My last class was supposed to be just a usual baby class, and it was. During our two hours we reviewed our four months of lessons:
Head shoulders knees and toes
They are so sweet!
But as soon as the class ended and my baby students said their goodbyes, students from all of my classes came running into the schoolhouse screaming "surprise!". The entire community was involved preparing food and my students performed rehearsed dances of their traditional Romani kolo and gave me a poster with drawings and notes from everyone glued on. Gosh I’m going to miss my students so much.
I've talked about the Serbian kolo dancing and Romani kolo is pretty similar as are the songs. To me Romani music has an Indian sound with more flutes and some bells but still it's along the same lines as starogradska muzika (Serbian old-town music).
When my students were dancing, the featured dancer wrapped a cloth with layers of bells around her hips which (without much knowledge of Indian dance) seemed Indian, as if it kept with the Roma since they migrated from India in the 10th century.
After they danced three prepared dances they invited me to join them and they took my hand and taught me a few more styles of dance. They use their hips more in Romani kolo than in Serbian kolo but again it was stepping side to side, forward and back while holding hands.
When it was time to go a few followed me out the door and we walked together to the bus stop.
I can't exactly comprehend how much I'm going to miss my students but I know it's going to be a lot. However I know they will stay with me through everything I do.