We had a single show for a special ed school north of Philly today. Big gym filled with 280 urban kids with mostly developmental issues and not so many physical problems, but an active and somewhat restless K – 8th grader group. It could be pretty challenging but something we’ve been exposed these situations before. We do have a confidence to roll through the show, get the kids up and dancing. It worked fine and the kids were great.
These schools also feature many more teachers/counselors per student, so there were close to seventy faculty members present sitting with the kids and along the sides and back. Several of them led the way by getting involved but several took the opportunity to chat with each other in the back. I did mention to the teachers to keep the talk down at the beginning of the show, and the students picked up on that and chuckled. Still…. I understand the temptation, but the kids pick up on the teachers’ attention.
With these more edgy audiences, its important to do the show straight through and let the show do the work. I have to remind myself to not micro-manage the interaction; something I like to do in a looser situation. There is a time and place for the entertainment value in that, but not today. Good work.