On Being a Peripatetic Educator

Dear Constant Reader,

Or more simply, a traveling teacher. I love to travel, and love to travel to teach (and perform), so these past two years have been pretty awful. I even took down my travel map because it was depressing the hell out of me.

But, right now, by traveling teacher, I mean I don’t have a home base. At the end of last year, the building which housed our studio was sold. We waited and waited to hear from the new landlords and finally, they declined to renew anyone’s lease. Scratch has been hunting for a new studio space, but to no avail. It’s exceedingly hard to find reasonably-priced appropriate real estate in the Boston area right now, even for a non-profit.

So, B.A.B.E. has been moving around. In January I taught at the Tony Williams Dance Center, the studio where we’ve been holding rehearsals. February, because of the possibility of snowstorms, I taught remotely. It’s harder than teaching in person, but one of my students was in Texas and being able to reach people so distant is worth it.

I’ll be honest, teaching a series class like Introduction to Burlesque anywhere but my own studio is tough. I have to remember to pack everything I need to teach a particular class, as well as anything the students might need, like loaner gloves or pasties to buy, plus some merch, like B.A.B.E. t-shirts or copies of my book. And then I need to schlep it all. Sometimes there are mirrors, sometimes not.

This month I’m at Flying Embers. They hold yoga classes there, so why not burlesque. We had our first class this past Sunday and it was so much fun! It’s a big space, well-lit and airy, which makes it all rather cheerful. The students were enthusiastic and it was kind of exciting teaching in a bar (the bar itself was closed until class was over). Several students stayed for a drink. I had to head right home because the troupe was coming over. While I was teaching, everyone else was performing at a brunch show. We were all meeting back at the Manor to hang out and craft for the afternoon.

IMG_5445Tori, one of the fabulous bartenders, said she could give me a drink to go. I thought she was going to hand me one of the cans they keep in the fridge. Before I knew it, she had filled a 32-oz can with my favorite passionfruit-elderflower hard seltzer and fastened on a lid. It was really neat to watch the canning process. I was delighted to share it with the troupe that afternoon.

If you’d like to learn burlesque and then have a drink with me, class starts at 12:30 every Sunday in March. If you’d rather watch some burlesque, come to Burlesque with a Band on March 31 and we’ll have a little graduation ceremony for the students.

(And if anyone has a line on some light industrial space in the Boston area that would make a nice dance studio, let me know.)

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 14 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.