pennsicdance: Handy hints for Pennsic Classes

L.J. Sparvero lyev at
Mon Aug 29 20:05:12 PDT 2005

Hey all,
	People are talking and enthused about what they want to do at Pennsic. 
This is great! Just don't lose sight of the fact that Pennsic (and more 
importantly the class deadlines) can seem so far away in the middle of 
winter. (Hot? Humid? Must have been a dream -- it's been snowing forever....)
	I've seen too many good class ideas get hurried research, and great 
teachers struggle when I know they can do so much better. And also ideas 
that just don't make the booklet deadline (they are still taught at 
Pennsic, but not as many students show up). Soooooo........

Maestro Lyev Davidovitch's Handy Guide to Teaching a Killer Class at Pennsic:


Aug: Pennsic! Think about what wasn't done that you'd like to do.
Sept: Decide on classes. Post which ones you'll work on to the list. Refine 
Oct: Do dance reconstructions (there are loads of us that will lend books 
or advice if asked). You can optionally ask permission to use someone 
else's reconstructions, but I feel that the research is the most fun part 
of this process. Also when your students ask you questions about the 
reconstruction, you'll have a better answer than, "I don't know, I wasn't 
the one that reconstructed it."
Nov: Test reconstructions out at local practice
Dec: Refine reconstructions, write handout
Jan-Feb: Teach class at 12th night or Valentine's Day, get feedback. See 
that you have an hour of material, and that you can cut it to 50min
Mar: Submit to Pennsic Dance Coordinator (this gives over a month for 
changes and also allows the Coordinator to plan well in advance)
Apr-July: Teach class at a kingdom dance event, maybe refine handouts, work 
on delivery while teaching.

Guess what -- by next Pennsic you can teach your class under the most 
difficult of circumstances (pouring rainstorm, hot and humid day, three 
times as many people unexpectedly showed up for your class, feet hurt from 
dancing last night, got only 2 hours sleep last night, had to run from the 
battlefield just before your class). And it will be the easiest thing in 
the world, cause you've done it all already several times.

Even if your class isn't chosen for the schedule, you've already taught it 
at two different events, and have done the dance community great service. 
You may want to bring your handouts to Pennsic anyway, because the 
Coordinator might look for you when their star instructor can't teach 
(believe it or not, this happens at least once every Pennsic). Maybe your 
class will fit right in, and since the Coordinator knows how well you 
prepared, then they'll really want you to teach.

-Lyev, former Dance Coordinator

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