Monday, May 17, 2010
My big belly dancing debut...
So, Friday was the big night, and I did manage to survive. So, so much sweating. Racing heartbeats abounded. But all in all, the evening was a success.
When I got home on Friday, I practiced some more, but then figured there was nothing more I could do. We had dinner, and I tried not to be too nervous. I packed up my blue dress and headed off for the gallery.
I arrived early, so there was lots of time for full scale panic. I chatted with some of my classmates, and eventually we moved to the backstage area. There was no dressing room, so we took turns dressing in an emergency stairwell. *snorts* We all donned our cover ups, and Claire asked us if we would hand out some flyers advertising her new studio before the show started. Sure.
Well, immediately upon our re-emergence, we were suddenly targeted by a new audience since it was obvious that we had costumes on underneath our cover ups:
Customer #1 - leering drunk guy
"Heeyyyy. Are you girls *dancers*? Are you going to *perform*?"
I did what I usually do with people who make me incredibly uncomfortable: I said nothing and pointedly ignored him. My classmates dispensed with him pretty quickly, but still, he slipped into the auditorium.
Customer #2 - confused-looking academic
"Hi, um. Is this a show of some kind?"
When we told him that belly dancing was involved, he looked a bit like he had bitten off more than he could chew. He discreetly disappeared.
Lots of women followed, most with children in tow who looked less than pleased to be there. Finally, it was time for our set. We headed up and crowded backstage...
Unfortunately, the show was running long, and the singer/piano player ahead of us just kept going and going. At one point, she launched into a story of a song that her grandmother taught her, and how her grandparents how this spicy relationship, and ended up divorcing. And I'm thinking, "do we really need to know this?" as I sweat profusely. To make matters more interesting, the auditorium was at least 80 degrees and *everyone* was sweating. It was SO HOT. We were hot, beads were flying, and I managed to scratch up my arm with the sequins/bead work on my own breast. It wasn't pretty.
Finally, Claire was called out to introduce us, and we sashayed out for our number. I think it went well. I remembered the dance easily. The hardest part for me is remembering my spacing when there is no mirror in front of us, and making myself smile. I hate forcing myself to smile. But as a dancer, I know that no matter how ridiculous you feel with a forced smile plastered onto your face, you truly would look much more ridiculous if you didn't smile. Because then, you look like ANGRY DANCER, and that really, really looks bad.
I've encountered this before. Someone who is a beautiful dancer, but I can't concentrate on her dancing because I'm so utterly entranced by the scowl emanating from her face. I'm sure she's just concentrating and shyly (like me) not wanting to paste on the fake smile. But unfortunately that face translates into a mad face. It's not a good look.
Anyway, we finished, left the stage, and I finally breathed easy. I was able to stay to watch Claire dance, plus another belly dance troupe that came, which was a real treat. And then I went home and had a drink with Mike. By 9:30. Such is the glamorous life of your Catholic Librarian on Friday nights...