Tonight was a big night for me.
Tonight was a happy night.
Tonight was a sad night.

Tonight was bittersweet.

I met up with my dance instructor, a lovely Tasha, before our performance. We got ready – makeup, costume prep, did a llittle mini-rehersal. There was concern about the performance of one of my troupe mates.

Now, this gal is pretty darn cool. She’s sweet and smart.
But, despite her years of dance experience, she’s  still a bit slow on correcting mistakes. Her background is in a variation of Tribal Style. It’s just close, but not quite close enough. There are movements that are very similar. But, there are movements that don’t translate well from one to the other.

I will tell you, I believe that Tasha is an amazing teacher. She gives great criticism, and I take that to heart.
She’s been dancing this a lot longer than I have and knows it pretty darn close to inside and out. It may take me a bit to correct, but I damn-well try. There are muscle memories I have built up from cabaret that don’t translate well into ATS.

My troupemate, however, hasn’t quite caught on.
And doesn’t seem to be the type that takes criticism well.
She’s rigid and pulls out moves that don’t aren’t legit ATS. Her cues are…um… lacking.
She’s a super-tall gal, and I am, well, not so much. there’s more than a foot difference. When she’s in lead, I have a difficult time watching her, as I have to look up. When she cues, I can’t always tell. She’s subtle.

Cueing is a nuance.
I am not always the best, and it’s something about which I am very conscious.
She is not.
At least, that’s how it feels.

I kind of feel like the teacher’s pet. I’m actually really happy about it… but also worried.
That’s a lot to live up to… being good and open and whatnot.

We decided – ok, Tasha decided, and rightfully so – that instead of troupemate taking 1/2 the song, as originally planned, Tasha would “lead hog” and take half, while the rest was left to the two students. It ended up being Tasha, troupemate, me, then back to Tasha. I feel good about it, despite my eff-up ( I miscounted the beats and almost started the refraine early). I can’t wait to see the video.
The song we used tonight was ‘Azara l’Akhdar off the Tribal Spirit album.

I left ‘The Gathering’ early to go to a memorial.
This wasn’t a fancy thing, either.
No. We had karaoke at a bar in N. St. Paul.

My cousin Chris died two years ago in a car accident.
My older brother and I were close with him. Whenever he came to town, the three of us would hit up the nearest karaoke spot and hang out, sing, drink, whatever.
We’ve decided to make it an annual thing to honor our cousin.
And drink.
We like a good excuse to drink.

I sang.
A lot.
And drank.
A bit.

I would actually go into it more, but even after two years, it’s still tough.
I miss him, terribly.

It was a good night.
But it was bittersweet.

Gathering of the Gypsies 1.19.2013