[nabs-l] dance lessons and recreation

Jamie Principato blackbyrdfly at gmail.com
Mon Dec 22 05:01:52 UTC 2008

I'll take swords over bulls any day, thank you. :)

On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 11:31 PM, Phillip Gross <phillip.gross at austin.rr.com
> wrote:

> Wow and people say I'm nuts for riding bulls.  Nobody tried to stab me at
> least lol
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf
> Of Jamie Principato
> Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 10:07 PM
> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] dance lessons and recreation
> I'm not sure if you can change their mind without actually going ahead and
> doing it. If you were raised in the way you described (and I know you're
> not
> alone there), I imagine your parents are fairly set in their ways and their
> ideas of what blind people can or cannot do. Don't let this stop you from
> giving it a try though. Once you do it, your mom will come around.
> When I was a kid, I was reasonably active, but it always took a lot of
> convincing to get my parents, especially my over-protective dad to let me
> try out my crazy ideas. One in particular that really got my mom worrying
> was fencing. I heard about it at a medieval fair we went to and I wanted to
> try it so so so badly. She didn't think I'd be able to do it safely or
> without making a fool of myself and wasting money, but she agreed to take
> me
> to a free trial class and see what the instructors think after we give it a
> try. The beginner classes are run, in a way, like dance classes. After we
> stretch and warm up a bit, everyone lines up in two lines at one end of the
> gym and our coach stands a few feet in front of us and we run through
> movement drills. If there's a new move he wants us to learn, he tells us
> the
> name, explains when it should be used, shows us how it's done by example
> and
> adds it into the drill. During drills, he would sometimes be nonverbal and
> just do the movements ahead of us and have us copy him, but when I started
> he found that it actually helped everyone if he said the names of the moves
> as well ("Advance!" "Retreat!" "Lunge!") Also, when teaching a new move, he
> would always show it to the group first, then come over to me and show me
> up
> close and more physically. When we did blade practice (Fencing is sword
> fighting, by the way), it had to be one on one for everyone. He'd take us
> in
> small groups based on ability and explain what he was going to teach, then
> work with us one at a time, one after the other on the move. THis was great
> for me because I could get the one on one I needed (him moving my blade and
> my arm to physically take me through the motions of a move, slow paced
> practice sparring with him until I can get it up to speed, etc) without
> having to be segregated from the group as a whole. We did work out some
> blade techniques that were specific to my needs since I can't really see
> where my opponent's blade is, and we did that privately, but that was about
> it. When we did drills with a partner, I would usually try to pair myself
> with a more advanced fencer who knows what they're doing and can help me if
> I need it, at least in the beginning. And when we would actually have bouts
> (Two fencers would get up to fight and the rest of us would gather around,
> watch, and analyze so that everyone learns) the coach was very very
> descriptive and encouraged everyone who took a turn analyzing a move to do
> the same. This was great for me, and great for everyone else as well
> because
> they had to pay more attention than they would otherwise. When it was my
> turn to fight, I wasn't worried because I had good, well-accomodated
> training beforehand.
> Talk to your instructor before classes begin. Recreational dance teachers
> aren't like school gym teachers. They're usually doing it because they like
> it and want to do it, and they certainly want your business so it's
> unlikely
> she'll just tell you to go find some other hobby. You can work together and
> try to think of reasonable accomodations that will make it fun and doable.
> Good luck!
> On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 8:49 PM, Ashley Bramlett
> <bookwormahb at earthlink.net>wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Its gotten quiet.  I hope everyone is home relaxing after finals and
> > getting ready for the holidays.
> >
> > Have any of you taken dance?  Private or class?  What accomodations did
> you
> > use?  Its usually taught visually by demonstration.  If you regularly do
> a
> > active recreation  activity or did growing up, it would be interesting to
> > hear.  Growing up, unfortunately, I did not engage in much physical
> activity
> > for recreation.  I guess my parents did not think I could participate in
> > much.
> > I did activities that were not physical like piano lessons.  The extent
> of
> > my activity was my swing set.
> >
> > Now I want to take ballroom dance as a class.  Know what?  My mother does
> > not think its doable.  She does not think they will be able to show me
> > what's happening.  I want to try and see what happens.  Its at a
> recreation
> > center and I have every right to participate if i pay money.  I don't
> know
> > how to change their minds.  Any thoughts or experiences are appreciated.
> >
> > Ashley
> > Ashley H Bramlett
> > Undergraduate Student
> > Marymount University
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