Weekend of Caravan of Dancers IV!

Lazy, laazzyy, lazy Monday! Mondays are my Sundays. They’re my first day of the week off. For the first time in a while I slept in until 1pm! Wow! Rarely does that happen, but I had to listen to my body because the poor thing had a fun yet packed weekend, dancing, teaching, feeling the super moon vibes... It took some effort to even turn on my computer or look at my phone today. But I had to somehow manage and write my blog about the weekend today. I had to! Hehe!

It started on Friday, the first day of the Caravan of Dancer’s IV event, with all day workshops and later a gig at the Coral Gables Museum. I had been very excited for Caravan for a number of reasons. One, it’s always a huge honor and pleasure to dance to live music, to have that on stage and in our workshops! It fulfills the fantastic energy of our dance, it completes it. And having a master like Mario Kirlis come is something I’ll never miss. Friday’s workshops were with Omaris, a beautiful performer and excellent teacher, Zizi Zabaneh, director of the event and a unique flamenco-belly dance gypsy, and el Maestro (Mario Kirlis). All workshops were with live music (how fun!). The drum solo workshop with Omaris was a blast. It was intense, energetic and strong. They did something special and fun this time, which was that one person would be chosen to perform that choreography on stage at Saturday night’s show, and I got picked! I was and am honored to have performed Omari’s choreography to Mario Kirlis’s music, played by Nicolas Kirlis, his son, also an exceptional musician. I practiced and practiced the next day after teaching my morning classes – thankfully I had time! From a teacher’s point of view, I thought – if I were her, I’d DIE if my student performed my choreography on stage! The cry-baby in me would be balling! I wanted to make her proud, I felt like a young student again, hahah! 

The next workshops were super fun too. Zizi’s Flamenco-fusion was beautiful!!! So soft and graceful, I loved it! I love when we can take our time and enjoy the music. There’s no need to rush and any moves, just breath with them. It was my first time dancing with a Manton, a Spanish shawl. Hard work! Later was el Maestro’s workshop, on history, rhythms and the various types of middle-eastern music, from Baladi to mejance’s. He explains it all so clearly and nicely. I had taken it before, but it’s worth doing it again. When he plays music for us to dance and experience, that’s always a treat! 

Saturday came and I woke up excited! All day was non-stop. I taught classes in the morning, came home and practiced Omaris’s drum solo, reviewed my duet with my sister, got ready and went to the theater. It was a lively show – from the half that I was able to watch. We had a good audience and I hear our sister duet was nice! In our rehearsals we could barely keep it together, laughing and joking. Yeap, it was almost the same on stage. We made it through and had a fun time! Miss Yesenia also performed! I was so happy, it’s been a while since I’ve seen her on stage and it was so nice to see her again that night. These theater shows and belly dance events are so much fun for me. I get to see dancers I haven’t seen in a while, have fun back-stage, enjoy the time and the thrill of before and after being on stage. I get into the moment; I take things in with a big smile because it’s something I am thankful to the universe for, that I am alive and doing what I love. Maybe that’s why I don’t get nervous anymore. Here and there I’ll get jitters but they’re so light. I am aware of how I am feeling on stage, I externalize then internalize much later. I let the music into my ears and have a good time. I open myself to what is around me to enjoy it and gain more good memories. I’m not sure how other dancers do it, but that’s part of how I get on stage without nerves. My brain enjoys challenges like that, it’s a thrill, like a high. It says – let’s see how well your body and brain connect while you’re under the spot-light. That’s not why I dance, but it’s how I’ve gotten over some of the performance jitters. 

And last, Sunday comes around. Another set of morning classes and off I went to take one more Caravan workshop by Hind Haymour and Mario Kirlis, Nicolas Kirlis and Lucas Cortese. That was a fun one too! A beautiful choreography and song! Lots of good footwork to practice.  
Thank you Zizi, Omaris, Mario Kirlis, Nicolas Kirlis, Lucas Cortese and all of Caravan of Dancer’s staff! Another successful Caravan show! Until the next!

Hayy, still tired but I have to get my lazy butt up and move! Have a great week!