Finally, after more than a year-long absence, I was going back to African dance. My body can’t do the hard-pounding moves anymore – belly dance is absolutely filling that void – but I miss the community and I miss the music.
I was so excited to drum again! As I approached the theater, I saw an old friend and started giving him shit. “No, no,” I harassed him. “Turn it around. We don’t take riff raff.”
“Why are you bringing your djembe?” he asked.
I laughed and carried on.
“No, really,” he continued. Literally, in years of knowing this dude, I’ve never had a serious conversation with him.
“Wait, what?” I asked.
“This is the Congolese workshop. Makaya [et all] is here.”
“Ah, crap,” I stopped. “See you next week.”
He tried to get me to join them, but I had the wrong drum. He was sure they had extras, but I hadn’t been there all week. Once upon a time, I did brave a weekend camp with African dancers, including Makaya, but there’s no way I would dare drum with Africans! (I took a beginning beginners class with a guy from Guinea at that camp and held my own, but let me emphasize beginning. And I’d been studying for a year with Quinn, who’s legit, trained in Africa and India, drumming for 20+ years.)
I’ve danced in these culmination classes. They’re performances for the students and teachers, as well they should be. For some reason, I’m not averse to flailing on the dance floor. I’m terrible, but when I mess up I can laugh at myself and get back on track. Or just keep laughing and moving, getting high on endorphins and community.
Oh, I do miss African! I was part of that community for years. If I’d brought money, I might have risked a Fibro flare just to throw down on the dance floor. Instead, I came home to cuddle up with my cats and write to you all.
I’m satisfied. Someone’s purring on my tummy, another next to my head. >^..^<