Thursday, May 31, 2018

Performing Arts Half Credit ~ 9th Grade ~ Anne

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Cast of Alice in Wonderland

Anne earned a half credit (90 hours) for performing arts this year. She performed in a variety of shows and worked very hard on all of her characters and dances. She danced many styles this year, including jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, hip hop, salsa and modern limone.

Alice in Wonderland ~ Anne performed in eight shows of Alice in Wonderland. She had the main character role of the caterpillar which required her to take weeks of aerial arts classes to learn how to perform on silks. She also performed as a garden gate on pointe as well as a jazzy cat. She did an excellent job and put forth all of her passion and effort into the performances.
Garden Gate
The Nutcracker and The Mouse King ~ She performed in four shows of The Nutcracker and The Mouse King. She had the main character role of the princess, which was a partnering ballet piece. She also danced with the Junior Company in various roles, including elastic doll, guard, cat, pop rocks, sailor and a sugar mask. She did a wonderful job of getting through many quick costume changes (some of them only a minute long).
Posing in Three Tableaus with the Adult Company ~ Anne was delighted to be invited to perform in three tableaus during the Fringe Festival. They performed on the streets at locations around the downtown to support the LaZoom bus tour. They would set up at different stops and then hold a pose for seven or eight minutes while the tour bus unloaded and looked at them. It was a great experience. They did a prom scene, bachelorette party scene and a winter at the beach scene.
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Posing in a Tableaus was a new experience.
Hola Children's Festival ~ Anne really enjoyed doing a salsa dance piece with Junior Company at this festival. It was another outdoor dance experience.
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Hola Children's Festival
The Winter Showcase ~ The winter showcase is one of Anne's favorite events each year. It is an opportunity for the students to show some of their own work in addition to a sneak peek at what they are working on. Anne performed in four shows of the showcase. She participated in 10 dances each show.
  1. "Fallen Angels" choreographed by Melissa Wilhoit (Modern piece)
  2. "Remembering What is Being Lost" choreographed by Sara Keller (Ballet piece)
  3. "Serenade" choreographed by Balanchine (Classical Ballet piece)
  4. "Baaxaloob Tu Yotochoob" choreographed by Fanny Ortiz (Modern piece)
  5. "Cat Call" choreographed by students (Modern piece)
  6. "Swingin' Sass" choreographed by Sara Keller (Jazz piece)
  7. "Hot Havana Nights" choreographed by Megan Waldrop and Guillermo Valseca (Salsa piece)
  8. "Road Runner" choreographed by Susan Collard (Modern piece)
  9. "Retail Therapy" choreographed by Megan Waldrop (Hip Hop piece)
  10. "I Know Girls" choreographed by Anne and two of her friends (Lyrical piece)
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Anne mid leap

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Anne dancing her solo 

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Anne far right
It was a wonderful year filled with great achievements and experiences. She earned a grade of A (100%) for her hard work and accomplishments.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, May 25, 2018

Week 36 ~ Movies, Performances and Chihuly

We are so close to the end of the year. We are transitioning into summer a little bit more day by day. Our half-day lessons are going well. This week we logged about 12 hours of school (not including Anne's dance hours which are divided into Physical Education credit and Performing Arts credit).

The last dance classes of the school year were wrapped up this week at our full-time studio. There will be two weeks of dance intensives in July. The Cecchetti ballet classes will continue as usual all summer long. The first four performances of Alice in Wonderland were a roaring success. All eight shows are sold out and Anne is looking forward to performing in the last four shows this weekend. Then it is off for her Cecchetti exam in South Carolina. She did great in her mock Cecchetti exam this week, so hopefully all will go well.

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The last dance class of the year was held outside.

Image may contain: 13 people, including Cassie Whiteside, Laura Sheridan, Debbie Haeger, Camille Cummings and Dawn Beasom Purdom, people smiling, people standing and indoor
These girls did a marvelous job this year (Junior Company 2018).

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My sweet Caterpillar!
Anne is the caterpillar (the one in a white costume and a green hood).
We used our Biltmore annual pass to go see the gorgeous Dale Chihuly exhibit this week. We took a friend a piece for the kids and enjoyed it immensely. The glass sculptures are wonderful, and since we went during the week, it wasn't terribly crowded. There are 16 glass sculptures on the property. I loved the boat with the floating balls the most. It was gloriously sunny the day we went. I can't wait to see them again in different types of weather.
From left to right (H, Anne, Dean and F)

We had our last Literature/Movie Club with friends this week. We enjoyed seeing Rear Window, which is my favorite Hitchcock movie by far.

School this week ~
  • Watched Gone with the Wind (Dean and Anne)
  • Watched Rear Window (Dean and Anne)
  • Read Who Is Harriet Beecher Stowe? (Dean)
  • Read 5 chapters of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Anne)
  • Visited the Chihuly exhibit (Dean and Anne)
  • Took mock Cecchetti exam (Anne)
  • Researched cat care and bonding techniques (Dean)
  • Performed in Alice in Wonderland 4 times (Anne)
Dear Husband is off to a memorial for his Godmother and will be gone for the entire weekend. We will miss him, but we are glad he won't be gone a long time like during his military days. We will have an extra teen with us some of the weekend, since she needs some place to stay while her family is away on a trip. Hopefully, we will have calm fun so that we don't over tax Anne's introverted system before we drive to South Carolina for the Cecchetti exam.

I am also praying that the giant storm coming in from the Gulf Coast doesn't hit us too hard and close the highways again. We had a huge storm last weekend that caused mudslides a few counties away. That storm closed the highway for several hours that I will need to travel on this weekend to get to South Carolina. The flooding in our area was not too extreme, but our basement flooded a bit and all of our waterfront river parks were under water.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, May 18, 2018

Week 35 ~ A Caterpillar, a Kitten and a Pig

It has been a great week. There was plenty of learning, time in nature and time with friends. Considering that it is tech week for Alice in Wonderland, everything is running pretty smoothly on the home front and everyone has been fed, has clean clothes and is nurtured. Usually, on crazy, busy weeks, I use an emergency home maintenance plan which mostly means keep up with the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. This means the rest of the house starts to fall apart by the end of the week. This week, I tried something a bit different and I am very happy with the results. The kids took over all aspects of laundry, and I spent three minutes a day in each room of our house, including the hallway which is large enough to hold the piano. The result is that all of the rooms in my house are afloat. They are not special company clean, but they are reasonably clean and comfortable. In those three minutes per room, I was able to wipe down counters, toilets, make a bed, sweep floors, pick up clutter and generally give a room a once over. I did spend more like 15 minutes cleaning the kitchen each day. This weekend we will put more time into the house, but I am pleased with my new plan for crazy, busy weeks. Next week is bound to be even crazier.

Last Friday I Lost My Mind ~ and we adopted a four month old kitten from the shelter. Dean has wanted a kitten for a long time and the time seemed reasonably right. We saw that there were  four or five kittens and cats to visit with at the shelter who fit our list of desires. Indeed, Dean fell in love with one in particular and we brought her home. She is named Rosie and is living in his room for now while she slowly meets Boomer (dog) and bonds to Dean being her main caregiver.  She is more cuddly than many cats so far, which was important to Dean, and is also great at getting into mischief as kittens so often do. This is bringing much laughter into our home. We are smitten with her!

Exploring Our World ~ For Mother's Day weekend, we drove 1.5 hours away to see two waterfalls and a gem museum we had never seen before. One of the waterfalls wasn't very spectacular, but the other was great. We visited Dry Falls and got to walk behind the waterfall. It was a lovely, short hike to the waterfall. Dean enjoyed taking pictures of all the moss and ferns that were along the trail.

Behind the Waterfall
We also visited a gem museum that was supposed to be one of the biggest in our gem saturated area. It was in Franklin which is the gem capital of Western North Carolina. Dean said, "I love gem and mineral museums because each one has something unique." This museum was unique, because it was in an old jail and had the original cells and jail graffiti. It also had a petrified pine cone, which we had never seen before.

A Watercolor Intensive ~ Dean is really enjoying the watercolor intensive he is taking with his class. They are learning so many exciting techniques.

Fetal Pig Dissection ~ We had a friend over for the day because the public school system was closed. It was still a school day for us, so we decided to do something exciting instead of just reading and math. The overall vote was to dissect our fetal pig. The dissection went well, although my crew is very squeamish about dissection in general, so Grandma and I did all of the cutting. Our fetal pig was female and seemed to be missing her pancreas. We never could find it. Maybe that is why the litter of piglets were lost.

The kids also worked on drawing the human skeletal system into a life-size model.

Alice in Wonderland ~ There will be eight shows over the next two weekends, so we are going to be a busy family. Anne's main character role is the caterpillar. She is also a swinging gate to the garden, which is a dance in pointe, plus a jazzy cat. I haven't seen hardly any of the show during rehearsals so it is mostly going to be a surprise. The little bits I have seen look marvelous. I can't wait!

Jazzy Cat

Garden Gate
Blessings, Dawn

Friday, May 11, 2018

Week 34 ~ Winding Down

We are in winding down mode around here. We are basically doing half days for the next few weeks while we wrap up our remaining classes. As of this week, Dean has completed all of his 9th grade course except his Earth Science Course, which will be wrapped up as soon as I have the time to get him on two field trips that are a few hours away from home.

It really feels good to know that we have completed the most important classes (8th grade for Anne and 9th grade for Dean). Even if we had to stop now, they would both be in good shape walking into next year. Surprisingly, Anne isn't worn out and wants to keep going. She is two-thirds or more done in all of her 9th grade courses (except Math I) and wants to complete them before summer break, which for us will be the end of June. I think her goals can be completed in everything but biology, which relies on her brother being available. He will be working most of June as a camp counselor and will not able to do much school.

Exploring Our World ~ We discovered a hidden treasure just an hour south of us this week. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is the most amazing horse facility I have ever seen, and I grew up around horse country. The facility has restaurants, a general store, rows and rows of stables, several horse arenas, horse-themed stores and, best of all, the shows are free on Saturday nights!! They shuttled us in from remote parking lots for free, too. The only cost to us was food, which was very reasonable at the food stands. They had nice sit down restaurants if you were celebrating something. We saw lots of prom couples going in and out of the restaurants. We visited with the horses in the stables and then watched the show, which was jumping. There were horses and riders from all over the world. We saw horses from Colombia, Ireland, England, America, Jordan and so much more. They are even building a polo field right now. That will be exciting to see some day! We will definitely be going back.

This horse loved my husband and kicked the stall when, after 10 minutes of rubbing,
he stopped the neck rub and walked away. 

We usually share treats, but the food was so reasonably priced that each kid got their own treat.
Life Skills ~ Anne decided that her old bike, which she still fits on, was way too princess pink for a teenager. So dear husband taught her how to spray paint her bike. She is very pleased with her slate blue bike.

My Iris ~ My iris are putting on a show like never before. We did tons of work on the iris garden last year and it has really paid off. Every day a new surprise flower awaits me. Lots of the flowers are truly new to me since they were sent down from New York State by one of my aunts. She got them from my grandmother. I never know what color will appear next.

Culture Club ~ This month we studied northern Africa with our friends. We did Algeria and Morocco, and they did the Tuareg nomadic people. It is always fascinating to see what interests the kids and what they decide to teach us.

A Demonstration of Swordplay ~ Boffer games are a sport based around using foam padded implements representing swords, shields, arrows, and other gear that is designed to safely come into realistic physical contact with the players. My sons, Dean and Tim, took their boffing swords to Tim's brain injury program and gave a demonstration this week. They explained the sport, worked well together to demonstrate the many moves, explained the games they play in their boffing community, answered questions, and allowed volunteers to play fight with them. Dean did an awesome job. We have told him that he is a natural teacher (although often a bit too critical), but he thinks we are nuts. They both did an awesome job meeting the needs and disabilities of each individual that wanted to sword fight with them. I am so proud of both of them!

Today ~ There is so much house cleaning to do. I think I may just blast an audio book throughout the house while we clean. This afternoon, Tim volunteers at the Humane Society, and this evening the kids have a few friends coming over for dinner and board games. It should be fun. 

I hope all of you have a Mother's Day that blesses you!

Blessings, Dawn