SCGC Members Participate in \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Two Hours with Mia Michaels\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"

SCGC Members Participate in \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Two Hours with Mia Michaels\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"

Posted: Nov 30, 1999 - Wed, Apr 08, 2009 - 9:41 AM
Author: Gilles Ouellette

Lucas England/Hart Co HS & Katy Graham/UA Alta Marea

excerpt from\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Two Hours with Mia Michaels\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"

Apr 7, 2009

By Michael Boo
It hardly seems humane to have asked hundreds of  winter guard members to consider showing up for a morning choreography session just hours after the end of the WGI World Championships World Class Finals. But for the hundreds who heeded the call Sunday morning, April 5, 2009, the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nsacrifice of time and sleep was repaid in huge dividends.
Filling up the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nfloor of the University of Dayton Arena, the effects of any partying that took \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nplace after the World Class finale was replaced with a heightened flow of blood \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ncoursing through the veins as an aerobic workout of the most invigorating degree \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nwoke everyone up like the slap of a halibut across the face in Monty Python’s \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nfamous “Fish Slapping Dance.”
On an elevated stage in front of the guard \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nmembers, famed choreographer Mia Michaels, aided by her personal assistant, Ryan \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nRamiriz, taught the guard members a dance routing step-by-step, leading them \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nthrough the process of learning someone else’s routine and then inspiring them \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nto create their own.
Along the way, Ms. Michaels spoke from the heart \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nabout allowing one’s vulnerability to show through, about being oneself and \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nletting their body speak. Most profoundly, she reminded all of their importance \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nas being the only “them” that will ever walk this planet. When they realize that \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nto its fullest, they can show the world who they really are, and as a result, \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nallow their bodies to go where their inner self really wants their bodies to go. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n
This encouragement to explore their inner dimensions was put to use in \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\na section where the performers were instructed to improvise and make up their \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nown choreography at the end of the choreographed section. Each performer was \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ninstructed to not show off any tricks, but to just allow every fiber of their \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nmuscles and being to speak for itself.
There were so many in attendance \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nfor the session, members had to be divided into three groups to perform the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nroutine with some space between each other once all the moves were \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ntaught.
By the end of the session, the members were choreographing \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nthemselves according to how they felt at the moment. Hearing their enthusiasm \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nfor what they were experiencing and discovering within themselves demonstrated \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nhow far they had come in just two hours.
The warm-down period was equal \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nparts physical and spiritual, asking the performers to connect with the greater \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\npower that gave them their gifts of expression and to always realize they are \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\npraising that power when they allow their inner self to be exposed to the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nworld.
Members walked away with a renewed sense of their abilities and a \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nstronger feeling of the camaraderie that exists between all members of the color \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nguard community.
For those who viewed the proceedings, the two hours \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nseemed to fly by. It can only be assumed t hat the time on the floor for the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nperformers is something they will relive for months to come. 
Ms. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nMichaels concludes with a few thoughts of her own on the experience: “I think \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nit’s interesting because most of the color guard members don’t have the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nexperience of the dancers I normally work with. They’re hungry and there’s even \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nmore raw talent in color guard than I see in dance. I love doing this here \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nbecause the members give so much back. As a teacher, that’s all you really ask \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nfor…the mutual give and take. I leave here with a smile on my face. They heard \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nme, they got me and now that I planted the seed, they can take it and run with \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nit.”
As a Pied Piper, Ms. Michaels is without peer. It is a job to watch \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nher work and interact with others. Here’s hoping her relationship with WGI is \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nonly in its infancy.