Not being a gambler or much of a drinker/party person, Vegas was perhaps not the most fitting place to go. However, I was curious and figure I should see it once. I wanted to see the bright lights and an Elvis impersonator. I also had left the city of Chicago in about 6 months, so I thought I should leave for a bit.

img_09762My vacation was actually really good for my dancing. Despite being quite sick the bulk of the trip, I had a 2 hour private lesson with Aradia of Las Vegas. I only heard of her from Bhuz, which is a shame. I think she’s one of those kind of hidden jewels in the dance world. I felt really comfortable with her, even though I just met her. She’s incredibly sweet, friendly, and humble. She seemed to really enjoy herself teaching.

My lesson was on Hagallah, Persian dance, and a brief intro to Turkish Oriental. I love the “folkloric” dances, so this really exciting for me. Aradia is very knowledgeable on what she teaches; I learned as much historically as I did about combos and style of dancing. Until I had emailed her, I had no idea that she could teach these things. My familiarity with her was that she was a cabaret dancer, not someone who was also a folkloric dancer. It just goes to show that it never hurts to ask someone.

I liked the Persian and Turkish Oriental the best. The Persian dancing she taught me had more theatrical elements to it; for instance, she taught me how Persian dancers will act out doing their makeup during slow parts of songs. As much as I love dancing to the music and just feeling the drums or the violin, I prefer somewhat of a story or a mood for dancing. The Turkish Oriental is different from what I’m used to with Egyptian Oriental. Turkish is bigger and more energetic. Having done Egyptian-based technique for so long, I found doing the Turkish really difficult, even though they were moves I was familiar with. Hagallah was fun, but going into it, I didn’t know that it was a coming of age dance. Since Aradia studied this dance under three different people, she has solid knowledge. The hagallah felt much like the Aida Nour workshop dances; very simple but intriguing.

I saw a Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere, while there. I wasn’t expecting to be inspired by it in terms of my dancing. The attention to detail was breathtaking in the costumes. The performers were always in character, even if they were rather difficult to see (balcony singers off to the side). The physical movement was gorgeous; they weren’t just performing stunts but doing artistic work. I haven’t read much about the show, but there was some kind of story or theme in it. Adding that really blended everything well and made a cohesive show that could amuse a child or an adult. I know I can’t do a show of that magnitude, but I’d like to do a show that’s powerful and can reach so many people on different levels.

Now I’m back to the daily grind, with about 2 weeks left of vacation. Time has really flown.