The end of my third week has come. This also signals the impending end of this little adventure that looms just over the horizon.
Training-wise it’s been good. Both during the week just past and my overall time spent here. I’m still not confident of the way things are run here, but on the bright side, I have great teachers.
I’m still trying to get used to being called by my Chinese name. From the very start, I always felt weird when the locals attempt pronounce “Joel”. Even the tonal change in speech from Chinese to “Joel” and back to Chinese sounds weird. During the first few days at school, I decided to let the teachers and students know my Chinese name. It seemed to make be much easier for them. They’ve all taken to that much quicker and it’s made the them much more likely to strike up a conversation with me.
With Feicha, I’m beginning to develop a form of fluidity with some of the tricks. However, my footwork and posture does not match the Chinese form. I still naturally move with my self-taught contact footwork with a little bit of contemporary dance (has somehow crept into my style since I started learning to dance). I’m not too fussed however, I’m not aiming to change my style of movement. I spent the week learning a few new tricks (which I still haven’t picked up) and a few new variations. One of the things about having a contact staff background is that it does cause me to move in specific ways which occasionally isn’t what’s required for Feicha.
I’ve also been having progress with Straps. I’m beginning to hold the side planche for a little longer without someone spotting me now. However, the Chinese don’t seem to believe in training the opposite side for fear of being confused during a performance. I personally think that I should be training my skills on both sides whenever practical. So when I get home, I’ll have to focus training on my left to keep things even. I haven’t been getting much progress with my front and back planches (both of which I thought that I would get the quickest improvement in).
Haven’t gotten far with Tumbling. It’s not really my focus, but it does serve as my daily conditioning routine at the moment. However, I can’t really push myself anyway since my right ankle is still a little weak.
Also during the week, I’ve taught a local student a little bit contemporary dance. Or at least what I remember from my 6 months of learning & rehearsing with Zeta Dance Group. Teaching has been a good experience as it makes me remember what I learnt and also makes me a little more observant. But it feels really weird being called “Laushi” despite me insisting to not be called that. But then having said that, I’m actually older than a number of teachers in the school (but not the circus/acrobatics trainers).
A part of me does feel a little sad that I’m leaving soon. I’ve made many friends, both foreign and local, many of whom I’ve grown quite fond of. I really only expected to come here, catch up with my friends and train really hard. But I guess when you’re put in such close quarters with other like-minded individuals, you tend to forge friendships rather quickly.