|My doumbek & my crutch at World in Motion|
combined Cyborg Dance Projekt post.
Photo description: a light and shiny wooden floor of a dance studio with a doumbek drum (silver with a white synthetic drum head) standing next to a black and bronze forearm crutch that is laying down.
The past two weeks I've been sticking to a dance schedule of one class at a time, three classes week. Intermediate cab (a modified choreography from Bozenka), level 2 American Tribal Style, and Intermediate tribaret. I was tempted a few times to take two classes at once, but my workload with work, school, and my fiance's car problems kept me from doing that at all.
Week 9 was actually pretty uneventful. Both of the choreo classes made me feel almost like my old self, just rocking through choreography and soaking it up like a sponge. I kept a pretty decent posture through the courses, didn't overextend, and made sure that any time not spent in motion was spent either leaning against a wall or crouched to keep my spine where it needed to be. The ATS class was a little harder just because a lot of the classmates use body waves and Arabics as go-to moves (two moves that are spinal undulations that are hard for me to do because of the metal bits....here's a video showing the move and variations of Arabics).
Week 10 was a bit rougher. Sunday's choreo class was ok even though I was hurting a bit. I realized after the class that even though I'm still in a lot of pain, I can usually still do most bellydance movements without severe exacerbation of nerve-related symptoms (before surgery, bellydance was one of the things that would always and severely cause nerve issues). ATS is going well enough that I inquired about the possibility of taking the level 3 class, with the answer being a resounding "yes" from teachers and classmates (this will take some schedule wiggling though as the class is in the middle of the afternoon on Sundays, although I would have at least an hour break between that class and the intermediate cab class in the evening.
Wednesday was a bit rougher. I've been having an excessively bendy body, which usually correlates with an uptick in full body pain (yay for pituitary dwarfism!). My right ankle, the one that I've sprained five or so times, felt like it may be sprained again....although I didn't remember rolling it (a byproduct of not feeling part of my legs). My back was unhappy, but dance is my current physical therapy. My main problem was that I had trouble keeping my movements small in the choreography that we're learning, which aggravated both my spine and the rest of my unhappy joints. I will probably always be fighting my "bendy girl" joints (as a yoga teacher called them).
The end of the week was punctuated with a "drumming for dancers" workshop in Morrisville, North Carolina (a bit over an hour drive). I bought a doumbek a couple years ago when my spine started getting really bad because I wanted a way to stay in the dance community, but I never learned how to play it. I tried to learn by just trying and I tried learning with a DVD, but I could never get the right sounds (for you drummer folks, specifically "tek" and "ka"). This workshop came up, and my partner paid for the workshop as a birthday present.
My pain level was so bad that walking was really difficult, so I was incredibly thankful that I was signed up for something seated. Even with my crutch, my gait was limited to a shuffle as anything more felt like my sciatic nerves were being clamped with needle-nose pliers. We got to the studio a little late, but just in time to be shown the basic "where to put your hands to make the different sounds" part. Amazingly, once I was shown the positions and had them checked (both by sight and sound), I was off and running. Sure I made mistakes (lots of them!), but it was like I was meant to be doing it. I found a joy that combined my lifelong love of music (little known fact, I had a music scholarship for euphonium and played the bass trombone in a collegiate jazz band). At the end, I was just ecstatic....especially as folks talked about organizing future workshops and drum jams that would help us all become better drummers.
It's been a hell of a couple weeks....but at least there was some awesomeness in the Projekt. Now to figure out how to practice my doumbek at home without freaking out my cats....