a student report 2004

On 11 Dec 2004, in blog, teacher, by ricardo

Alex Chalyy: Ricardo Viviani

Dancing was part of him.

One could see that Ricardo did not just dance. Everything that he did was carefully thought out and designed as being fun for the students in the class. He knew when and where to stop and how to better explain moves to the class when everyone had trouble with it. He was also not boring. He showed that dancing was acting as much as a physical activity. He encouraged us to get involved emotionally into pieces and really be in the piece. Overall, I thought that Ricardo Viviani was a great dance teacher. He really liked what he was doing. His passion toward dancing was contagious. He made everybody like dancing. He was extremely professional. He also had a good easy going dancing style. He walked differently. His style of walking was less rugged and clumsy as regular male walk. That was the first thing that struck me about him. Also, his working out outfit was somewhat stylish. The style of his walking and behavior was like a dance by itself. One could see that Ricardo did not just dance. Dancing was part of him. Everything he did was a dance by itself He acted very politely with a bit of flamboyancy. He acted open and friendly. The warming up was a bit unusual from the class routine. He focused on the upper body and did not go on the floor at all. A lot of his movements included arms. The exercises included some element that I earlier found in martial arts. At one point, the made everyone act as if they were moving air. That, created a certain energy. My previous martial arts teacher made the class tense their arms and let them slowly drop in standing position while not letting them relax. The height of the arms was proportional to the person's energy. It was unusual because everybody really felt something during that position, as if they were touching something. Ricardo created the same feeling when he said that "we really had to move the air". The first dance sequence we did was a bit unusual. The two people who were partners were facing opposite each other. Afterwards, they turned around and hugged each other. Than, they made an obscene movement with their arms and turned around as if they were leaving. Finally, they turned around and shook their hands. The people in class had to do that with as many people as they could find. That was an excellent ice breaker (at least for me anyway). That dance sequence showed that dancing did not have to be serious and machine like in performance. People really could have fun during the dance. Alex Chalyy Other dance sequences were a little bit different from the most stuff we have done in class as well, For instance in one dance, the students in class had to come one by one on the floor and freeze in a position. After everyone has done that, the first person had to leave and make another position. The other people forward. The positions were improvised by students as they went on the stage. The positions did not have to be meaningless. Also, students could complement each other's positions. We did birthday party, cafeteria, and another party as the themes. That showed that imagination was an important part of the dancing. Also a lot of humor was present on the stage, For instance, one girl pretended as if she saw a mouse. Humor was a recurring element on that dance lesson. Another important part of the lesson was walking. Students had to just walk across the room. That was not as simple task as it appeared to be. The burden of expectations from the instructor and need to maintain a normal appearance were not very easily upheld. Everyone has a specific way of waking. A little of personality could be displayed in a person's walk which was a sort of a dance by itself The better dancers had more disciplined walks. Ricardo was also interesting teacher because he was a foreigner. He used a lot of Latin music and spoke with a light Latin accent. Ms behavior was also a little exuberant in a Latin way. Also he had a light German accent which made him sound a little formal. In a way, the way he talked was a dance by itself. He did not say anything wrong, yet his expressions appeared a little volatile. His overall behavior and appearance were elegant, As a foreigner, he introduced different mentality of dancing. He used different concepts and different expressions. He was upset about using his hand to rub the back of his head as a part of a dance which would possibly mean Alex Chalyy Ricardo was also a professional in dancing. Everything that he did was carefully thought out and designed as being fun for the students in the class. He did not expect too much from the students and encouraged everyone to have fun. He knew when and where to stop and how to better explain moves to the class when everyone had trouble with it. He was also not boring. Ricardo had a certain dance teaching style and music preference. A lot of his music was Latin and a upbeat. His teaching style was not to push students. He did not emphasize discipline a lot. Instead, he gave students a lot of freedom of performance and tried to make students like dancing. He picked easy and fun dance sequences. He did not continue dancing if the dancing sequence was excessively challenging for the students. He also repeated and explained dance steps if the class did not get them. He showed that dancing was acting as well as a physical activity. He encouraged us to get involved emotionally into pieces and really be in the piece. We literally had to act out for instance when we were upset during the dancing sequence with hugs. I thought that it was very funny, first giving a hug and than a finger. That had some meaning, perhaps something from Ricardo's personal experiences. His affection of dancing could be easily seen by the way he talked about dancing. I did not get a feeling of a strict teacher. His manner of taking was relaxed and very open but very disciplined. The way he described how we should move air and water below with our hands as well as how to walk was very friendly, clear and understandable but not teacher like. Overall, I thought that Ricardo Viviani was a great dance teacher. He really liked what he was doing. His passion toward dancing was contagious. He made everybody like dancing. He was extremely professional. He also had a good easy going dancing style. Source: student report
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