District Dance Camp Highlights with Alla Andriushchenko
Once a year, the Arthur Murray Live students and teachers assemble for a day of dance development called The District Dance Camp.
Featuring two dynamic trainers (Jill DeMarlo and Alla Andriushchenko), 8 hours of instruction, and over 100 Arthur Murray students and teachers, this wasn't your typical dance day.
Here's a summary of the camp from our featured trainers, Alla Andriushchenko.
AML: What does it feel like to be a trainer at a camp like this?
AA: Being a trainer is like being a student. Sometimes you don't know the level or abilities of the people you will meet. You don't know their knowledge or expectations of the topics and dances. And having more people in front of you makes it more interesting and exciting. You're just hoping to transmit your knowledge and experience to everyone at the same time. You're extremely prepared but you feel like you're not. The same feeling when you do something new - a new dance, new event, new performance.
AML: What was your biggest highlight from the camp?
AA: My biggest highlight of the dance camp was seeing people pushing themselves out of their comfort zone doing totally new dances, moves, and steps. Finding new abilities in their own bodies. Increasing confidence, talking and dancing with new people, learning and improving instantly.
Also, I felt extremely honored to work on the same floor with Jill DeMarlo. She was my very first seminar trainer. She left a strong impact on me and I admire her experience and knowledge.
AML: Why was this a great investment for the students in their dance program?
AA: I think one hour of dance camp gives you a lot of information and opens a new vision of the dance. "A picture is worth a thousand words." So being able to see some movements from professionals and also students is challenging and motivating for personal growth and I can say that from my own personal experience.
Dancing with more people who are learning or doing the same step at the same time with you is both entertaining and motivating. Some dances were totally new for the students and they fell in love with them. They were able to dance them and go over different levels of information.
AML: What was the first thing that stood out to you when you arrived?
AA: Actually, I had a few things that stood out. My first thought was how beautiful and big the San Rafael studio is.
Following that, it was how friendly everyone was to each other. Students were meeting students, introducing each other, having conversations, asking a questions about the next events or when they would meet again. It gives a very warm feeling about a big family community. This is really how Arthur Murray is.
When I started my first class, the Argentine Tango, I asked them how many of them had done it before. It was less than 50% of the students I had in front of me. That stood out to me. I love Argentine Tango and I felt extremely excited because I know how important the first impression about any dance is. I know a lot of students are intimidated about this dance, so I had courageous students who decided to learn. My biggest goal was to transfer the passion and beauty of the dance, and show them why it is one of the most popular social dances in the world over the last century. I can say that my mission was accomplished and everyone did amazing.
AML: What would you say to someone considering this for their calendar next year?
AA: That this is a great idea. That their investment of time and money will be amazing because they will obtain different benefits. First, their theoretical understanding about the dances will improve. Their brain will find new articulations of their body. By dancing a lot, they will be brining their dancing to the next level. They will meet a lot of new friends who also share the same passion for dancing.
And they will feel, once again, how beautiful it is to be part of the Arthur Murray community.
On the surface, the District Dance Camp may seem like another dance event that your teacher thinks is a great idea... but you still have your reservations.
Many people felt that exact same way, until they attended.
That's when the added benefits started to materialize. The improvement, the smiles, the common objective, and as Alla so perfectly stated, it was the embodiment of the support system that is the Arthur Murray community.
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