Friday, May 20, 2016

Texas Part 8 - Nia in Dallas

I got to sleep in today, since I didn't have to be in Dallas until the evening. But I still managed to dawdle in my motel room, sipping coffee and chatting on Facebook until almost noon, when I had decided was the latest I should leave.

I took the interstate route but avoided the toll roads.
I-35N,  I-35E, I-20N, South Loop 12

I made it to the motel room in plenty of time to eat, feed River and drive to the studio arriving about an hour early. Jackie, the owner of the studio was there and the room was available, so she let me in and I practiced a different routine for about half an hour until students started showing up.
My host was Jan, but she was out of town so I was subbing her class. We did Amazing and had a great time. I learned a few new variations. I love to watch the students. Whether they are struggling or being creative, they sometimes show me aspects of the movements I hadn't considered.
the Amazing post-Nia glow
Move Studio, Dallas

I've decided that when my crystal  temporarily disappeared a while ago, the message I got was that I was ignoring it. So now, after each class, I ask all of the students to touch it. It gives it a strong purpose and helps me remember to take it with me when I leave.

Thursday, I slept in. took River for a walk in the rain and then went back to my room and took a nap. I guess I was behind on my sleep, but not after today. All caught up.

I left for the studio allowing lots of traffic time, since it is rush hour. Class started at 6pm. I didn't hit very much traffic, so I got to the studio early enough that I had time to stop at the Kroger in the next shopping center down to refill my water jugs with filtered water.

A strange phenomenon happened in class today. I was there, in the room, half an hour before class time, dancing around while I waited for the students to gather. They started to gather and I was chatting with some of them. I was asking some of the students who were in my Amazing class the night before how their bodies felt today. If there was anything screaming at them. But they all said they felt... well... amazing.

The phenomenon occurred when I was up at the stereo with my host, Jule, getting the microphone to work. That was when I noticed that the room was full of people, so I figured it was getting close to starting time. I glanced at the clock in the mirror and thought to my horror that we're ten minutes late getting started. Some of the places I visit do that. I never do. I'm a 'start at the starting time' kinda guy. I figure if someone shows up past the start time, they should expect to miss the beginning. ANYWAY, I was a bit confused by the mirror, so I turned to see the clock face on, and it was only 5:50. The phenomenon was that it was ten minutes before class and the room was full of people! That's a new one on me.

This was the third time I taught Orchestra for anyone besides my camera. I incorporated some of the notes I got in San Diego (the second time I taught it) and the ones I got in Seattle were already incorporated. I presented the beginning of Bolero with more clarity. And I feel much better about the problems I was having with Fifth Symphony by adding in some slower moments and giving the signature movement a name and a more masculine energy.  I changed the ending of Bolero a little bit, too. I didn't mean to; I just "accidently" did the "wrong" thing and it turned out really nice. It felt more balanced and it synced up better with the dramatic change at the very end than it ever has before. I also took out the 3 count travelling; now it's all 6 count travelling.  I also added a 'prepare' movement in between the first set of side kicks in 1812 Overture. It all feels much better this way; I better write it down.  I'm excited that it's growing and improving.
A student who was trying Nia for the first time, spoke with me afterward. He told me that he had prior experience with martial arts and working out at the gym, but this was the first time that he had ever felt joyous while exercising. He said he felt jubilant from the beginning to the end, except for some moments when he was welling up with emotion. But, he said, it was all good and I might see him in the morning, when I would return to teach Amazing one more time.

After class, Jule, her husband Maurice, River and I were standing near the cars in front of the studio. Maurice was reaching down to pat River.  So what's going through my head: In my experience, what Maurice is doing usually results in River tolerating it for a few seconds, then his hackles will rise, and then he'll freeze, then if it continues, he'll grimace and growl. And now that I've taught him to bark, that's another very important step he takes in his progression of communications. After the bark comes a snap. And he might connect or might not, but he's not looking to hurt anyone (though he easily could) he is just communicating his fear of the situation. I've learned that the best thing to do is to avoid troublesome situations and know how to read his communications and answer them in a way he understands. So I was girding myself for all possibilities as Maurice stroked him, but River did something that surprised me; he softly rolled onto his side and lifted his belly for Mo without even being asked. I think my mouth dropped open and I stood there not believing my eyes. For a moment, I didn't recognize River, and at the same time a felt proud of his progress.

After that, we went to eat at a dog-friendly place called the Lazy Dog on Belt Line Rd. There were at least a half dozen dogs on the patio, and there was only maybe 20 tables. The first table we chose was too central, and the energy of the dogs' proximity started several canine hissy fits, so we had to relocated to table next to a wall, so River didn't feel so surrounded. Then he was fine. He was a little restless and curious, but not a problem once we took him out of the danger zone. I got a burger and blogged about it on my burger page.

The parking situation here at the Motel 6 in Irving is unfortunate. There's a red line painted at the end of all the parking spaces; it says Fire Zone. The implication is that you aren't supposed to be hanging out past that line, so that a fire truck could get through if it needed to. But there are so many monster trucks here that even I, in my Mini Cooper, feel like I'm being crowded as I drive through it.

In the morning, I packed up the car and took River for one more walk around the motel grounds.

There was still a lot of time before class started, and we never got the chance, so I wanted to swing by and check out the Trinity View Park. Trinity is a river that flows through Dallas. The park itself was mostly a large grass field with some ballparks. I didn't see the river, but I didn't really get out of the car, either. Pressed for time, I just took a quick look.

I got to the studio, again, in plenty of time. I got into the room, got set up and stretched while the students gathered. I taught Amazing for the second time at Move Studio. Some of the students from Thursday were there, but most of them were brand new to the routine. And some of the students from Orchestra the night before were there, too. We had a fun sweaty time.

Afterwards, several of the students gathered at the Starbucks around the corner as is their Friday morning tradition. I joined them, and River lied at our feet.

It was well after 1:30 before I hit the road. The traffic was thick and slow going through downtown Dallas. I took a few wrong turns, since my navigation seems to be out of date. I consistently have problems with my Mini Navigation in Texas.  Eventually I made it out.



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