A Summer of Dance with Ah-Lan Laoshi
Parent, Elisabeth Lamoureux
The parents are seated, camera in hand, with happy smiles of anticipation. The dancers file in, the music starts, and Ah-lan’s students begin their performance. After two weeks of practice, camaraderie and fun, the dancers are eager to show their skills. Their smiles tell their joy at having learned new dance forms and traditions, but also their pride at having improved their Chinese Dance and Ballet skills. The launch of Ah-lan Dance with the 2013 Summer camp is clearly a success.
This year’s Summer dance camp had three sessions, each of two weeks, during which the students met different instructors, each of whom contributed different techniques. The program exposed the students to different dance styles and was generous: the dancers learned Flamenco, Zumba, Hawaiian and Tahitian Dance, but also Hula-Hoop. Of course, the focus for many of the Ah-lan Dancers was the improvement of their Chinese Dance and Ballet practice. This they did with Ah-lan Laoshi, and other wonderful and gifted instructors.
Camaraderie came when dancers of similar age practiced and improved together, and fun came when younger and older students mingled and performed together.
Indeed, what really stood out and was the most fun, according to many, was the opportunity for younger and experienced dancers to practice and perform together. The “candyman” dance, for example, was a favorite, with the older dancers pairing up, but also doing lifts, with the Mei-meis (Little Sisters) who looked up to, and delighted in practicing with their Jie-jies (Big Sisters).
Thank you, Ah-lan Laoshi, for building and fostering this cohesive and tightly-knit dance troupe. Your older and experienced dancers clearly thrive when improving their own technique, but they also grow when nursing the talents of the younger dancers; and, the younger dancers improve with joy when they try to emulate the older dancers’ gracefulness and skills.