Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Music of the Night

Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs, and wakes imagination

Eric and I have both been suffering from insomnia - him more than me so at 9:30 we both took Tylenol PM. The difference? Eric conked out long ago and here I am still awake. Do I know why? Most certainly.

I blame my students. Each night that I lay down to sleep their choreography starts flying through my head - I start thinking of what to teach them next and how to help them best improve. Usually that will fade and I will be able to sleep, but not tonight. Tonight I am struggling with them for a different reason.

On Friday, they have a dress rehearsal and next Tuesday is their performance. Normally, it is my Level 1 class that has me ripping my hair out. They struggle to focus and learn the steps, and though class was tough as usual, it was nothing compared to my Level 2 class! I feel like the boy's brains have checked out for the semester, even though they have yet to finish their choreography for their performance. The girls continually come to me assuming their partner doesn't know the step when in reality (somehow) they do know the step and the girl just needs to trust her partner... but I would assume my partner doesn't know the step either with the way the boys are behaving... Every time I turn my back to answer a question or pause the music, they start attacking each other or talking. 

I feel class would be easier to manage if it took place in a structured desk filled environment. But because the class is held in a gym where the students are constantly in motion, it is so hard to control the class. Today I tried being funny, I tried incentive, I tried everything short of yelling and yet I could not command the respect I needed to help them learn the remainder of their choreography! Sometimes I feel that I need to be a grouchy teacher to get them to do what I want - which is not the kind of teacher I want to be.

I also struggle because I have one student in my class who blows up at will and leaves his partner on the floor. I have yet to figure out how to deal with him and the year is almost over! Luckily he isn't as violent as he was at the beginning of the year, but now I just need to find a way to get him to want to put in the time to practice. He enjoys competing and performing but he does not like participating in class...

So tonight started with my imagination flying regarding their choreography and has turned into me brainstorming ways to connect better with my students. I love them and it truly hurts me when they take something I say and completely disregard it. 

I especially hurt for the boy that just leaves the floor. I hurt for his mother who is my PTO mom and comes to class every week. I hurt for his partner who is left standing, and I hurt for him because I know he likes dancing, he just struggles with his anger. 

More than ever I do not want to be the cranky teacher that demands respect rather than commanding it. I used to command this respect but last week and this week I feel that I am slipping - that I am losing them. I sincerely hope that it is because the semester is ending and not because of something I did in particular. I love teaching, but for the first time, I am starting to feel burnt out. Hopefully Friday will go better. And hopefully now that I have spewed my thoughts out, I will be able to sleep. *fingers crossed*

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Red Hot Cello Peppers

Last fall Eric decided he wanted to try teaching drums again, so we made posters and put them up at the local high school and jr. high school. Though we didn't get any hits for teaching drums, we were contacted about a Cello concert.

A woman named Janice Baker had a dream when she was younger about filling the stage with Cellos and having a Cello concert. Her finale piece for this concert was The Final Countdown which of course cannot be performed without drums! Janice saw our posters and contacted Eric wondering if he would be willing to help her with her dream.

Last night, her dream took flight as the Cellos took the stage!

With the help of Clark's Tuxedos, the Red Hot Cello Peppers lit up the stage for the finale. (yes, Eric's group came up with that name themselves)
Recording was not allowed as it was professionally recorded... when we get the DVD, I'll pull the footage from the concert and put it up here so you can all listen to how fantastic they were!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Me Crafty? Hahahaha

Ok, sometimes when I'm not careful, I start to fancy myself as a "crafty" person... You know, someone who makes good cards or posters or whatever. But then I see someone else's stuff and realize that I'm really not - though I would like to be. 

Every year at Christmas, I have a blast making cards. Yeah, they aren't great but I have fun and generally they are well accepted.

Well, my most recent downfall is coming in contact with several crafty or home decor blogs... I see all these cute things and luckily I usually just think "hey, I could make that..." and then nothing happens. Well, I saw a project the other day and decided I really wanted to make it - it looked so easy! I definitely made a mess, but I did it. Most of the materials came from the dollar store, so this Easter Egg Wreath cost me about $4. It didn't turn out quite like the one on the blog... I did a few things my own way (of course) but I kinda like the way it turned out. Don't worry, it won't go to my head - but here's my Easter Egg Wreath! Once it stops snowing and being super windy, I'll get to put it up on the door.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


We just got permission to add a 3rd grade ballroom class at Noah Webster Academy!!! We've discovered that another school in the area starts students in 3rd grade, only teaching dances you can compete at a younger age (swing, cha cha, and foxtrot) and I mentioned that I thought it would be a great idea to start our own!

Many students at NWA are interested in ballroom in 3rd grade but once 4th grade rolls around they are no longer interested ... this way we can start them earlier and then when they start Level 1, our teams match team will blow all the other teams out of the water!!!  Now I just need to come up with routines for the 3rd grade class... hmmmm

Monday, March 21, 2011


I was floating through old photos and found these. I thought I would share. They are from when we went to California in April of 2010 for Eric's Great Grandma's funeral.

Eric wanted to play "who can go in the furthest" -- seeing as how the water is cold and I have terrible balance (go figure... most dancers are very clumsy off stage) I didn't exactly want to play.

*Eric says that my hands say everything...

 The above photo is definitely my favorite

Luckily, he tried dunking me after the wave receded...
the water was then too low for him to put me in it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Date Night

Eric had a crazy week of papers, projects, presentations, and exams. To celebrate it's end, I had planned a fun date night. We were going to go to the temple, make Pasta Salad, bike to the park, play games, and watch a movie.

Then, Utah weather decided to switch from the 70's that it was earlier this week to rainy, cold, windy, and cloudy!

But, I was not to be deterred! After the temple, Eric and I made Pasta Salad and sliced a cantaloupe. Then, I laid down a blanket in the living room! Voila! Picnic, complete with nature sounds (brought to you by the internet).

Monday, March 14, 2011


It has been a long time since I have danced - since I put my heart and soul into perfecting something. Taking a small piece and working and sweating and bleeding till I hate it, but it is perfect; and then moving on to the next small piece.

Dance speaks to me in a way that I had forgotten. Every dance has a story and each story has meaning. Dance has a spiritual side for me, a side that helps me connect to heaven in a way most find unattainable.

I did all kinds of dance - Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Clogging, and Ballroom. Ballroom was my favorite and of all the dances included in the ballroom genre, Cabaret was my dance.

I do not regret the decisions I have made in my life, but I will always miss dance. Dance was a huge part of me.

There were 2 Cabarets that spoke to me this weekend - I have included a video of my 2 favorites in order of my favorites... They respectively placed 1st and 2nd in the competition.


This weekend was Dancesport. Though my Level 1 team was unable to attend because we did not have enough boys, Level 2 was able to compete. It was a little sad that we went from top of Silver at UVU to bottom of Bronze at BYU, but overall I feel that the team performed well. It is difficult with different judges looking for different things.
On the up side, we had 4 couples (2 Level 1 and 2 Level 2) compete in the National Newcomer Swing event. Each couple made it back for at least 3 rounds. 2 couples made it to the semi finals, and 1 couple placed 3rd! The competition started with 177 couples... so I had 1 couple in the top 31 dancers and 1 couple that was the 3rd best!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Before I married Eric, my family played games, but they mostly consisted of Uno and Go Fish. Every once in a while Crazy 8's was thrown into the mix. Now, we play board games and video games all the time. I feel that the games we play bring us closer together as a family.

Last week we played Battlestar Galactica with Laura and Melissa - though I failed to get pictures. And the week before we played Twilight Imperium with Laura (I won).  Last night, we had Mikey and Thomas over for a game of Rune Bound - - a game we had never played before. So while Eric read the rules and Thomas set up, Mikey, Wilson (Thomas' friend), and I made hot fudge and brownies. mmmmmm

 Following Rune Bound the boys wanted to play Halo. Halo 2 wouldn't work so the boys played Fusion Frenzy and later Halo 1 while Mikey and I watched. It was a blast to watch Eric whomp on Thomas and Wilson.

Our favorites to play as a family are:
  • Galaxy Trucker
  • Incan Gold
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Starcraft 2
Eric and I also love to play:
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Race for the Galaxy
  • Dominion
  • Ceasar and Cleopatra
  • Bang
  • Blink
  • Risk 2210 
  • Blockus
If you haven't played these games... give us a call and come on over. We love to play and we have plenty more games... these are just our favorites!