Rocking The Party

Six Weeks Ago

Whisper “Yes,” when Sylvia asks you in a low intense voice: “Would you…like to do a duet with me?” Decide you will rock the party at the next hafla.

Five Weeks Ago

Have a fun duet date with Sylvia, wherein you shop for tribal accoutrements like padded bras, tiny Indian coins, silk scarves and fishnet stockings. Choose a song (“Real Things” by Javine) given to you by your friend Steven when he visited in March, and listen to it approximately eight hundred times, eating popcorn and drinking tea at her flat while discussing various ways in which this dance will be hot and also, the various ways in which Hugh Laurie is hot.

Four And A Half Weeks Ago

Meet up after work and mark out the song: there are, for those of you following along at home, two verses, two bridges, a taqsim, and five choruses. Decide to choreograph the first verse, the taqsim, and the bridges, and to improv the rest. Amaya box on the first bridge, and choo-choo combination on the second, both in opposition. Ask Sylvia for reassurance that she has enough tribal-y jewelry and hair stuff. Realize you have hooked up with the right dance partner when she shows you many piles of jewelry and hair stuff. Get started on the border of your coin bra. Get a little freaked out about the fact that you are going to be returning from the South Island the day before the hafla but remember that you’ve planned lots of rehearsal time and you’ll have that morning to iron out any little rough spots, anyway. Drift off to sleep imagining thunderous applause and marriage proposals from shimmy enthusiasts.

Three And Three Quarters Weeks Ago

Rip out the border of your coin bra and start over again. Listen to the song eight thousand times and worry about how you’re going to get onto the floor for the taqsim and if you can really for real do a full torso rotation. Manage to sew a grand total of four coins onto the left cup of the bra, painstakingly attaching each coin individually with about six hundred knots because you are paranoid.

Three Weeks Ago

Text everyone you know about the hafla. BYOB!

Two Weeks Ago

Get a peculiar email from Sylvia that suggests that you are not, in fact, going to be performing after all. Something about there not being enough room on the program. Wait, what? Later that night, as you settle down trepidatiously to work on your coin bra, get a text from Traysi, apologizing for the miscommunication that allowed you to believe that there was, indeed, room for your duet. Wipe away single tear—you were going to own that torso rotation!—and sadly put away coin bra, which may never get finished, now.

A Week And A Half Ago

Decide not to work on the duet after Sunday morning class the way you planned, because what’s the point, you know? Text everyone you know and tell them that you won’t be performing after all. Inveigle pity. Decide not to work on the duet for the rest of the week, because what’s the point, you know?

Last Friday

Fly down to the South Island and spend twelve hours in a car on icy roads trying to get to Queenstown from Christchurch with people who are determined to go skiing, come hell or avalanche. Arrive in town at six in the morning, freezing cold, and crash on a mattress on the floor of a flat inhabited by multiple boys which is so unremittingly filthy–we’re talking sodden sweatshirts in a heap in the corner, crusted ketchup bottle strewn merrily about the living room, large pools of bong water with their own tides and currents lapping at your feet when you mistakenly edge into the living room—that you wear all your clothes to sleep in so that nothing in the room touches you, and you are nowhere near a germophobe, man. After four hours sleep, receive a text from Traysi saying that there’s now a spot in the program and that you can do the duet, if you want! Text furiously back and forth with Sylvia (making sure not to let body touch any part of the mattress upon which you are curled up) thanking your lucky stars for TXT2000, the greatest invention in the history of cell phone plans, about whether you can possibly put together this duet the morning of the actual hafla, as you will not be back until the night before. Decide you can. “I will make sure to visualize it,” you text well-meaningfully. Text everyone you know again to tell them that it’s BACK ON, BABY.

Last Sunday

Dance for five hours at a hilariously awful club in Queenstown and break out some proto-bellydance moves. Tell yourself that this counts as practicing. Feel shy about wearing a tube top in public and respond, when someone tells you she’s surprised at your body insecurity considering you’re a bellydancer, hello, that it’s totally different when you’re all dressed up and wearing your gear. It just is. Tug up tube top from armpits for the millionth time.

Last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, And Thursday

Do a little yoga at the various backpackers in which you stay during your South Island adventures, but neglect the part where you listen to the song or visualize or whatever. Hey, look! Sea lions!

Friday

Finally haul out the iPod and listen to the song for the first time in a week. Try to practice but feel shy doing it in front of your friend Lydia wearing your candy-stripe thermals. Realize you have forgotten every move you ever knew and text Sylvia this information in a great panic. Remember basic Egyptian (Fat Chance style with the crazy elbows) when she texts you a list of moves and how Sharon told you to do that years ago when you almost broke down in tears the first time you led improv in class. Feel relatively confident that, if nothing else, you will probably not break down in tears Sunday evening. Probably.

Saturday

Buy Sylvia some crème brulee-flavored fudge in Queenstown to thank her for doing pretty much all the costuming and other stuff while you’re gallivanting around going on chocolate factory tours. Say a sniffly goodbye to Lydia at the airport and listen to the song a couple hundred times on the multiple flights back to Wellington. Burst into the flat with your pack and talk A’s ear off in her doorway for a solid twenty minutes about all the flirting you did on your trip and then remember that, uh, there’s that coin bra to work on. Make yourself a nice cup of tea and turn the TV to Animal Planet, where—joy of all joys!—David Attenborough is narrating a full hour of cephalopod action. Let his mellifluous accents sooth your gritted teeth as you discover it’s WAY EASIER to attach the coins with a running stitch. Channel your friend Anna, who has made many a last-minute costume to great effect, and think fondly of all the silly bras you made for yourself that one time at Burning Man. Run out of coins with about half a boob’s worth to go and confirm that Sylvia has some extra for you. Of course she does. Where would you be without her? You will just have to finish it after rehearsal tomorrow morning. Write a ridiculous entry and go to bed, three hours later than you intended. (LOLbots isn’t going to read itself, my friends.)

(read about the actual day Burning Man. Run out of coins with about half a boob’s worth to go and confirm that Sylvia has some extra for you. Of course she does. Where would you be without her? You will just have to finish it after rehearsal tomorrow morning. Write a ridiculous entry and go to bed, three hours later than you intended. (LOLbots isn’t going to read itself, my friends.)

(read about the actual three minute performance Burning Man. Run out of coins with about half a boob’s worth to go and confirm that Sylvia has some extra for you. Of course she does. Where would you be without her? You will just have to finish it after rehearsal tomorrow morning. Write a ridiculous entry and go to bed, three hours later than you intended. (LOLbots isn’t going to read itself, my friends.)

Read about the actual performance Burning Man. Run out of coins with about half a boob’s worth to go and confirm that Sylvia has some extra for you. Of course she does. Where would you be without her? You will just have to finish it after rehearsal tomorrow morning. Write a ridiculous entry and go to bed, three hours later than you intended. (LOLbots isn’t going to read itself, my friends.)

(Rest of the story here.)

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