Yaa Halla Y’all 2008

You don’t have to read all of this. It’s going to get long and I apologize for that. It was a really long weekend.

Friday Lissa was kind enough to come over Thursday night and spend Friday with Ashton while I went to workshops and Aaron went to work. She kicks booty! So I went to the convention center and started my day with Artemis. Wow that girl is a nut. She covered Turkish dance styles, and gave a lot of comparisons to Egyptian style. There was a bit of a history lesson added in. I got some really good information and a few great combinations from her class. And she was full of bad innuendos. When she talked about hip positions, she referred to bringing the pelvis forward as midnight (clock analogy). The statement “We like to dance in midnight” was made a few times. She also commented about stealing dance moves from films in the Turkish porn shops. Word of advise… if you’re going to be taking a workshop on the Turkish dance styles, take it easy on the water. Gulping it down and then bouncing like crazy does bad things to the bladder. I’m just saying.

The afternoon was spent with Bozenka. This is what I will forever refer to as the Shimmy of Death class. It was great to get work on technique like that… but my legs were crying by the end. I went home after the second class and died, only to get ready to do it all again the next day.


We started the morning by dropping Ashton off at his grandmother’s house for the rest of the weekend. This was at stupid-o-clock in the morning, so that we could be at the convention center before 9:00

First thing in the morning I had Rachel Brice. I’m not a morning person, so I’m not sure this was the best idea, but there wasn’t much choice. Rachel is brilliant! Seriously, go look her up on youtube. You’ll be impressed. Go on, take a look. Did you see her? Told you so! Anywho… she focused on isolation work, which few people have her level of skill when it comes to isolation. I learned in that class that Rachel can be a bit… morbid. She talked about imagining a platter of your favorite things on your head. For her it would have been a human skull and some candles and stuff. Yeah… the goth looking tribal chick is morbid… who would have guessed? Later when she used the analgy again, she brought up the fact that you could own a human skull in Texas, but you can’t talk on the phone in your car. I guess people have to have their priorities. (Oh and a word of warning, she is completely and utterly addicted to coffee. She somehow ended up with two cups at the same time and was sucking them both down.)

Her workshop was wonderful. Painful, but wonderful. She gave some pointers about what separates American Tribal Fusion from Oriental influenced dance. When talking about the difference in the arms, she made Tribal sound scary, I think she used the term swamp monster, but I could be remembering wrong. The routine she taught just about killed me when she had us go at full speed with the music. Again, I got a few really good combinations from her.

Fatiem. Ok I’ll admit, I skipped her workshop. After Bozinka the day before, and Rachel Brice that morning, I could barely move. Sorry Fatiem. I’ll make it up to you next time you’re here, promise. Instead I went shopping. Found some amazing veils, and fell in love with a sheer black silk. About this time I realized that I had not packed clothes for the show that night (didn’t want to sit and see the show in my workout clothes) so when Aaron’s drum workshop ended we went to the house to chill out and get dressed.

The show that night was wonderful. There was a People’s Choice competition to start off with. Some of them were wonderful, the one I remember the best was Kede (which cracked me up completly! She deserved to get runner up.) but the girl who won was amazing. Just beautiful. Then the stars came out. Aziza was great, Rachel was beautiful, they were all wonderful, but there was one that stood out. Zoe Jakes was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I haven’t felt this way about a dancer since I saw Rachel Brice for the first time. And while they are comparable in skill, Zoe is far more dramatic. She would just stop moving so fast that the entire audience would gasp. Aaron said it was like watching stop motion. I’ve never seen anything like it. I couldn’t find any good videos of her, nothing that really shows how amazing she is in person. Just, wow.

Aaron was sweet enough to get me the veil I wanted before the show. By the end of the show it was missing from where I had set it (under my chair). I was so upset that I actually went home and cried. Ok, so I cried about a few things that have been bothering me for a while, but that triggered it.


Sunday never ended. We got there late because we couldn’t wake ourselves up. I didn’t dance in the first workshop hardly at all. I just sat at a back table, ate breakfast, and took notes. Angelika Nemeth was the teacher. She didn’t work on technique much, she just dove straight into a choreography. I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of it. The way it was arranged, it didn’t do anything for me. Having said that… I took more notes in her class than I took from anyones else. I could see the way she put things together, and in some cases was able to see how I could modify them, or alter them for my own use. I think that I may have taken more from her class than I did anyone else. And she’s really nice too! (I got to talk to her a bit backstage during the show that night).

Aziza kicked my ass. Seriously… I’ve taken from her before and I don’t think she’s ever killed me like that. It was a beautiful routine, but the foot work was hard for me to keep up with. I’m not exactly a new dancer, so I can’t imagine how the girls who’ve only been dancing for a little while felt. Some of the movement felt a bit unatural for me (she would leave movements incomplete so that the feet could go right into the next transition. It looked amazing though) and it was hard for my stubborn feet to understand. I still love her though, and will always take her classes when she’s in town. I got pulled aside by some of the people who had heard about me losing my veil the night before. I was informed that a black silk veil still in the package had been turned in to lost and found that morning. I was saved! After that all was right with the world.

That night was the shows. I did a cane routine with the class, which was such a disaster. The wrong cut of music got put on, and our canes were not even together. But the foot work and movements themselves were dead on, so that’s good. I knew that the canes were not going to be as good as we would have liked. Next I had my duet with my friend Michelle. We kicked ass! We turned the Karen Barbie choreography Lulu into a skirt routine. It looked great, and everyone said we looked like we were having a blast up there. YAY! After that it was the Performance Company in Babylon Attitude. Just before we went on stage my body started to cramp up (down stairs department) and I had to keep myself from running off stage when it was over. I wanted so badly to be out of that costume. I also wanted pain pills, which my lovely Nana Rose (Lynda) provided for me. Bless that woman!

After the whole mess was over we helped break everything down, pack it up, and went to dinner with Isis, Del, and all of the stars from the weekend. We didn’t get home until close to 3:00 am. It was hard, and miserable, and exhausting, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

Published in: on August 19, 2008 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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