This weekend, as well as being the occasion of a very fun house party at my place and the opening of the World Cup, was also the debut performance of the new student troupe I’m in, Nomaditude. Since the troupe and the performance and the rehearsals and the costumes and everything came together really really quickly, I had no idea that it would be same weekend that I’d be having guests. I was a little trepidatious about it because Anna had specifically told me that she wanted to lay around the house all weekend and talk and eat, and I wasn’t sure how bellydance would fit into all that. We worked it out, though, and by taking the simple precaution of not sleeping at all during the weekend, much laying around, talking, and eating was accomplished in addition to filling up the entire first row of the Phinney Ridge Community Center performance hall.

A whole front row of buddies

As I mentioned yesterday, I was really excited to see everyone when they got in Thursday and Friday.

In the kitchen at the Blue House

A tubful of ricotta cheese

I just really like this picture of my dear friend Anna.

Hup Holland!
Tracy, blowing our collective minds not only with the stunningly delicious dinner she made for everyone but also her vast collection of patriotic Hup Holland! gear that she brought especially to watch the World Cup games in.

Old Man Meyer

Is Craig hypothesizing, postulating, or merely declaiming? Only those privileged to know him can tell for sure.

Some crazy people actually stayed up all night to watch soccer but I managed to sleep for a couple of hours and ingest a strengthening pho lunch before heading over to Renee’s a full three hours early for makeup application purposes. Stage makeup is something that Nomaditude will learn how to do together but I wont’ be here for it, so I threw myself on Renee’s mercy and she agreed to hook me up. It was both a lot more painstaking and a lot more fun than I initially anticipated, as a person whose makeup routine consists solely of multiple obsessive applications of Burt’s Bee’s per day. We hung out and listened to dance music annd chitty-chatted about dance-y stuff and I felt a little like Ally Sheedy’s character in Breakfast Club when Molly Ringwald makes her up and then she walks out and Emilio Estevez looks up at her and she beeeee-yooooo-tiful all of a sudden. I got into my hair and costume all by my little newbie self and it was time to go and be nervous backstage.

Backstage before our debut
DeAnn and Tami getting dressed.

We’d only had two rehearsals beforehand, one of which I’d had to miss because I was in Phoenix at a work conference, if by “work conference” you mean “a very large pool.” Last Thursdays rehearsal went quite well, I thought, considering that a third of us hadn’t been at the first one and also that it was, literally, our first time dancing together outside of class. I felt a little trepidatious because I just wasn’t sure how it would go…I’d been listening to our awesome song all week but I was still a little unclear on how to count the last six eights, for example, and when exactly to turn around in the V formation. Still, though. On Thursday someone asked if I was feeling nervous and I said that I preferred the term “anticipatory.”

Everyone, I thought, looked really good in the costumes that they’d just pulled together in two weeks…I’d borrowed some stuff from Sharon and Renee since I won’t be here to really get use out of my own gear…and we were all sort of bouncy and giggly, practicing our moves and counting out our trios. There was all this stuff with people not showing up or having their music break but Sharon handled it and somehow it all worked out. We toasted each other with Dixie-cups full of wine (or a quarter full, in my case) and did belly kisses to each other, which is just a nice way of saying “we rubbed our naked stomachs together, one at a time.” And then it was time to go on!

Posing onstage


Right at the end of the performance

It was just super awesome fun, I have to say. I really liked our song and we seemed to hit everything we needed to hit (although, mysteriously, at our ending pose I looked to my left and noticed DeAnn’s head was emerging from my armpit area) and we did our verbals like we’d been practicing and I’m pretty sure we were smiling the entire time. Bellydance in general can sometimes be very emotional and intense, but I think we must have just looked really fun and silly and cute because I’m pretty sure that’s how we all felt. It felt like it went by very quickly though…all of a sudden we were in our final pose and then it was time to get offstage! I saw not only all my housemates and houseguests in the audience, but also some other friends, which was extra cool for me and made me feel very loved.

Anna and me

We all went home and I confirmed that, say what you will about my sometimes ill-advised cooking adventures, I put together a damn fine snack plate. My cousin came roaring over on his motorcycle and the inimitable Amy and Erik came in with a cooler full of rum and mint and sugar, giving us the option of either mo- or faux-jitos. (Or as Matt said, “Less-jitos.”) I was in such a good mood that even though I’d changed into jeans and a shirt I kept on my crazy bindis and bangles and my awesome hair piece for the rest of the night. Performing tribal for the first time was just a really cool experience, made all the better by the excellent company. We all had a lot of fun that night.

Peter is a pretty princess pirate
Well, most of us did.


  1. You look super hot, Babe. So sorry I missed it!

  2. You are gorgeous!

  3. WAHOO!

    I am so glad you could be up there with everyone for this. You rock!

  4. when she says they looked “fun and silly and cute,” she really should be saying “beaming, gorgeous and charming.” Chiara, you did it with style, beauty and grace! those hips don’t lie!