Twist and shout! Microphone cords are NOT my friends...


Some instructors make it look SO easy: they break down complicated clogging steps without having to stop and do the step in its entirety over and over to figure out the next instruction to give, they transition seamlessly between calling out counts/step names/portions of steps as needed, and they effortlessly run the music and microphone with no glitches whatsoever. Their hair still looks good after teaching all day, and I suspect their forehead sweat doesn't run down into their eyeballs.

Where do you people come from?! Where do you go? (Is it the same place as Cotton-Eyed Joe? That song leaves me with many unanswered questions.)

MY experiences in teaching involve way less glamour and way more instances of sweat dripping into my eyes, making my contacts burn and go blurry until I can't read the cue sheet (or see any of the other dancers).

At the Fancy Free  studio, you must also deal with that nemesis, the microphone cord.

Most clogging dances turn at some point, and for many dances, this is not a big deal. I can call the step, then do a little switcheroo with the microphone while turning, and all is well.

This week, however, I taught a new routine from the Cabin Fever Workshop last weekend (Driving Nails, choreographed by Jeff Driggs). Since it was a completely new routine for the group, I had to keep calling steps during the turns and never got a good chance to unwind.

As the microphone cord twisted, my "leash" became shorter and shorter until my rooster run steps looked more like rooster stay steps. My traveling shoes gallop steps didn't go anywhere, they just vaguely angled in the correct direction.

Next week, the class will require fewer cues. Perhaps I will find a good time to switch the mic around to avoid getting all tangled up. Perhaps I will become one of those glamorous instructors.

Yeah, right!

To all you instructors who make it look so darn easy: I know that it actually isn't easy, and I appreciate your skill. Thanks for teaching!

(If you don't know me, I'll be the one wiping the sweat out of her burning eyeballs and pulling her bedraggled hair up into a tighter ponytail.)

So, where is it that you and Cotton-Eyed Joe come from, exactly? 

What do YOU struggle with when trying to teach a routine?