When I first registered for this class, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew it was a dance class, and I knew it had something to do with Twyla Tharp. Other than that, I had no idea!
I have a friend that knew about the plans for the class, and told me I’d love it, but I was still a little nervous to take a class I knew nothing about. Twyla Tharp is a common name in every studio, but I just kinda assumed that we’d be touching on some points of her style, and other than that, it’d be just like any other competition contemporary class. I can tell you now that I was SO very wrong!
That first day of class is a day I’ll never forget. Words can’t begin to describe how excited I was when I learned we’d be taught ACTUAL Tharp pieces, and that I’d get to perform them on a stage. That first day was the beginning of one of the coolest classes I’ve ever taken, that has changed me both in and out of the studio.
Throughout these past nine weeks, this class has taught me so much. Before this course, I had never even known some of the movement I’ve done was possible. I did contemporary dance, I did ballet. I’ve learned so much more than just that since class has started! Our instructor has taught us so many different styles of movement—how to take a step and reverse it, make it faster or slower, how to take it on the floor. Before this class, I had never heard of words like retrograding or inversion. And where the concept of both terrified me at the beginning of the year, I feel much more comfortable doing them both now. I can successfully perform both of these movement changes without panicking and blanking out.
Additionally, I’ve learned so much that helps the phrases from the exercises we do across the floor! Shawn has us doing all kinds of things across the floor that I never would have thought I would be doing in a dance class! They’re so cool, dude! I love gliding across the floor and just running backwards. It’s so unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s awesome.
However, I’ve learned so much more than just dance choreography. We’re only nine weeks into this yearlong course, but I’ve already seen so many changes in myself as a person as a result of this class. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that my posture has improved as a result of the attention we pay to our center while dancing. I can see visible differences in the way I walk and how I present myself to people now. Twyla’s class has helped me learn confidence through new and exciting movement, how to dance in a style completely different from anything I’ve ever attempted before. I’m a different dancer, a different person. This class has impacted me so much already, I can’t wait to see what I’m like at the end of this year!