Thursday, August 15, 2013

Begin the Beguine

"A Beguine was originally a Christian lay woman of the 13th or 14th century living in a religious community without formal vows, but in the creole of the Caribbean, especially in Martinique and Guadeloupe, the term came to mean "white woman", and then to be applied to a style of music and dance, and in particular a slow, close couples' dance." Wikipedia 

How appropriate to begin a year than to look at what kind of relationship we want to have with our classes. In the above video Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire dance to Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine. It is easy to notice that Fred Astaire leads the dance, but without Eleanor's accompanying the dance would fall flat. 

I like to think that I am the Fred Astaire to the class's Eleanor Powell. I will lead the learning dance, but if my students can't match my lead the whole experience falls apart. We will have to work closely together, creating a community of learning that will hopefully make the group stronger collectively than the parts. As we dance together we Begin the Beguine.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell practiced this a while before this final assessment piece. So don't get discouraged if it takes you a while to get the rhythm and motion. Like the masters they were, they sure make it seem effortless. Perhaps the sequines and tap shoes might be a contributing factor to success. Something to think about.

    The analogy is a good one for me because whether you lead, or follow, you remain partners sensitive to each other.