions, or baggage shine through. Our students can’t know that we hate algebra, or that we can’t dance, because then they will hate algebra or dance too. Teachers are role models first, conveyors of knowledge second. So for the time I’m with my students, I have to pretend that doing a silly dance routine with all my friends in front of a bunch of strangers, who I’ll probably never see again is my FAVOURITE THING EVER!!! And then I can not dance on my own time 🙂

Thanks, Steve, for this lesson in life and in teaching!

8 thoughts on “Ally’s Movement Journal – Sept. 16th”

  1. Ally this post made me laugh! I feel so similarly in that I hate dancing (performance wise) in front of people because I feel silly and that people will make judgements about me. My limbs don’t listen and I feel like I look like one of those air puppet things outside of car dealerships ( for reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Despite our actual dancing abilities, whether they are decent or sub par, we OWNED it today! In theatre I learned that we shouldn’t be self conscious performers because other people can sense it. I feel like that sentiment carries into a wide assortment of things including teaching.
    I’m glad you started to enjoy yourself- if you pretend to have fun, soon enough it turns into actual fun. WE are going to be the educators that will need to be so enthusiastic that our reluctant students will also find themselves having fun. You are a risk taker for taking part in the flash mob despite your dread!

  2. Ally! I really enjoyed your post about the flash-mob and want to say I agree with your thoughts. I think there were many of us out on that rainy quad today wishing at first we could have stayed inside instead of participating in a spontaneous dance routine in front of strangers. If that was the general feeling, however, I don’t think anyone would have been able to guess it by watching us once it got started. When the music began and everyone started dancing it felt like everyone cared a little less about what our audience was thinking of us, and instead we were focused on being present with our classmates. I think you’re right in saying this activity is valuable to carry through in our teaching practices. It was a good reminder to be dedicated role models no matter how silly the activity may seem ☺

  3. Great reflection Ally!! Also you can sure bust a move from what I saw 😉

    I admit, I loved dancing as a child, I took almost every style of dance I could possibly find because I loved dancing so much. However, I simply HATED dance in school, because of the old silly songs and the lame moves we were told to do. From terrible line dancing, to hours upon hours of the same chicken dance, I hated the dance unit, even though I loved dancing.

    Also I agree entirely with your reply Emily. I heard some of the other cohorts saying they were just going to take their bags and leave for a longer lunch break. However, once we got going, I think everyone had a blast, and her energy was insatiable! In an ideal world, I would love to find that kind of passion about every subject in school, however, in reality, I would love to be able to fake that kind of passion about subjects I don’t love 🙂

  4. Great post, Ally! I personally never taken any dance lessons growing up and let’s be honest, any kind of dancing that I do are usually in the confines of my bedroom. Surprisingly, I have never had a dance curriculum in my elementary or secondary years, and back then it was a huge relief for me because that meant I didn’t have to embarrass myself in front my class and schoolmates! But if DancePlay came and did a dance unit at my school, I think I would have LOVED it, when everyone is so contagious with their energy, you can’t help but be excited yourself. And you’re right, teachers have to be great actors, and that may mean being silly every once in a while!

  5. You are all awesome!

    You all stepped out of you comfort zone and participated in dance to promote not only your own physical literacy journey but to those who were randomly just watching us and wish they were in the dance. We did get some of them to participate but most never took the leap!


  6. I’m so glad you wrote about this Ally, as I totally felt the same way. I remember working at an American summer camp years ago, and after initially finding out that we had to sing and dance (sometimes on our own, standing on chairs in the dining room in front of over a hundred kids!), I was mortified. You would think you get used to it, but I didn’t. From the comments above, it seems like many of our classmates experienced many of the same emotions -yet I can’t say I saw one person looking anxious, or like they weren’t having the best time. So way to go guys…all those teacher qualities and lessons to take forward that you mention, you are already doing 🙂

  7. Hi Ally,
    Your posting was very positive and insightful. I too was taken aback when I heard we were going to do a flash mob, but when we got started the instructor really was energetic and the fun truly was contagious! I ended up being in the front row during the flash mob, which made me really nervous, as I knew it was being videotaped and there’s nothing worse than seeing one ’s self dancing on video. I’m afraid to watch it as I can just imagine myself making facial expressions reminiscent of Beyonce’s super bowl halftime show (if you’re unfamiliar, it’s worth a Google). Perhaps I’ll pretend that video doesn’t exist, so it won’t shatter my personal self-construction of being an awesome dancer. That way I too can continue to dance in front of everyone and radiate positive energy and enthusiasm.
    That’s a good note on pretending the audience are strangers you’ll never see again, although I’m not quite sure how that would play out in a classroom environment. I think I’d probably clue into my students not being strangers, but it’s worth a try.
    I think that everyone participating had a great time and I really appreciated that everyone gave it their full effort. Your words are really inspiring – yes we should not let our “fears, personal opinions, or baggage shine through” and we should strive to be the best role models possible through our participation and positive attitude.
    Thanks for the post! Keep dancing confidently and let your positive energy radiate.

  8. Ally! You just said everything I was thinking! I too felt the exact same way as you did (as you know) and can’t dance to save my life, but I am so glad I got to have the flash mob experience! Maybe it was just the contagious enthusiasm of the instructor but I walked away feeling like maybe I really was awesome and was excited to think of ways I could take that feeling into the classroom. It’s true that we as teachers are models and so no matter what our true feelings are, our job is to make our students feel awesome! So if we are positive and enthusiastic they too feel invited to feel that way with no inhibitions and find their passions. Thanks for your inspiring and funny post!

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