We had a total blast at the belly dance festival this weekend.
What a mix of amateurs, professionals, young, old, fat, slim, tall, short, black, white and everything in between! One troupe in particular was the most diverse group of women ever put together on one stage. It was really fantastic.
I traveled with one of my troupe mates and we shared a motel room on Saturday night. A few days before leaving she confessed to me that she was bi-polar, but not to worry, she was on medication. I knew she seemed highly emotional at times, so this explained why. It did make me a bit nervous to be committing myself to a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, 2 full days of festival watching, and a night in a motel together, but other than a brief meltdown before our performance, she was fine and we had a good time together.
At one point I was shopping and trying on different items and getting her opinion, and when I was going to put something back because it wasn't quite within my budget, she threw down a $20 and said, "Here, get it! This is the upside of bi-polar, you may as well take advantage of it!" I had to laugh. It was very sweet of her though.
Our troupe is really a mix of women in itself. Two are school teachers, the other a medical transcriptionist, the teachers are both 50, the other, 55. They tease me about being "the baby" of the group.
Of course we have our bi-polar one, and then another that I describe as "spit on a skillet" because she's everywhere at once and always working on getting us into the next festival, always wanting to work on something new, always full of energy, and often indecisive. She along with the bi-polar one are known for pre-performance panicking.
Then there's the other teacher and I who are pretty much cut from the same cloth. We're quiet and reserved, mellow and even-tempered. I think the four of us are a pretty good mix actually. We kind of even each other out.
I like this group of women even though I've been dancing with a different group for the last 5 years. My other group is not motivated to travel to festivals, or work on new choreographies, or even take the occasional workshop or class. I feel they are in a bit of a rut. My new group and my old group get together on our weekly dance night, so maybe we can start motivating them to start branching out instead of rehashing all our old stand-bys. We'll see.
I no longer get super nervous before a performance. I just try to keep it all in perspective and enjoy myself. Of course taking off my glasses so that I can't actually see the audience also helps! About a third of the way through the choreography that we had worked so very hard on during the last month, it hit me--here we were actually performing our dance, and we had reached our goal! That was a really cool feeling!
At any rate, I had a wonderful time, acquired a couple more costume pieces and some new music, and came back inspired and with renewed excitement to dance.