Each and every day, I lose myself in the immediacy of the moment, find myself in the joy of the movement. Each and every day, I learn more and more...and, within that new knowledge, realize that I have so much farther to travel.

Shallom Johnson is a contemporary dance artist, visual artist and freelance writer based in Vancouver BC. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University, and has been active in the Vancouver dance community as a choreographer, performer, and instructor since her graduation in 2004.

Shallom is interested in art in public spaces, site-specific performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community involvement. Her street-based artwork, performance and photography examines and documents who gets to make art, where it gets made, and where/how the creative process and product is viewed. In the future, she hopes to explore this theme further via new media and technologies, new methods of creation, collaboration and community engagement.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Perils of Teaching Children's Rec Centre Dance Classes

My friend Melanie Kuxdorf has a blog called "Struggle and Strife: A Dancer's Life". It's a project for her Masters program in Journalism. She recently wrote a really great post about how difficult it is to teach kid's dance classes at community centres. As many of us do. Including myself.

I had lots to say in response but I've already posted a comment there, so why don't you just go on over and read what we both had to say. And leave your own comment, if you feel like it.

Melanie used to teach the classes that I'm currently teaching at Riley Park Community Centre. Barefoot on concrete floors. Preballet, preschool dance, acro dance, hip-hop (at least I can wear shoes for the hip hop classes). Still, I limp home afterwards with throbbing knees and aching feet. And I get the flu from kids with runny noses and coughs. And I clean up vomit on floors when parents bring sick kids to class. And I take kids to the bathroom and wipe their bums because they are too young to do it themselves. And I deal with parents who can't understand why their child isn't ready for pirouettes and grand jetes.

They don't pay us enough to treat our bodies like this.

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