The Absolute Beginner Taiko Class

My congolese master teacher is going to the congo soon, so I went and caught the first of an 8 class series in the Big City of Absolute Beginner Taiko. It was at a dance studio that has just about every ethnic dance class under the sun, and though I arrived early enough, the parking was murder because tons of street parking was marked “no stopping” for a street fair. I ended up in a 4 blocks away  garage that gave me a flat rate which I’m going to make a beeline for next time.

After climbing up stairs to a place I went to a long time ago for a dunun class, I joined several other people in a small room being lectured by a brassy, gray haired broad on protocol and registration.  I disliked her immediately.  She was loud, rigid and controlling. I managed to re-examine my reasons for coming and drop the temptation to walk or act out my disgust at the seeming overcontrol. I participated and the teacher and I got along. The wide side stance was a bit  hard on my right inguinal and hip, I switched legs.  I’m grateful that I haven’t had to go spend years toiling at the SF taiko dojo like the assistants have.

I don’t expect to do a lot of taiko, but since I’ve done some of it before, it’s an entry way into Dance Mission and a way to broaden my horizons while my guy is out of town along with my congolese master. The class wasn’t super hard, but slow and consistent. I got out when it was over and handled the strangeness of coming to the city and doing something new and different. There was a street fair going on and there were booths and streets closed off to car traffic.

I drove all the way home and caught the last 40 minutes of my congolese class, drummed for dancers and stayed connected with the group.  Several key people were not there, and my drumming added  energy.

I experienced a moment of disharmony when I offered a comment to “help” the woman who I used to practice with who no longer is friendly and she did a polite rebuke. Then I had to say to myself that I am quite touchy when  anyone tells me anything except the teacher, and even he I sometimes react to poorly.  One time he corrected my singing, and I was really offended since I’m almost the only one in class who puts some real energy into trying.

I need to remember it’s a blessing in disguise that I am not fused with that person, catering to her, socializing with someone who does not want to be around  me and remember what she’s brought to our community. She catalyzed our group and helped push me to another level. She’s still coming to class and is a good bell and clave player, a real asset.  I’m beginning to realize I’m forgiving in general but quite snotty and hair trigger hostile if the right festering inner wound gets touched.




About Shirley

I started this blog to expand and explore my rhythm horizons as a hand drummer. That exploration includes touching on the rest of my life and inner world as authentically and truthfully as possible.
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