Ms. Lori

There are multiple times I’ve written about class and mentioned how much I love my Ballet/pointe IV teacher. It’s easy to see why within five minutes of time with her. (Really, you can see in 30 seconds or less) Yesterday’s class just left my heart bursting and I figured I would make an overall appreciation post for Ms. Lori.

Let me start with before class. There was over an hour until class started, and I was reading in my car like I usually do. I get a text from a photographer friend of mine text me and asked me if I was doing anything at 7pm. She had a food and wine show she was shooting for a magazine here locally and was told she could bring a plus one. I told her I would if I could, but I have ballet that starts at seven. I seem to have a knack for missing these due to dance or a previously booked shoot, which makes me sad, but this is the life I choose and I do like my choices, so that’s nice. She text me again about ten minutes later saying she ran into Ms. Lori at Barnes & Noble and asked if she wanted to go with her. Ms. Lori works for the magazine as well, which is rather ironic. She had to turn her down do to the fact that she was, ya know, teaching my class.

So seven rolls around and we get into class and Ms. Lori tells me she saw Rachel. I told her Rachel had text me and she said, “Yeah, she said she had asked you and you couldn’t do it, and I told her I was teaching your class. She asked me if you really had to be in class or if you could skip and I told her I had just finished giving y’all a lecture about being in class for recital! I couldn’t let you go!” I laughed so hard. I told her I didn’t have my camera on me anyway, so I would have had to go all the way back home first. Plus if I’ve come to class sick the last three Thursdays, I’m not missing for something fun. I’m committed.
It was just really funny. Maybe you had to be there, but the irony just made it great.

When we opened class, she told us that our energy two classes ago was so good and the class went so well that she was actually writing to tell people about it. She was that excited. She told us that the class we’re in now will be the class we tend to stick to–we’ll do roles together and advance together, etc–and she said it’s up to us to choose to carry that energy with us. She said if we do, that we can do great things. “I can’t wait to see y’all do Waltz of the Flowers in a few years!”
As a dancer in this class, it made me feel really good to know that our class made our teacher feel good. Sometimes the girls can get chatty or distracted, but overall they’re very talented and want to do well. It also helps that Ms. Lori is such a gentle person. She has a way of communicating that makes you listen to her, but you don’t feel like she hates you. If anything, you feel like crap for making her life a little more complicated by whatever it was you did.

She started giving us more complicated combinations to see if we could do it since we were mastering so many other things. She also wants to work on the details with us, which personally makes me really excited. It’s something that has seem to fallen through the cracks throughout my training so I do what I can to make it through, but I really want to be doing what is right rather than just anything, if that makes sense? Using your head and strong arms can make all the difference in your performance. Also, I can’t always see that what I’m doing is right, or wrong, or if it can be done better, so it’s nice to have Ms. Lori walk around and correct me on these little things that everyone else just assumed I knew.

That’s the hard part being an adult dancer–people assume that since the number of your age is higher that you’ll know more. Most of these 12-year-olds have been dancing over triple the amount of years I have. I’m learning more just from watching them than anything.
And now, I finally have a teacher that will see me at the barre, will see me in class and move my head to the right angle or call me out when my hips aren’t square or my barre arm is too far behind me.
Not only that, but she encourages me and sees me when I do things correctly. She’ll compliment my back attitude when it’s showing improvement, and she’ll scream out, “Nice!” or “Right, Emilee!” or “Good!” when she sees something done correctly so I know that what she saw is good to do over again.

I also love that when someone does something correctly, she’ll have them show the class. She did this yesterday with some of the girls and you could see them take such pride in what they were doing where before they may have been a little self-conscious or uncertain about the step.

It’s such a positive environment. I wish I could be in class with her every day like this.

Our recital piece is coming along really nicely. One of the girls had an idea on something to do and instead of shutting her down or talking to her like a little kid or condemning her for voicing her idea, she said, “Let’s try it!” and worked it into the choreography. That little bit right there to a 13-year-old speaks volumes. That shows her that her ideas are valid and worth attempting. That ideas she has are worthy contributors. That she has value.

To say that I have the utmost respect for Ms. Lori would be an understatement. I hope to learn as much as I can while I have her, not be too sad when I’m solely in the V’s class, and look forward to the VI’s when I have her again.


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