There has, of course, been a lot that's happened since the last time I posted. We just got back the pictures from our student recital last May, so I'm gonna start with that, I think.
By the end of the year, I wound up in both my teacher's intermediate classes. I kind of...stealthed into the second one unexpectedly. At the beginning of the year, I signed up for the earlier class, partly because it promised me zills and veil (both of which I love), and partly because I didn't meet the pre-requisites for the later class. It wanted, I think, 3 years of study and 5 performances or something, and well, I still don't meet either requirement. It was the offered make-up option if we needed to miss one of our classes, though, and it was pretty comfortable to attend the once or twice I did need to make up a class, since I knew all the others from rehearsals for Cleopatra (more on that later). I also wound up attending once due to a ridiculously generous offer from my teacher, who suggested if I wanted feedback on the piece I was working on for the CCCAC show, she could stick around after the second class. I am not stupid enough to pass up an offer for something I know full well she should have charged me for, so of course I took her up on it. And after attending 3 or 4 classes, I started to become an accepted part of the class instead of just someone visiting, so by the last term I was attending both full-time. Because if you can, why wouldn't you?
So basically all this is set-up for me saying I wound up with a lot of choreographies to learn for the recital. The early class had two, the later class had three, and I was encouraged to present the solo I'd learned for CCCAC again. Six choreos, four costumes, and I had to have them all in the first act, because my daughter's ballet recital was scheduled for the same day, so I had to beat it out of there before the show was done. Later, one of my classmates said her friend had mentioned that I had a "good energy." I told her the word she was looking for was "manic," since I spent the whole time either onstage or changing, and occasionally I felt like I might be doing both.
All that being said, I enjoyed myself a lot, since I honestly do like performing. And I even wound up matching the right costumes to the right choreos.
Blah blah blah, pictures, because that's what we all really want, right?
I look extremely happy to be playing zills. To be fair, zills are my favourite prop (if one considers them a prop, which is always debatable). The zillwork for this choreo was actually really tricky, and this was with the later, more advanced class.
Entertaining side story: the paillette dress I'm wearing is borrowed from Leanne, who is behind me in black. Evidently, when I came out onstage, her husband initially mistook me for her and it took him a minute to realize that no, she was in the back row. We told him he should double-check to make sure he doesn't accidentally take home the wrong redhead.
We did a standard Oriental number with the early class, complete with veil entrance. The fact that this is a student recital is particularly obvious in this shot, since we're all doing different things, even though this is meant to be in unison. Mad skillz. We have them.
The early class also did a drum solo. I painted my nails green for the show, mostly because it amused me that despite the fact that all my costumes were borrowed from other people, they all wound up with green. (This one's borrowed from one of the ladies who was in the later class.)
When I agreed to do a solo for the CCCAC show, one of my biggest issues was coming up with a costume for it. Since before that, I hadn't done so much as a student recital, I had nothing in my own closet I could pull out, and I don't have the expendable cash to just go out and buy something. I mentioned it to a close friend of mine who lives in Oklahoma, who immediately offered to send me something from her closet. Knowing how much those costumes cost, I initially refused. We don't even live in the same country! She was persuasive, though, and suggested I hold onto it until I came to visit her in person in August (more on that later). "After all," she said, "everyone should make their bellydance debut dripping in rhinestones!"
I love this photo. I really don't have anything much to say about it. Just... shiny!
The later class also did a melaya leff number, which for the uninitiated, is a character piece wherein a village girl is shopping at the market. In ours, the bit was that we all got onstage from different places... and then realized we were all in the same dress, which turned into a bit of a dance-off.
Which explains the expression on my face in this picture.
Yup, that's the look.
So we all survived without any major mishaps, and I discovered that I don't have to push quite so hard for a student recital. I mean, it's good to push yourself, but for a student level show, the audience doesn't expect every number to be perfectly polished, which is probably best for those of us working on six of them.
Next time I'll talk more about Cleopatra and my trip south, both of which were awesome.