I woke up Saturday feeling sick to my stomach, and isn't that ironic? I dance because I love it so much, but then I go to actually do it in front of people, and given my reaction, one would wonder why I torture myself so. It's the performance angle, and solo performing, to be specific. I volunteer for this, and yet the moment arrives, and the following things suddenly seem preferable to what I'm about to do:
(a) Get a root canal.
(b) Scrub a bathroom that a small boy has been using exclusively for a month.
(c) Birth a baby.
Fun times, right?! So you could say that I was NERVOUS. It was also HOT. And HUMID. And, OK. My HAIR. I have mostly Italian and Native American blood, one would think that my hair would be straight. Well, my friends, it is decidedly NOT. Nor is it curly. It's just this unfortunate in-between situation that expands exponentially in humid conditions. And so Saturday, I did battle between it and my flat iron, and let's just say that the flat iron isn't as powerful as I'd like it to be. There was some definite wave going on, but I decided to stop fighting it and just live with it. This is the pre-performance picture:
|Happily about to practice a few hours before performing...
Oh that's right. I deleted that picture, that's how bad it was. It is my blog after all, I have creative control over all horrifyingly embarrassing pictures, and this one was excised without a moment's hesitation. Everybody go ahead and breathe a deep sigh of relief, just trust me on this one.
At any rate, I was concerned about the humidity factor (we'll come back to this), but pressed on. Sword and I rehearsed a bit, and during this time, he took me aside for a talk:
"Tiffany, I just don't think this shoulder balancing is going as well as it should right before a performance."
He's very articulate, Sword is. ;-)
"Oh, don't worry, I think it's fine! You stay on a good 80% of the time! I mean, the odds are in our favor!"
"Tiffany." *sigh and prayer for patience* "How well has that worked out in the past in the actual moment of performance? Remember that incident at the restaurant show?"
Ouch. He just HAD to bring that one up, didn't he? And he didn't let up:
"Don't get upset, I just think we need to play to our mutual strengths. The newly reworked anticipatory/pre-balance segment is going very well, and the head balancing is kick ass. Let's not push it for now, all right? Otherwise, I might decide to get temperamental at an extremely inopportune time."
That was a threat, wasn't it?! I flared my nostrils at him, but there was no swaying Sword from this stance. He can be vindictive when he doesn't get his way. I quickly reorganized how I was going to approach my music, eliminating the shoulder balance and one of the spins in favor of a kicky hip drop segment with varying arms designed to *not* accidentally bop the sword when it's on my head.
And although Sword could have been nicer about the whole thing ;-) I am SO GLAD that I rearranged things like that. Want to know why?
One word, my friends: WIND. We arrived at our venue with a brisk breeze coming off the water. I didn't panic about the sword, because without the shoulder balancing (much more precarious), there are no worries on the head balancing. My sword is *heavy* and on my head it really doesn't move much except to swivel a tad when I change directions. The shoulder is much more susceptible to movement, and even without wind, it was swiveling a lot to be in my face when I was dancing. All right, I'll admit it, SWORD WAS RIGHT! I hope he's happy.
Canes though? That's another story right there. :0 We have a group piece that we begin by balancing our canes on our heads, and those suckers are LIGHT. Wind, very much a factor for the canes. There was talk of a possible duct tape solution, but in the end, we are balancing purists: Go big or go home!
We had attracted a bit of attention in our pre-performance cane finagling corner, eye searing costumes peeking from underneath our coverups:
"Are you going to be performing? When?"
So we had a nice crowd by time we were slated to dance:
And the cane? Well. :) I put it on my head, it immediately swiveled more than 90 degrees, and when I started moving it became clear that the chances of it staying on there were hovering right around 0%. I had to do some creative arm work to salvage the situation (translation: grab it to prevent it from flying off my head and hitting the boardwalk with a THUNK!) but I didn't sweat it. It happens. Speaking of sweat...
The conditions were as follows: We had heat and humidity. We had wind. We had lots and lots of perspiration. Let's just say that my hair was AN ENTITY. I have kind of a lot of hair, which you may have noticed. Saturday afternoon all of that hair had been blown around and sweated into. (Sorry, TMI, I know, why are you reading this again?!) So we had a bit of an advanced matting and frizzing situation happening. Add sunscreen from the nape of my neck into this disaster, and we have an alarming coagulation factor. All I could do was pat it down and hope for the best. But when you see my hair tucked behind both of my ears (as you will below), you know things aren't good in Hair Land.
Bad hair notwithstanding, Sword behaved himself within our set parameters:
|Sword and I looking super serious...
But I persevered. More group numbers and then we were done. It went well! But in all of my dancing years, I have NEVER been happier to leave a performance to go home and shower. Good gracious.
And next weekend we do it all again. Sword and I have agreed to keep things as is, so the solo is set. I hope. I just hate it when he gets in a bad mood. ;-) I'll report in again, for sure! And all offers of prayers for less humidity this coming weekend will be gratefully received. Hair and her friend Sword both thank you.
How was your weekend, dear reader? :)