The ‘butterflies’ started to flutter in my stomach on the bus ride home yesterday afternoon. ‘I am going to be dancing for the first time in front of a large group of people and I don’t have the choreography down cold! Crap!’ I kept thinking to myself. Once I got home, I threw a frozen pizza in the oven, put on a bunch of jewelry and studied the dance notes. After shoveling down the pizza, hubby and I raced over to the University, he talked about how nervous he was for his upcoming exam, while I, still reading the choreography sheets, blurted out stuff like “Saidi step back. Push right, left, right-What the hell does that mean? My instructor should draw stick figures on these sheets!”
When we finally arrived at the John Turcott Building, I got my ticket stamped and rushed backstage. The backstage area was about a million degrees and packed with gorgeous women of all ages, shapes and sizes in a diversity of bellydance costumes. Some were practicing their routines in the hallway, while others were talking and eating the spread of snacks laid out on a table. I picked the least crowded room, ripped off my clothes, put on a nice purple skirt and velvet shirt, as well as fingerless gloves and my purple coin belt. My group was huddled together in the next room and after about ten minutes we were ushered into a narrow corridor next to the stage. “If you’re not being blinded by the lights, it means, you won’t be in the video!”, a woman with a crewcut and event shirt bellowed at us, as we passed by.
It felt like were were lining up to be executed-I was terrified! I kept nervously pulling on the ties of my skirt and coin belt, praying to the gods of bellydance that I don’t have a ‘wardrobe malfunction on stage’. I started chatting with a young, blond, curly haired woman next to me and we both shared feelings of terror. She revealed to me that she used to be an opera singer.
“Oh? Why did you stop?” I inquired
“Stage fright”, she replied, nervously chewing her bottom lip.
We watched the performers on stage, who looked pretty uncomfortable: “They look as nervous as I feel” I remarked.
After cracking more bad jokes (Its what I do!;)), it was our turn. I followed the blond girl and found a nice spot near the back to dance. The lights were in my eyes (bingo!), but I could still see some of the audience and my fellow dancers. We ran through our routine and I made some mistakes, but then suddenly it was all over! That was fast!
Like cattle, we followed one another off stage, to the change rooms downstairs. After putting on my winter clothes and watching some more performances on the sidelines, I joined my parents and hubby. “Did I look o.k.”? I prodded my mother.
“You looked great. Well at first, we couldn’t see you because you were hiding in the back, but once we spotted you, we thought you danced really well!” She said. (LOL!)
So that was it. The evening featured mainly beginner and intermediate level students and everyone danced really well. Later that evening, in bed, I repeatedly rehashed the evening in my brain and eagerly anticipated the next time I would be able to dance again on stage.