Preparing for HIPnotic 2011

Oh, HIPnotic.  We meet again.

Running Columbia University Bellydance (CUBD) is one of the most amazing and one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.  It’s exciting because I get to work with young women who have unbelievable potential as dancers, and it’s frustrating because I sometimes forget that, while my dancers will always be superwomen in my eyes, they are only human and full time students at that.  Thinking back to Fall Auditions, CUBD was blessed this year with an uncanny number of girls with strong bellydance backgrounds.  Almost all of our newest members had at least taken a class or two before coming to us (I can’t emphasize enough how unusual this is, and I’m worried that there’s going to be an extended drought for good dancers after this relative monsoon of talent.).  With all this potential oozing from our team, I want so badly for these girls to bloom as dancers.  They’re so gorgeous and awesome, I can get very frustrated when they hit a plateau period or become unfocused because of Real Life.  I want the world for them, but I have to temper my love with reason and realize that there is only so far I can push them in their first year of bellydance. This is so much more difficult than it sounds when these girls are constantly blowing my mind with their progress.  Seriously, these ladies are addictive.  Just look at them!

2010-2011 CU Bellydance Troupe! So much Beauty!

Anyways, Dolunay, Alura, and I went crazy planning HIPnotic this year, and while we didn’t get to every dance on our very long list, we still managed to produce numbers for Khaligy, Raqs Assaya (Egyptian Cane), Samba Fusion, Veil, Isis Wings, a group drum solo (I’m drumming!), and a Jillina-inspired epically epic Cabaret number we fondly call SPARTA.  Then, each dancer on the team is either performing a solo or has developed a duet with another dancer.  When you take these dances into account, our show also features Fan Veil, Cambodian Fusion, Swords, Tribal Fusion, and Feather Fans.  If you want to see bellydance in all it’s beautiful variety, HIPnotic is the show for you.  I think the only thing we missed is Zills, but you can’t have everything right?

We’ve been practicing like maniacs for weeks now, and it’s only going to get worse since the performance is only two weeks away. I’m finally starting to feel the stress, and in a big way.  You see, I suffer from extreme tunnel vision, and when I have a big dance production on the horizon, it’s the only thing I can think about at the expense of all my other projects.  It’s a constant battle to force myself out of dance-mode to do my homework, call my family, or feed myself (seriously, I forget all the time).  I’m getting better at finding balance in my life, and I’ve realized that not all people are wired like me, but I do sometimes wonder what our team would be like if everyone was?  Would we be more efficient? Or would it be a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen type scenario?  I’m leaning towards the latter, but in Fantasy Land, it would be awesome.

We’re all on Spring Break this week, and think it’s a healthy moment for the team to have a breather.  I know these girls are going to pull together when we we get back and throw down one of the strongest bellydance productions NYC has to offer.  I’ll probably finish the performance behaving like a big gushy mush-ball and blubbering with joy and love about my beautiful dancers.  I’m tearing up just thinking about it!

I’d love for you to join us this March 26th!  You can buy tickets here.  Hope to see you there!

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