Friday, February 27, 2009

Dance -- Feb. 15th: BCC's 27th Anniversary

The weekend started with a dance workshop led by Joxema Mendiola from Gipuzkoa.
Joxema showed the dance group some of the Baztan Mutil Dantzak, and a few ingurutxos. (The group was thrilled when "Yum yum Dance" (that we had performed in Chino) was one of them.)

A big thank you to John Ysursa for setting up the workshop, Kate Camino for translating, and Joxema for teaching!

In the Saturday afternoon workshop for Fandango, Joana, Emma and Chloe paid close attention. You can see a few familiar faces in the background.
Sunday before mass -- the girls are ready!

So are the boys!

Our kids did a great job on their first performance of the year. This was the first time performing for almost half the group! No stage fright what so ever. Stay tuned for some video of the performance.....

For those of us who need a reminder, here are a few of the steps we learned ...
a preview of coming attractions!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dance -- Feb. 7th

This is the last practice before the BCC's 27th Anniversary -- their first performance of the year! Today we make sure that they know what to do

First a little Gipuzkoa technique -- learning the deia or salut (what is done at the beginning of the dance.)

Moving on to Lantzeko Ihauteria -- Carnival de Lanz

The girls are working with Amaia, Kiki, Elise, Brittney and Ashley on Matelota

The boys are learning how to stretch with Chris, Erik and me. This will help them kick higher in the dances from Bizkaia, such as zortziko.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pala, January 31st

Week 4 and we're off to a great start with
21 future Txapelduns!
** There will be NO PRACTICE on Februaury 14th & 21st **

Here the players are introducing themselves to the new volunteers.

Some a little more enthusiastic than others - Go Megan!!

Jose and Vincent warming up. Way to step into it Jose!

Dave working with his group of kids.

Maitexa going over serves ... where's the 'Yo Police'? Miss Angelina is the Captain of the Yo Police task force, serving the BCC since 2008.

Amaya and Dominic taking a break.

Casey, Jack and Megan ready to go!

Josef practicing his serve.

A big thank you to Dave Indart, Johnny Salsa and Maitexa Cuburu for helping me teach and to Patricia Elicagaray for taking the photos. Mil Esker!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January 31st - Dance

They are ready to get dancing. During this practice we started working on dances for the BCC Anniversary performance. Even after such a short time practicing, they are ready to show off a little of what they have learned.

Not only are we working on performance dances, but also on social dances such as Polka Pik. This dance is not only fun to do, but helps them learn to listen to the speed of the music and realize that dancing with a girl or boy is not as yucky as it seems.

We are taking the time to work on technique. Not only are they learning their entrechats (the dreaded double clicks) but they are also beginning to learn steps from Gipuzkoa such as a deia and muriska. You can see what these look like at


I would like to present our new class this year! (upper row) Marielle, Jose, Jack, Emma, Gexan, Casey, Megan, Bianca, ( lower row) Eric, Sylvia, Juliette, Megan and Matthew are all dancing for the first time this year. Welcome aboard!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 2009 -- Dance

This season starts off well, with 30 participants in the Gazteak Dance Group. Out of the 30, 12 are participating in Basque Dance for the first time. We have 12 boys and 18 girls. Thank you to Erik Kvarna and Lisa Camou who came and helped during the first few weeks.

Roll call, 1/24. Notice they can't wait to start playing pilota!

During the first few practices we focus on the dances from Benafaroa and Nafaroa. We start with the basics -- learning 1-2-3s with Bolant Dantza. Doing the dance to muscial chairs not only keeps the children interested, but reinforces which foot the child should be on, and which direction to turn.

As usual, the children have homework: 5 minutes of entrechats (double clicking) a day.

Once the 1-2-3s have been mastered, we move into the irri dantzak from Baztan with Yontzu Dantza. It is the girls vs. the boys to see who moves best.

Julia v. Jack ... I wouldn't want to take bets on who wins!

January 2009 -- Paleta Goma

Welcome to Children's Paleta Goma! We're off to a great start for 2009 with 20 participants. All children are welcome, ages 5 and up.

After running laps around the Kantxa the future Txapelduns learn the importance of stretching before and after playing.

Left over right and STRETCH to the ground

After warm up, the children take their own ball and paleta and hit the ball against the wall. The volunteers and myself take this time to play one on one with the players and work on technique.

Miss Amanda in action

Aupa Pilota!!

Group shot

Next they practice using their right and left arms and stepping into the ball as they swing.

Julia & Maite

Aupa Casey, way to hit the ball

Working with Casey on "aire" - hitting the ball in the air before it hits the ground.

Vincent prepping for the 2014 Mondials

A little one on one with Vincent. The players are all quick and eager learners. Mil Esker to my volunteers - Xabi Berrueta, Aitor Berrueta and Isabelle Bushman.