Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Stats, Starts, and Super Upsetting

I have to say that one of my favorite parts of blogging is seeing where people are visiting from. One thing I find really funny this week is that in the week I was blogging about the intensives I had over 800 hits to this blog.

Today's hit count: 4

That really made me laugh a lot!

In April I am starting weekly Saturday all day classes. I am starting out with back to back hours of level one, mixed levels drills, level two, level three and floorwork. Additionally, I plan to host open hafla nights twice monthly on Saturday nights. I am encouraging people to bring as their admission, an item for the food pantry as well as a $2 donation that will also go to the food pantry in the name of the Twin Cities Belly Dance Community.

I will have info likely tonight on my website and on the KCDC Facebook page.

In other news, Sister Studio status is on hold as we received news that on Sunday night, Mama C had her laptop stolen. I hope it is found and/or insurance is able to replace it for her or mend any repairs that may be needed. As soon as she gets it back though.....I sent my email for status first thing Saturday night when I got back to the hotel room. I don't waste time.

Back at it....oh how I long for the day when dance is my day job!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Teacher Trained!

That's all I have the emotional capacity to post for today's update. I am blessed.

Thank you Carolena for this dance gift and thank you Megha for being a mentor! Congrats to my sisters who became FCBD(R) certified today with me! You are all fabulous! And now it really begins...

Friday, March 16, 2012

On Teacher Training Day One

This day was great! I am going to say though, that this is the most taxing day, but not physically. There was a lot of quick thinking and making sure to use your knowledge and execution abilities to teach a mini class based on a movement. It was the single most nerve-wracking experience of my life when I taught in front of Carolena. I am pleased to report that the only thing she said I would need to do is project my voice a little more! I am going to make note here that I am working hard to fight off a touch of a cold that is coming over me, so I'm going to go ahead and chalk the lack of projection up to that.

I am preparing for tomorrow where, at random draw, we will all have to teach two movements to the class. I have Ghawazee Shimmy Combo and Layback. I ain't skeer'd.

On the personal side I am really loving the women I am getting to know and look forward to collaborating with them. One who I really am drawn to is Teresa Tomb, though she isn't taking Teacher Training. We got to dance with one another quite a bit during GS and I really enjoyed it. I loved making eye contact with her when dancing and got really excited each time we danced together. There are others as well who I plan to give highlight about, but I am mentioning Teresa because I sooooo wish she was at Teacher Training with us!

Also on the personal side, I am homesick. I don't know how Mama C and Megha do it. I miss my babies and my Fella and my home and my car and my kitchen and my bed and my cat and my everything so much. I could dance all day everyday with Carolena and Megha and these women if only I could go home every night. I am glad I get to go home on Sunday. I love my life so much.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

On General Skills Certification!!

Tonight my Quads are telling my hammies to shush. But they are all happy because we all worked hard this week to get this paper with that key to the kingdom scrawled across it.

A word to the wise. If you are any further along than 15 weeks pregnant, don't start GS or TT. I have been dancing for as long as I have and this has been a really tough week physically. I still have two days left for Teacher Training and I am super stoked but my body definitely feels it and is anxious to be done and home in my own bed.

Carolena and Megha are so unbelievably amazing and I can't say it enough. 

I am truly overcome today...I am nearing the pinnacle so far of my dance life and I am very excited about it. 

Thank you to each of you who have been reading along this week. I know I haven't provided a TON of detail, but I hope that you have gotten at least a bit of insight, some laughter and the understanding of the emotional aspect of this process for me....perhaps that last bit is yet to come.

Good night y'all....and once again, if you are reading and haven't subscribed you ought's only going to get better from here...


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On GS Day Three

Today was another pretty intense day, though it was nice to have sit down time for Music Theory. It was great to connect the reasons WHY we dance to the music we do as opposed to dancing to Classical Egyptian music. You don't use thick Icelandic wool for lace making.

What I am really enjoying the most out of this is getting to know a little about Carolena and Megha and their non-dance lives. Discussions on food politics and beautiful Hawaiian men doing procreation chant dances.... oh yes. That's what is the good stuff.....

I am just going to let you sit with that for a moment...let me know when you can breathe again...

Ready? No? Not yet? Ok...I'll give you some more time...maybe you would like to watch that again, have a little private moment....It's ok. I'll be here when you get back....

So the rest of the day, when we weren't wiping drool from our chins, we did LOTS of drilling. I love asking certain questions because there are things I see troupes doing that are completely incorrect. Sometimes they are even Sister Studios, which is really kind of frustrating sicne the point of being a Sister Studio is the consistent teaching across the board.

Tomorrow is our last day and going to be filled with floor work and spins. I am really excited about this. I love to spin and floor work is excellent. THen we gradjitate and it's on to Teacher Training! YIP!

Good night! (It's OK if you want to watch that video again....I'm not about to judge....)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On GS Day Two

Today was a tough day just as I expected. What I didn't expect, however, was that I would have issues with my R.A. Just after lunch all of my joints decided that they wanted to be on fire. Not a lot of fun when there is an entire afternoon of content to cover.

We covered so much today that my brain is all, oaidhouabvibuavadgsagr. You read that right. Carolena and Megha are so incredibly encouraging though! I love this in that they are showing us the little things that tweak the skill one should already have when they start General Skills. Megha pointed out to me later after the day when I went to chat with her and Carolena that the couple of things she re-positioned for me were because she saw that I can do this dance well but she wants me to do it to my best. I really like that approach with her. I also really like that they correct what you may be doing incorrectly, not just walking around praising everyone for everything. Something is said when correction is needed.

By lunch I was starving and grateful for the time to sit and knit and eat. I am working on my Fella's Yuletide sweater (he was given a swatch at Yule because I am a procrastinating knitter...but now I can at least try it on him as I go...) and I had mentioned to Carolena that I was concerned about the neckline not being big enough but as I am knitting it, the pattern is working and I am becoming happy.... so I showed her that the neck works and then she asked about my cast on! I got to show Carolena how to do a German Twisted Cast-on!

I danced with some pretty wonderful dancers today. I think everyone was really pretty much pooped by the end of the day and really looking forward to resting.

After class was over, I walked over to ask Carolena a personal question regarding pain management during dance. I had a terrible episode with my R.A. today that had me fuzzy in the brain and nearing tears for just about all of the second half of the day. She and Megha shared some great insights and prescribed rest. "get horizontal" was what Megha specifically said in addition to getting clean food into my body. To be able to open up to them like that about my pain (I cried a little) and have them respond so compassionately was really wonderful. They both have been there done that. Carolena reminded me not to let my brain go to the place that says that R.A. is going to take my dance away from me.

Have I mentioned yet that I love this dance and will be doing it for the rest of my life? What is for you will not pass you by.....

Edit to add: I have noticed a lot of readers recently! Welcome.... you should subscribe!Also, welcome to those who have subscribed recently! I am glad you are here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

On General Skills Day One

Upon arriving to General Skills this morning we were each given the standard issue ATS(r) box and counter top set. Now I already had one (I never take it off,) so I am just going to pass mine along to a student...

We were also given a bad ass name tag

Can you guess who's employee ID is going on this bad boy?

So today was a pretty easy day, I am calling it Pura light. There was a little more Q&A today though than there was at Pura. Technical stuff, really. It was helpful info. I took a lot of notes and I thought it odd because this was a day of the foundation moves...but we are always learning about this dance aren't we!? Really what I ended up writing down were things regarding muscles. I, much like my Guru, am an anatomy (and biology) nerd, so I was really fascinated with her explanations of the muscle mechanics. To get to watch Carolena explain taxeem whilst staring at her midriff is like no other anatomy lesson.

After lunch Carolena led us in a little dancey dance time while we waited for some late returns. At one point I caught a glimpse of her in the mirror (the host has those little behind the door mirrors set up along some tables for us...) and in the mirror behind her and right next to her was me. I smiled so huge and my heart smiled too. I know this is where I am meant to be and will be doing this for the rest of my life. It was a pretty big personal moment for me.

After some dancing and drilling in formations we had a little sit down and went around the room telling everyone what our ATS lineage is. It was really great to hear about everyone's history and how each of us in connected and ultimately connected to Carolena...She has created an amazing art and I am so blessed to be studying under her and learning directly from her. This certainly will not be the last time, either.

I am expecting that since today was Pura light, tomorrow will be a pretty tough day. Carolena discussed what we are going over tomorrow and it's pretty heavy, but I am super excited because that means more variety in our drilling!

Time to take my box and countertop off for the night and hit the is essential. 

 Sweet Shimmy Dreams....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On Pura Day Two

Day two is over! Pura has ended and it was a good primer as to how I am going to need to spend my energy in the next week.

I enjoyed the day and have mental notes that I need to transcribe regarding the Temple Stretch.

I honestly don't have a lot to say about today! I have had the Crafting An ATS Set before and I love that workshop. It's really helpful and the input that Carolena and Megha give is wonderful. I was even paid a compliment by Megha about my presence upon entering the stage. That felt pretty great.

All in all it's been a tiring weekend and we are just taking it easy for the evening. I am going to bed by 9:30.

Pot lucking....we invited Carolena and Megha to our feast this can hope, right?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

On Pura Day One


I am doing this for the rest of my live long days.

So today was Pura day one followed by the hafla. The day was awesome and I am exhausted. Carolena and Megha drill HARD. I am really impressed, despite having had workshops with them before, at the intesity of the drilling and the focus on perfect technique. I loved watching Megha roam around correcting elbows and telling people to smile.

As a team, Carolen and Megha are outstanding. They are funny and feed off of each other and are just brilliant!

Best part of the day:
So the second of the days workshops was on formations and lead changes with circling and fading. After demonstrating duets, Megha asked for a volunteer. I hear from my left Jeanne (one of the ladies I am rooming at the hotel with) shout out , "Tasha-Rose will volunteer!" I gulp hard because my throat is full of my heart.

They pull me up to the front with them to demo a trio and I proceed to dance and demo with Carolena and Megha for about the next HOUR. I'm totally dying I am so excited. It was so helpful actually dancing with them and I learned quite a bit in terms of reading the eye contact of OTHER dancers... Dancing with them was amazing and it flowed in the most logical ways. I loved it. I was in total heaven.

After we had gone over all of the formations, we worked on group dancing. Naturally, since we were performing together tonight, the four of us in our hotel room decided to dance together and the whole group was split into seven dance pods. We were number seven.

Now. I don't get nervous performing. This wasn't a performance. But as it got closer to our turn to perform I felt this odd sensation like, "omg you are going to dance, are you sure you know how to do this?" Of course I did. But I was dancing in front of Mama C and Megha! Holy shit! Seriously. I've been doing this for HOW LONG???????? Weak knees? what is that? Dry mouth? What? But we pulled it out and did a good job.

After class we can back to the hotel and got ready for the Hafla. I will post an entire photo montage post after the whole week, but I was hot. I'll admit it. I'm sexy and I know it ;-)

Our performances (two of them) were decent and great. It was nice to dance with people I have never danced with before. It is very interesting to note the different styles that other dancers have based on what their teachers have taught them. Of course the only instructors in ATS I have had have been Masters. So it was truly a unique experience.

My feet hurt and I am bone tired so it's time for this dancer to hit the sheets. It all starts again tomorrow with make up and Temple Dance and Crafting a Set (LOVE this workshop. It was great at TU in Milwaukee so I am excited for it again.) Then begins the General Skills week.

Shopping is done. I have my Aishwarya and a few other goodies so I am happy. Now I can focus just on the dance and not on the trinkets and bobbles and blingy yummy goodness.

Nighty night dancin fools!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On SEVEN DAYS!!! (and a costumer review...)

OMGS SEVEN DAYS! (and I realize now that I forgot a countdown yesterday…forgive me?)

This weekend we are taking the kiddos to the Science Museum of Minnesota to see the Pirates exhibit. We will all be scattered hither and yon for ten days so we want to do something super fun so kids have something great to talk about for a few days and not miss me and Fella so much.

Then Monday comes. Monday is always busy at work. Then Tuesday. Tuesday I will be dancing in Menominee, Wisconsin. Then Wednesday is the last class of the current session of Dance Fundamentals. Then Thursday I will suffer through work. ALL.DAY.LONG. just chomping at the bit to get home and finishing packing. Then Friday comes. OMGS then it’s FRIDAY! YAY!

Tonight the plan is to sort through my clothing to decide what I want to pack to bring along for street clothes, and review what I have already packed for costuming. I am pretty sure I can pare down a little given that I plan to buy and Aishwarya skirt from Magical Fashions that I will likely perform in on Saturday night.

I have long wanted this skirt and super love Magical Fashions. They have absolutely THE BEST costuming pieces as far as skirts go, (with the exception of cholis. I don’t buy cholis from anyone except Flying Skirts. I have a few from an etsy seller, but to know knowledge she doesn’t make them anymore…and I always need a bra with those, but I never do with a  F.S. choli.) All of my favorite skirts are from Magical Fashions. I have some very lovely photos on my facebook page that were taken by a photography student for a juxtaposition project (me dancing on the stairs of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church…HA!) and in them I am wearing TWO Magical Fashions skirts. They are awesome people too! They KNOW the people they sell to. They really make a point to remember who you are and queries you have about pieces and they always do their best to get to you want you craaaaave for your costuming collection. Bonus points: they are super nice people. Their prices are reasonable and the quality is superb. I really recommend them for costuming.

When I have my new Aishwarya I will be sure to get pics to share and squeee to you about how much I love my new skirt.

For now, the countdown continues.

(omgs. seven. days.)