Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fun with swords and toxic varnish

Ok, so our floors are now fully sanded and repaired. There is some dust, but honestly, it's not bad at all. This afternoon, the first coat of polyurethane will go on and thus will commence the fun. We can't walk on it (much) until Saturday, and can't move the furniture back until Sunday. But we're already to Wednesday, and that just seems promising, no?

We're going to keep the kids out of the house tonight until bedtime via Cub Scouts and a trip to the shoe store, and tomorrow we're going to pass some time at various furniture stores looking at potential new couches. One day at a time, we're slowly getting there.

Our floor guy has already told us we should keep the windows open all night to ventilate. I can't imagine the odor is going to be pleasant.

Anyway, last night I had a private lesson with Claire to brush up on some sword work, and it was AWESOME. We started with lots of sword talk, and she showed me some new arm suggestions and other such sword strategies. I love that she told me to see my sword as my "dance partner", lol! So I shouldn't chince out on introducing the sword to the audience prior to balancing it on my head. The only other time I've seen a prop addressed as a "dance partner," it was a snake, and this is the only instance in which I think that snakes are actually cute. Well, at least the snake in my head that has a face. A cute face that is inexplicably smiling.

Anyway, I digress, back to swords. We practiced some arms and other sword goodies, and then she asked me to put on my music and dance, which is the part I was dreading, ha! It is SO intimidating to dance solo in front of someone whose opinion you value so highly. But I need to be brave, so I did. It went fine, as the sword always does when I'm *practicing*. Performance is another story. But anyway, she gave me some excellent advice about interpreting the music in a way that is conducive to balancing. She helped me to see something that I hadn't realized, which is that when I improvise, I really tend to listen to and dance to the beat only, rather than the melody. I'm a percussion girl, unashamedly so, it's why I love drum solos so much. But this isn't a drum piece, it's very sweeping, slower in tempo than what I usually choose, with a classical Egyptian feel. My movements should mirror that "gushy" melody, rather than picking out staccato accents that my ear is hearing. It was very helpful, and I'm looking forward to practicing again with these new ideas in mind.

We spent a lot of time talking about where to place the sword for me to pick it up at the hafla and how I would pick it up.

"Make it a big deal! It should be somewhat dramatic!"

I'm not real good at inducing drama, but I'll do my best.

By the end of the hour, I was brushing off sweat. Very delicate and ladylike, no? It's hard work dancing by yourself, I tell you. I'll have some practice time tonight after I put Anne to bed but before Mike and Henry get back from scouts, and I'm excited. My sword and I have been bonding and I'm hoping that this loving feeling will carry over all the way to the hafla.

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