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Brad goes to his Colorado dance class

It was a special invite. The theatre dept dance secretary is enrolled with 40+ other kids.

So I can't turn that down. Or Lysistrata tonight, for that matter: Cass gave me her comp.

The dance class did not look like this. For one thing, all the girls [about 98% of the 40+ class] wore brightly-colored African skirts because that was what it was: native dance. But there was one sequence where they paired up and danced leg-to-leg furiously, centimeters apart, with their arms and torsos straining to find the line between plunging into each other and not touching at all ....

This class was full-bore energy: they're halfway to the final concert in December. About 4 guys. If you met any of the girls on campus, you wouldn't think they were dancers at all, most don't have the standard wire-thin, steel-taut bodies. But when they got going, it was fire all the time, and rhythm, and crescendoes of arms and legs and bellies.

Not good enough for the Ghanian instructor, though: he said at one point, "I don't want to see any sleepy moves. No movements like milk. You need to have spice in your moves."

Another: "You need to have an open face. I need to see you. Joy, anger, happy, whatever you are feeling. That is how your dance will be too." And: "When you sleep, you eat, you study, you drink coffee, it's all life. No final. Every day is a final. No quiz. Right here in this room, this is life. Right now is the quiz. If you are not ready, I do not want to see you. I can't see you. You must work on your own. Bring your joy to class."

"I do not want you to be wet. If your foundation is wet, we cannot build upon it. Come here when you are dry. Be dry. Work outside. Then we will all grow together."

Never heard anything like this in a class before. African images.

One of the kids came up to me and said, "Move your chair farther in. We want you to be part of us. You'll get the feeling much better." So I did. Nothing at all closed with *her* face, it was joyous and happy. I shadowed her for awhile [dance term = timing my movements to hers, mimic-ing them.] Lots of smiles. From many of them. Not just her....

It wasn't for awhile till I noticed a cast boot on her left ankle. Black, bulky, tightly strapped.

Afterwards we talked a little. About dance injury and listening to your body. She's a dance major.

Then: "My name is Anna."


"I have a very good friend whose name is Anna also." "She's a student too, into photography and social work...."

And she's the reason I need to be here now, talking to you Anna, and why my plane res got screwed up. Otherwise I would be in NY moping....right now, even, instead of making this post.

Anna Dancer does not look anything like our girl. Except that they both glow a lot. Anna Dancer hopes that her boot will come off in time for December but the Dept is telling her not to push it, if she does and her ankle gets re-broken because she hasn't given it enough time to heal, she'll never be able to dance in the same way again, and eventually, not at all, and that will come pretty early in her career.

So she's listening to them....

She's maybe a sophomore.

We talked about time and she said, quietly and serenely, that time is something that happens in your head, the attitude that you have a lot of it for your work and for your art, or not enough of it, or none of it, and what priorities are important and what are not. You are living and creating in your own time, and this is something that you can make as big as you want.

{Edit: This can't really be happening, we're perfect strangers, right?}

This class was exhausting. And it will go on for a long time.

Attitude: time like a river. Rapids, pools, even whirlpools. Furious patterns and tranquility. Big waves and little ripples. Feet made of fish weaving a tapestry.

Most of the time Anna Dancer's face was far from closed. It was openly filled with joy. She smiled her beautiful smile a lot. Many times at me.

Yes, she was wet. But it was only sweat.

Sweeping out and up. Dancers like a wave. Great visuals across their lines the other way, in the mirrors. A timeless wall of mirrors. Only a dance rehearsal studio??? ???

It's little wonder what her first name is.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Lysistrata at Boulder? And I'm watching some didactic little musical here at Jackson?!


Very realistic description that I felt a little uncomfortable - would I have been able to handle that kinda emotion? In a closed space?
Oct. 9th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
I dunno, F. I think it's more like the emotion handled me. I wasn't asked anything other than to be open. And come to class and join the community. And I did. They welcomed me.

The most beautiful rides in my life have happened that way.

And Lysistrata has morphed into Go Lysistrata, an original musical built on the same storyline --- with 19 songs by the Musical Director of Ballet Austin, two of whose youth groups I've designed concerts for.

Updated to 2008 and some of it was totally Broadway-ready.

Notice my modesty. Gotta work on that. Sometime lol
Oct. 9th, 2008 06:47 am (UTC)
Welcome to the rest of your life, Brad.

*big huge smile*
Oct. 9th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC)
Soooooo much magic, so much splendor. You're bringing a big part of it, tooooo *dances*
Oct. 9th, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
You don't know the half. *dances as well*

Did you see my latest poem? Go look, if you haven't yet.

Edited at 2008-10-09 11:47 am (UTC)
Oct. 9th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
Youuuuu are editing at 0547? Sean was right haha
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
About which? What did he tell you?

I knew you two were off in the corner talking about me while I wasn't looking. *wink*
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
When is your hubby wrong?? lol
It was all about your strange strange sleep patterns and how you seemed to be contagious with me if I hung around with you enough :P

Contagious with insomnia, that is lmao
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, and here I thought it was you who was responsible for these strange purple spots all over my body that I just broke out with this morning. And my blue tongue.

I guess I'll have to find out who the guilty party is. :)

Well Sean realized we are two peas in a pod. He thinks one of me is enough. Imagine how crazy we could drive him if we were both around all the time. *giggles*
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, and truth, Sean is behind this! You see, in just a few weeks we will be spending the weekend at MileHiCon and my little self will be doing panels this year! Except for the parties, the con is held during the day. Won't do for me to sleep all day like I've been doing. And yet I'm not emotionally stable enough to crash reset either.

So (he suggested and I agreed) I'm staying up later every day, having no particular schedule to have to keep, until I'm re-reversed.

Safe flying today, Brad!
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Safe flying haha. If the new card gets here, it'll be tomorrow earliest. Till then I can stare at this icon [Canadian jets] and move my butt onto the bus for Nederland. That was Jen's idea. She's a CU dance major graduate who works in one of the restaurants we went by.

She wants to hear all about my adventures tonight.

Up there somewhere, the bartender once chased a big bear ["the size of an SUV"] so he could see what would happen.

/topic changes. It's like how I program light cues into the computer.
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Is Jen the really profound one you wrote about? And card problems? What happened?

I feel guilty because I haven't been available. Are you having a good time? Sean told me you would have missed out on all these wonderful things had I made other choices. But I still feel guilty. Am I doing the right thing -- I really need to know.

Then again, you would miss Jen tonight if things were different.

You are going to break hearts all over the world, you know. I CANNOT believe you don't think you're a chick magnet!! You'll have one in every port by the time you're done, LOL!

Oh, and if you are going to Nederland, you MUST see Dead Frozen Dude! Ask Jen to take you there! They actually have a town celebration every year for Dead Frozen Guy.

Edited at 2008-10-09 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oct. 9th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
O Meow not so fast.

I think this Jen is pretty profound but we aren't traveling anywhere together, we are just bar mates so far! And due to more delays with card screwups, Nederland fails today. Moved to tomorrow. Flying out Saturday.

No sense in rushing my departure from Paradise haha.

Now there are two of them: Delft and here.
And atm I am plunked down in ---this--- one!

Chick magnet? Nah. Just depends on who wants to be magnetized, it seems.
Oct. 9th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Jen
Ha. I win!!!!!!! *grinning because you know what this means*

BUT...for everyone who else who missed that convo...Brad is a chick magnet because he is sweet, kind, thoughtful, caring and charismatic; unbelievably so in person. I'm 100% positive this was not news to any of you, but he seemed blissfully unaware of it himself. So, all of you out there: help me convince him I'm right about this, ok?????????
Oct. 10th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Re: Jen

I love me my unbiased opinions lol
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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