Monday, 20 February 2012

Egyptian Cabaret (12 February)

On Thursday I danced in public for the first time in about 18 months. (I know, I'm going to do it more often this year - promise!)


Ha! So sorry about that. My cat walked across the keyboard, and she so evocatively described how I danced that night (please note her final, hearty 'LOL') that I couldn't delete her contribution. Many thanks to Bernadette for her co-authorship of today's post.

Bernadette, mouser and dance critic par excellence
Where was I? Oh, yes. As I was saying ...

On Thursday I danced in public for the first time in about 18 months. (I know, I'm going to do it more often this year - promise!)

It was a shamozzle. I can't speak for anyone else in the group performance - although I couldn't really see what everyone was doing, they all seemed to be dancing beautifully - my gallumping presence down the back can surely be excused. Arabesques and heel taps became simple turns (there wasn't room for anything fancier - more of that below). In my defence:

  1. The choreography was finished (almost) on Tuesday. There was no rehearsal on Wednesday, so we had to try and finish learning it at the venue. We tried practising in the bar area that had been curtained off for us, but (a) Shariff needed the space to work with his saaidi stick, and (b) most of us were barefoot and I kept finding bits of broken glass on the floor. It was very dark, so we were all a bit paranoid about cutting our feet. Obviously, the dark, bitterly cold outdoor smoking area with its rough concrete and smouldering butts scattered around was a better option. With only a tinny iPod for a sound system, we shook our stuff while the smokers pretended not to watch, and I tried not to think about the rats the size of dachshunds that Shariff claimed to have seen in that very spot. Oh London, is there no end to your horrifying Dickensian glamour?
  2. Zara (of Zara's Zouk fame) collared Shafeek and asked what we should do to finish. The other seven of us in the group were also mildly curious about this. [Sidenote: Zara and I have only just met in person, and by chance, in Shafeek's class after emailing each other a few times. All hail the intertubes!] "Well," said Shafeek, the evening's organiser and our teacher/choreographer/tormentor, "I have this crazy idea. But I don't know. Maybe." And then he left, to go and rearrange the furniture around the performance space or figure out where all the other dancers were or something. It turned out that the crazy idea was to grab members of the audience and get them to dance. I picked on the one person who really, truly did not want to dance. Of course. She was nice about it, though.
  3. There had been half a chance that Shafeek would dance with us so we could follow him. But as soon as we saw the teeny, tiny space allocated to the eight of us, we knew there was no way that was going to happen. And that there was no way I'd be able to do a barrel turn without seriously injuring another dancer/a musician/a member of the audience. So I didn't barrel turn. I really hope I don't get told off in class on Tuesday for that!
But after about three minutes, it was all over. I didn't die, and I stayed alive with a smile on my face. And the rest of the night was splendid, because I got to sit and watch some awesome dancers and I also got to catch up with some friends I spotted in the audience. Perhaps I also really embarrassed Tara - and myself - by being a bit overly effusive about how great her performance was, but seriously. Geeze, Tara is really good:

Finally, I've never posted a picture of myself on this blog (I HATE having my picture taken). But this is funny because we got photobombed by Shafeek, resulting in me moving my arm to a position where it looks like it's been broken in about eight places, and we're all smiling because we haven't been out to dance yet:

I'm the one kneeling behind Shafeek. And Shafeek's the only dude in the pic, so, y'know. Work it out. 
Yeah, I'm not young, svelte and gorgeous. Get over your shock and suck it, world!


  1. The dude's gorgeous, and so are you. Well, in a non-dude kind of way. I mean, the guy's gorgeous as a guy and you're gorgeous as a girl.

    You know what, I'm just nervous when I'm around beautiful people and I'm nervous just looking at the picture.

    I guess what I wanted to say was that it's a beautiful looking bunch of people and I'm glad you had a terrific night.

  2. Oh, and Bernadette is also gorgeous in a shy-wicked way.

  3. On behalf of everyone (inc. the cat) whose image appears in this post, thank you very much!

  4. Love the costumes, very effective and cute. Nice to finally put a face to the name!

    Sounds like a good evening all round really!