Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Of airborne canes & hairstyles the consistency of a rat's nest, summer festival dancing commences!

Haaaaaapppyyy Tuesday everybody, and happy dance post day! These are always some of my favorites to write, because they involve poking fun at myself, and I like doing that. Settle in with your tea!

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...
And here is the post-performance picture:


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...
It went pretty good. I will say that this was the first time ever that while I was dancing, my eyes started to water, making it appear that I may be crying. Once again, THE WIND. My eyes are very sensitive to wind. And did I mention my nose? Yeah, that started running too. Lovely. And you can't exactly, you know, *wipe anything* when you're dancing around with a sword on your head.


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? :)


  1. Can I just say--I looove your dance costume. The color, the style, so pretty.

    My weekend was a little crazy! Saturday was working at the library and then late arrival at my boyfriend's niece's 1st b-day party (secretly relieved, fewer people & fewer names to remember). Sunday I was in Atlantic City for a concert. I was out in the heat/humidity/salt air for hours and had "hat hair" so I am totally with you on the hair concerns. A late night but it was super fun.

    1. Kate! Thank you so much. We absolutely adore these costumes, SO comfortable and pleasant to dance in. I totally understand about the party, it's an introvert thing. ;-) Hat hair, I feel your pain...

  2. You know, there are many dancers who purchase and maintain hair pieces to have such full luxurious hair;)

    Seriously though, you looked great and it looked like fun. My poor sword is safely packed away in its cardboard and styrofoam home as my son (and my daughter, who am I kidding) would not be able to leave it alone if they knew such a thing existed in our home. And sparkly hip scarves - le sigh.

    My weekend was spent chasing small children around and making futile attempts at cleaning the house. My children are toy tossing ninjas, leaving a trail of duplos, hexi snaps and plastic play food in their wake when I try to put things away. And then the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins when they must pick their *own* things up. I can only imagine what the neighbors think on the days when the windows are open. It's a good thing they are cute.

  3. Hi Amy! Thank you, lol! I have always loved long hair, and so I have willingly had these hair battles for many years. ;-)

    I'm totally with you on the toy clutter and the constant stepping on, and picking up, of *stuff*. And the children look scandalized if you ask them to pick it all up themselves. We don't have central a/c, and so in the summer our windows are always open too. Oh, the things our neighbors hear. :0

    Have we talked in the past about online/streaming dance instruction? I think we may have touched upon it, but not sure how in depth we went. I know it's not the same as live instruction, but you can find some pretty interesting dancers to study with that way that wouldn't have otherwise been possible. Should we look into this more? :)

  4. Yes, there are a number of instructors doing online classes, which is really cool. Funds are tight right now, but let's just say I have my fair share of instructional videos left over from my former, more abundant, single days:) I had one out the other night, sat down to find my spot and drink some water, and promptly fell asleep in a chair. Darn.

    Space is at a premium in our house, which makes practice difficult. My husband and I each owned our own homes when we were married. I used to joke when I was single that if I ever was married, the only wedding shower gift I would need would be a dumpster. Actually, what I needed was a tornado - maybe two. Never in my life did I think it would take this long to downsize. I am hoping to redistribute some excess furniture in the near future, which I hope will free up some space in the basement. I can dream, anyway:O

  5. Amy, yes I have the same thing going on with regard to space. And for me, privacy with the TV. Somebody else is always wanting to claim TV time, and I don't really want to do an instructional dance DVD with the kids right there waiting for me to be done. :0 Oohh, a basement option would be ideal. Get that dumpster, girl! ;-)


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