Friday, July 18, 2014

Master Class in Iowa Re-Cap

So I just got back this week from teaching Master Classes in West Union, Iowa.  West Union where?  Yep, West Union Iowa, population 2,486 according to the 2010 census.  The unincorporated town is so small that it shares a zip code with the next town, shares the sheriff from the neighboring town writing traffic tickets part time, and use to have a dog designated as “The Mayor of West Union” until he was murdered…  woof woof!

1902861_10154402862375711_4156247607873195316_nAnywho, upon arriving to Cedar Rapids Airport, a super tiny airport about an hour and a half from West Union (with only six gates), I was greeted at the runway with row after row of hay bales!  I mistakenly called them tumbleweeds…  ooops…., but I was happily corrected by my new found friend, Sabrina Schmitt who picked me up at the airport an hour and a half away from the school!!!!  Check out the soy bean crops pictured behind me and Sabrina when we were eating at her family’s bar and restaurant………

Sabrina Schmitt is the vibrant and lively owner of Expressions Dance Studio of West Union, Iowa.  A busy young dance professional herself, Miss Sabrina amazingly runs four locations in four separate towns!  Anywho, Sabrina Schmitt contacted Joffrey Ballet School and I was matched with her fabulous dance studio to come teach a three-hour Master Class workshop in Jazz.  Well, what an honor!  The students at Expressions Dance Studio were so wonderful, so attentive, so nice, so passionate.  I had a blast and loved every minute of it!  I was so moved by their passion that I stayed a little extra longer to watch and help shape-up their competition solos and duets.  Many of the young dancers choreographed their numbers by themselves.  I was impressed! 

Look, the hospitality was so fabulous that I got presented with this fabulous sign!!!!



Anywho, Miss Sabrina is the bomb!  I gotta commend her dedication.  She has the energy of the Energizer Bunny to run up and down the county roads from school to school teaching dance, preparing competition routines, and booking community performances for her students like the State Fair.  She’s doing great work (and I say “the most important work”) by providing performance opportunities for her students, let alone introducing her students AND her community to the art of dance in an area quite remote from the type of dance opportunities one would find in a big city including the opportunity to even see dance professionally performed.  Kudos to Sabrina!  You Rock, Gurl!!!!

10481940_10203734342814975_8669020845841643777_nI would like to give a special shout out to Expressions Dance Studio instructors, Miss Shelly Abernathy and, my assistant for the day, Miss Angel (Angelia Walvatne) who worked the dance floor with professional prowess.  Muah!


Photo of Miss Angel and Candice Michelle Franklin







Photo of Sabrina’s Mom.  That’s the serving window to the back patio deck of Sabrina’s family restaurant and bar, Alpha Tap!  Umm Umm….  Good…………….






Photo of Miss Sabrina and Candice Michelle Franklin mad sweaty after class.  We look soaked!  This is what you look like when you go to WERK, my friends…