I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it is already the end of week nine. Where has time gone?! Two weeks ago was my fifth and final session at Room to Move Dance and Fitness Studio we filmed the final dance that will be edited and up on YouTube in the upcoming weeks. Unfortunately some of the sections needed retakes, so we re-filmed them this past Saturday morning (the final video will hopefully be included in my next blog post). Heading into week ten I am very excited to start more one-on-one lessons with my mentor, as well as bi-weekly meetings with Anne and Alyssa (dates to be determined).
Mika and I have met once in the past couple weeks on Sunday, February 28, 2016. We were on a very tight timeline due to prior scheduling issues, so we were only able to squeeze in a 2 hour morning session. This forced us to use our time wisely and effectively to maximize the progress and learning. As this was two days before the filming day of our routine to Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident’ we spent the majority of the time fine tuning the dance and focusing on minor details. I struggled with the last 30 seconds of the routine in particular due to it’s upbeat pace, but I now have the timing down pat. The footwork on the other hand still needed a little more work. Apparently the concept of left foot vs. right foot is difficult. During the last half an hour we worked on various dance moves that we will later apply in my solo routine that I will start learning this week.
One of our most difficult mentoring challenges so far has been teaching pace, which in turn makes communication difficult at times. I am a very fast learner, but it has been hard to find a good pace for us to move at during our lessons with the differing levels of difficulty of the various moves. If we go to fast I end up learning the move sloppily; however, going to slow can cause boredom and frustration. Mika and I have not have very many sessions at this point, but during the final months of the project we have planned to meet weekly. Hopefully this will be help us match each others teaching and learning paces. In terms of communication, our differences in pace can sometimes result in confusion or pent up frustration. In some situations can lead to an unhealthy relationships. To avoid this, we have been working towards fixing our differences by explaining when we are not seeing eye-to-eye before the situation has the chance to escalate. We also took the opportunity to stop by Starbucks at the end our lesson as a casual bonding experience to get to know and understand each other better.
Together we could use the following strategies to help the above:
- Stop. Explain. Restart. By stopping the other person you can explain where you got lost or frustrated and restart from the point where things did make sense (eg. the beginning of the 8-count in the music).
- Patience (this was mentioned in my previous blog post): let the other person finish what they are saying before you start talking.
- Asking questions. Ask when things get confusing or there is a misunderstanding.
- Acknowledging when the pace is to fast or to slow and stating it
On a more positive note, Mika and I are very positive people. We both share the belief that anything is possible and this has motivated us significantly along this journey. Whenever I meet with Mika the environment is very positive, open, and welcoming. I never feel embarrassed. Our ability to encourage one another is something that is working very well. We respect our positions as mentor and mentee and have created a very healthy bond, which loops around to what I stated above, creates a positive and open environment. The environment has also helped us in bettering our communication in times when it wasn’t working as well and allowed us to be open with one another without saying anything offensive.
In conclusion, I am very happy with the progress made in the past few weeks and I am excited to open a new chapter of this project choreographing my own routines. In the weeks to come I intend to upload some of my routines onto my Youtube channel and later post the links in my blog. I don’t know whats in store, but I know it will be an amazing experience.