Ruby getting a feel for her surroundings.
(This post is long overdue from August.)
I think I spent Ruby Beh workshop weekend with a tight lipped smile on. Take two new costumes, new fire prop, new venue, and opening your home to a person you have never met. Add the fact you will be pushing your brain and body to learn and process new concepts into your dance and you get an uncomfortable looking tight lipped smile.
I spent five days teetering on the edge of trying to be flexible and accomidating without letting the stress of all of the "newness" overtake me. I think it just resulted in super Cra-Cra Face instead of the actual enjoyment I was feeling. One of the first conversations I had with Ruby in the car on the way to the meet and great was I told her I sometimes have trouble articulating (using my big-girl words,) and that I tend to over explain things. Her answer was to just be who you are.
Disclaimer given. Acknowledgement received.
Ruby, Naia, and I spent Friday afternoon touring the Pythian Castle and Bass Pro followed by non-stop workshops from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon. I had all of my costuming stuff prepared well in advance since Ruby was staying in the Guest/sewing/dance room. I was able to get ready for 3 dance sets in minimal time before the workshop show began. I had my usually moment of butterflies while putting on my make-up and then my "I'm a professional" business hat went on and Ruby and I headed out the door for the show.
Ruby seducing the locals.
Nice cheekbones. Photo: S Bowers
Did I mention Saturday was also Greek Night? Not only was it Greek Night but the first Greek Night at Galloway Station's new venue and I had yet to even stepped foot into the building. Because of this I got to open the workshop show with a Shamadan procession provided by the lovely Malaika Dancers so I could leave early.
The end result of my Shamadan Respec was successful. No wax in the hair. No costumes on fire. I even rocked finger cymbals with some Zeffa rhythm. On one hand I think my Shamadan still needs more bling. On the other hand I am content that I can keep it on my head without burning down the Northview Senior Center. The paper would read, "So called 'Bellydancer' stupidly balances lit candelabra on head. Seniors outraged."
I wanted to see both of Ruby's sets so I ended up staying the entire show instead of leaving for Galloway when I should. As soon as Ruby's music ended in applause I headed straight out the door but I ended up getting stuck in road construction on my way to Galloway and was over 20 minutes late to our first set (I've never been late in all of these years.) When I finally made it, Sa'dia met me at the door to show me how to get to the office. We ran up 2 flights of stairs. I dropped my bag, dropped my cover-up, grabbed my zills, and immediately ran back down the stairs to the sound of our opening song.
The first set went by in a blur of adrenalin from being so late and having to learn my new dance environment literally on the spot. My dancing felt a bit frantic but I think I covered it well. I did have some family support from my mom, sister, sister-in-law, grandmother, and another family friend. Friendly faces in the crowd always help.
Sa'dia and I hung out in the office between sets standing in front of the electric fan. During this time people from the workshop where arriving to catch the late show. I had hit the giddy slap-happy point of the evening. I felt like a total spaz by the time Sa'dia and I went down for our second set. New costume number 2 cooperated during the set although the skirt needs some serious attention. I don't have any pictures of it yet.
After a mostly successful second set, (forgot the same section of the same drum solo again,) I changed into street clothes and headed out to the patio to hang with my friends. That is the point I completely deflated. I was s o t i r e d I could barely articulate. I did manage to procure a glass of bourbon that we lit on fire in lieu of a birthday candle and sang happy birthday for R.W. Lucky for me Ruby was tired too and we left before close time.
Sa'dia rocking it in pink.
From the tip bag. Napkins, rose petals, and money. (Nowadays, many Greeks throw flowers, napkins, money, and the like instead of breaking plates.) I've been told that the shower of rose petals and napkins looks really awesome while we dance. It's usually always a surprise when the crowd cheers as a cloud of color floats from somewhere above you.
The napkins that didn't make it into the tip bag. You know, cause it's totally sexy and non-distracting to see while dancing.
OPA! Photo: C Mallahan
Photo: C Mallahan
Sunday was a quiet day for me. Naia took Ruby to the studio to teach 7 hours of privates. I spent the whole day in boxer shorts and playing XBOX with the Husband Person. I even caught up on some National Geographics, anything that was non-bellydance related. My mental health meter slowly began to refill. Cra-Cra Face dissipating.
On Monday I drove Ruby to the Branson airport. We probably had our best conversation during the ride because the stress of the weekend was over and Ruby was no longer a brand new acquaintance. I also think Ruby had taken off her business hat since the professional part of the weekend was over. I wish the whole weekend would have been as relaxed and jovial as that car ride. I saw Ruby on her way with a hug and wave.
By week's end it finally dawned on me that I was completely stressed out from the excitement of having Ruby, a dancer I very much admire, in my home and trying my best to be professional without completely geeking out all over the place. Instead of letting myself geek out I just felt uncomfortable and stressed. And it probably showed. Ruby did say to be who you are. I tried way too hard to wear my Professional Hat instead of my Me Hat. Lesson learned. It also dawned on me the following week as people were posting their Ruby pics to Facebook that I never got a picture taken with her. This is how my photo with Ruby would have looked.