Yesterday I headed down to the southern part of our state to attend Troupe 'Hip'notic's annual Summer Solstice Hafla. The Hafla is a gathering of dancers, friends and family who get together to socialize, perform, and welcome in the summer months (which for many of us are dance intense!). Kallisti was not dancing, though Flissy performed with her other troupe Verve Tribal (a fun ATS piece to a Gogol Bordello song). We saw all sorts of dancing, different styles and skill levels, as the idea is for everyone to get together and have fun and enjoy themselves. There as an after party at Becca's house, with dance talk and good food and cute dogs and Becca's awesome new dance studio. The only problem is that 'Hip'notic is based 1 1/5 hours away from where I live, so we don't get do hang out more often.
As the show started I had this realization that I would not have wanted to be anywhere in the world at that moment but there, at that hafla, watching those dancers and hanging out with people I love. I had this sudden overwhelming feeling of being so fortunate to be doing what I am doing with the people I am doing it with. I was incredibly peaceful. Dance can be stressful. I worry about doing a good job, learning new things, finding the time and money to do what I want, trying to get people to appreciate what we do. Sometimes the fact that most of the dance scene is "for dancers, by dancers" can be frustrating when you wish a wider audience would take note of what's going on. Not that I don't like that aspect of belly dance! No, I love it, but sometimes it can be annoying.
At that moment yesterday, though, I was perfectly happy to be a part of one area belly dance scene at one of our regular local events, cheering on the dancers, being inspired and entertained. Seeing beautiful people dressed up in their gorgeous costumes, having a good time doing something they love? Isn't that a sight we should see more often?
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