Morning all! I hope your Tuesday is dawning bright. It's a lovely day today, despite many of the local schools being closed, including Henry's. :0 It's a bit of a mystery as to why this is the case, given that the big lake effect storm system is passing through our area well south of where we live. But there you have it. Henry, for one, is thrilled. He and Anne are with my in-laws right now. So that's the daily weather update.
As for dance updates, things are a bit more up in the air than any of us could have anticipated. On Friday, we found out that Claire's mom wasn't doing very well. *sniffle* She's 90, and has been frail for some time, but things took a very sudden deteriorating turn. Our scheduled performance for Saturday at the fashion show was obviously off. Yesterday morning, I found out that her mom had passed away. :(
Rest in peace to a super sweet lady who *sewed our troupe coverups* just this past spring! At 90, she remained alert and able to take care of herself and others. She died at home, with her daughters caring for her. To me, that is the way to go, yes? This is so hard on Claire, who was extremely close to her mom. I'm feeling very upset for her.
I remember Claire telling us once that her mom would tease her that she thought she'd do something different with her life than be a belly dancer, like study law:
"And I told her, c'mon mom. MY STORIES ARE WAY BETTER!!"
The wake is tonight, and I'm planning to attend, Mass card in hand. Prayers for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth, a fantastic and much loved mother and grandmother.
So, dance-wise, I didn't know what would happen, if the hafla would be postponed or not. And, of course, it would have been completely understandable if it were. Yesterday evening Claire let us know that she wanted to go forward with the hafla. The Mass of Christian Burial is tomorrow morning, and after that she thought it would be nice to have dance as a distraction. Thus, plans are moving forward.
The troupe did gather last Friday evening to practice our choreographies, but without Claire, our fearless leader, something was definitely missing. :) We will have class this Friday to practice the group numbers one last time.
In the meantime, my sword and I have been spending a lot of time together. :) I have changed my music (you know, AGAIN) but I'm *really* happy with it. It's a slow piece that I discovered late last week on iTunes, but it has multiple segments to mix things up and clear musical cues for when I'll change do certain things. Intro, travel around the room. Do some interesting things with the sword like balance it on my hand and my arm, a spin sequence. Then I'll balance it on my head with about 1:30 left in the music. It's a great song, and if you aren't inspired by what you're dancing to, it really shows, in my opinion.
Practice has been going pretty well. I haven't danced with my sword regularly in some time, so my skills needed dusting off a bit:
"Maybe I could add some hand undulations here, that would be nice...OH! That's right. Never lift your arms to the side when you're dancing with a sword." :0
I'm going to be improvising, but there are certain things I still plan out, that has always worked well for me. Structured improvising, I suppose we could call it. Because we always need at least *some* structure. ;-)
In the past, I've always had the sword waiting for me out in the room somewhere, and I'd dance a bit and then go pick it up. This time I'm choosing to enter holding the sword, so it and I are bonding quite a bit as we prepare for our big 3 minutes and 40 seconds of glory.
But either way, it's a good blog story, right? If you see a post next Monday entitled:
I'M NEVER DANCING AGAIN, LET'S FORGET THIS EVER HAPPENED!!!
You'll know it didn't go well. ;-)