Posts Tagged ‘Lester Horton’

Hello all- Miss Jess here that’s my teacher name- I apologize for the slightly belated post- my computer is acting up. Someone needs a time-out!

I teach a beginner modern class for seven to ten year old in the ‘Horton Style’. You may have heard of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre company- they are probably the most famous devotees of this technique (as opposed to other styles of modern from pioneers such as Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, or Merce Cunningham who have their own ways of moving and specific dance vocabulary)


Speaking of vocabulary: I was ‘quizzing’ my little students on names of steps and the name of the famous teacher whose style we are following.

Miss Jess: What is the name of the man who made up these steps? (The answer is ‘Lester Horton’. )

My kids: ‘Lentils Hummus!?’

Isn’t that a healthy twist of word play? I wonder, if I ever become a famous teacher and my name becomes morphed into snack titles, what would I be?

Jessica Ruhlin: jambalaya Rhubarb! Jello Ramen!

What a legacy I’m going to leave.

A less-amusing teaching moment came the other day in an at-risk school where I teach a mix of modern, jazz, and hip hop to second and third graders. One of my second graders said, ‘Miss Jess, it smells like weed in the bathroom’.


It makes me upset that a second grader knows what weed is, let alone can identify the scent of it. It did in fact reek of the reefer so I went in and sprayed some perfume in the air to try to mask the smell.

I wish I could make life and school better, safer, and more pleasant for all of my students. I would want it to be as magical as Hogwarts. If I could, I would concoct a potion like ‘Amortensia’ from Harry Potter- the famous love potion, which is specifically pleasing to the individual’s tastes- turn it into an air-freshener and douse the hallways with it. Harry for instance, smells: the woody handle of a broomstick (quidditch), a flowery scent associated with the Burrow (Ginny), and his favorite dessert- a treacle tart.

So here’s the formula:

1. The smell of an item used during a  favored activity

2. A loved one/ or place of loved ones

3. Favorite Dessert

I would smell: My stinky disgusting ballet shoes, weed and crayons from a school where I teach, and baklava.

 Mmmm mmm mmmm. That’s the smell of love. What’s in your bottle?

Until next time- your tiny dancer- Miss Jess

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