What does it feel like to be a choreographer for the first time?
I can surely tell you that it means a whole lot more than simply playing the role of a dancer and an assistant. Ever since I was little and I first entered the Bamachol Department, I knew that I would want to become a choreographer when I grew up. I had always admired my teachers, the way they choreographed dances, the way they structured their classes, and the way they put everything together for a show. I knew that a lot of effort went into the making of the shows, but I never got to see the “behind the scenes” making of dances and the effort that goes into choreographing them.
For over three years, I was an assistant for both Hip-hop, and various grades of Rikudim. I loved being the second in command, helping the choreographer, and sometimes even getting to make up a dance, but finally becoming a choreographer feels like something totally different.
Dania Slochowski, my co-choreographer for 4th grade, is incredible to work with. I have admired her ever since I was a toddler, and finally getting to learn from her and getting to work beside her means the world. She has choreographed some of the best dances in the department, and I am so grateful that I have gotten the opportunity to be able to make magic and choreograph dances with her.
Being a choreographer comes with many responsibilities. I have to learn all of my dancer’s names, focus on every girl, become familiar with the way every single one of them dances, choreograph, come prepared to class, keep the class entertaining but educational, and do many more things along those lines. With my training as an assistant, I was well prepared for what this year was going to bring me. Because I am now a choreographer, it is like I have entered a whole new division of the Bamachol Department. I have always been extremely close to the choreographers, but now that I work in the department and I have more in common with them, I am more involved and I learn more about the logistics of how this department works and runs.
When choreographing a dance, it is important to make sure that the dance that is being created is appropriate for the grade level that is being taught. Choreographing may be a challenge at times, but it takes a lot practice and creativity to create a masterpiece. When we receive our music for the year and get ready for the shows and Festival, it is very exciting because it is the start of something new. In the process of choreographing, it is an amazing feeling when you have an “ah-ha” moment and when you come up with a creative portion for a dance. Especially when having two choreographers or two brains to work with, a truly incredible dance can be made. When it comes to the day of the show and you have the ability to see the dance that you created being danced on a stage by your dancers in front of an audience, it is the best feeling in the world. It is also an incredible feeling knowing that you are in control of a class, have the ability to put positions, choose the type of dances that you would like to do, and knowing that you have a say in anything that goes on in the class.
Not only am I a choreographer, but I am still a dancer with my own, amazing teachers, such as Dania, Joanne Niego, Tammy Slimak, and Yael Sultan. Although I have the ability to teach my own class, I also have the ability to continue learning from these amazing choreographers. It is a lot of fun getting to play the role of both a dancer and a choreographer. I learn many new and different things from both roles. Overall, being a first time choreographer comes with its challenges, but it is something that I have looked forward to my entire life and is extremely exciting. I feel like I have officially grown up in the “Rikudim world” and that I have entered a new stage in the Bamachol Department. Every day as a dancer and assistant I would look forward to the day that I would have my own class to teach, dancers who are looking up at me, dancers who I can influence, and the ability to teach others about dance and about what it means to be a choreographer.
— BamaBlogger Alice —