Report from the TCW

Having a great time at the Teacher Certification Workshop with the SAFD, a bi-or-tri-annual part of the annual National Workshop. I have not been able to attend the nationals before – three weeks is a big chunk of time to get free, and the cost of a three week workshop is proportionally larger than your typical weekend workshop -or even the week long upcoming biannual Paddy Crean workshop, which has some familiar faces in the new Banff center promo video:

I was able to do a bit more peeking in to Paddy’s history for this evening’s history presentation… but more of that later.

As for the SAFD Nationals: The University of North Carolina School of the Arts has some great facilities in terms of theatres and rehearsal space, armoury, and apartments. Granted, the setting doesn’t match Banff but perhaps that makes it easier to focus. I’ve greatly enjoyed the wisdom of and feedback from Fight Masters both new to me (such as FM Brian Byrnes, FM Mark “Rat” Guinn, or people I only briefly met before like FM Allen Suddeth) and that are old friends (like FM Geof Alm from Seattle). TCW supervisors Chuck Coyl (also SAFD President) and K. Jenny Jones have been doing a great job in guiding us through the process. K.J. was actually the first SAFD teacher (as I think she was just a CT back then) who I met, when working on I think it was Winter’s Tale at Earlham College some dozen-plus years ago.

Thus far I’ve been in the half of our class that has been getting master classes in teaching and choreo while working on sample Skills Proficiency Test choreography, which was viewed last night by all the Fight Masters available. Feedback was helpful and supportive from all, for all.

Tonight I did a history presentation on Single Sword (the fencing-based swashbuckling style of the early 1900s), for which I (amongst other things) made a video I’ll share if I ever get the audio levels fixed better (curse you iMovie!), and tomorrow the two groups switch so I get seven days of teaching sword & shield to the intro class and assisting another TCW candidate in teaching knife.
It’s been a comfort and a pleasure to find the workshop more educational than test thus far (although both are happening at all times, and a written test, oral test, and teaching evaluation still remain), and the atmosphere more supporting than hazing. A classmate who broke her arm on day one has been able to continue with accommodations made for her condition. In general, our group has bonded well with each other and the existing faculty, and I hope for a full batch of newly minted Certified Teachers by the end of July.


Here’s the promo video for the nationals, also full of familiar faces:


Time to review my lesson plans…


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