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This year was supposed to be my year to really improve with my dancing.  I started out pretty much throwing myself into Argentine Tango.  I also continued with my International Latin dancing, last year was rumba, this year was cha cha.  I love it so much and my teacher is so amazing.   I planned on doing the showcase at my dance studio in June.   Well, I’m not sure what happened, but time got away from us and we didn’t start choreography.   It didn’t really matter to me because I was learning technique.   With tango, I started taking more classes in Dallas to supplement my Thursday night class in Fort Worth.   I loved it!  I was finally feeling comfortable with the tango dancers in Dallas and liking the tango community.  We have nothing here in Fort Worth, other than Thursday night classes, so if you really want to learn Argentine Tango in the DFW area, you pretty much have to travel to Dallas.  I was trying to help to find places here in Fort Worth where we can have milongas so we don’t have to drive all the way to Dallas, but none of that seemed to work out.  

I also dance flamenco.  Every year, we learn choreography for a performance during the ballet studio’s spring recital.  This year it was more intense, more special and more stress.   It’s my fourth year of flamenco.   Our choreography this year was a piece called Medea, which was a piece by a flamenco guitarist, Manolo Sanlúcar.   Medea is a Greek tragedy about betrayal, jealousy, revenge and death.    Most of the performances that we have done have been happy and lively pieces.  This one was more intense.

So in September (2014) I met with my instructor and we talked about costumes, music etc.  I sew, I have for the most part only sewn for myself and my daughter… mostly costumes and home decorating items.   So Perla (my flamenco instructor) and I talked about costumes.  Since Medea is more of a heavy dramatic piece. about death, she wanted to the costumes to be all black and no ruffles, which are common in flamenco performances.   My idea was to add some color so it was more interesting for the audience to watch. This was to be performed at a ballet recital, many of the people there were really only there to watch their little ones dance, so this had to be a little more entertaining that just black skirts.  So I suggested a colored lining for each one of us and a Spanish Shawl with colored embroidery.   We found a souce with relatively inexpensive black shawls, but they only had one shawl in each color, so we decided that each one of us would have our own color.   The lining would match the embroidery on the shawl, the fans would be the same color and so would  the flowers in our hair.  They costumes looked great.  Enough color for the audience so it wasn’t boring but it didn’t take away from the piece.

Then we had to find the music, that was not easy.  We couldn’t find the original music by Manolo Sanlúcar, so we ended up using the piece by Manuel Barrueco.  It wasn’t what Perla wanted, but in the end it was fine.  I had to learn how to remix music (I have software on my computer to do that, but other than cutting the time of a song, I had no idea how to do this).  I also had to remix the music for the other flamenco classes.

So anyway, all of this took up so much of my time.  I managed to keep up with all of my dances up until the month before the performance.   I had costumes to finish, the music editing was taking up so much time, I was learning the choreography, I had photo work to do, and I was recording our classes so that we could all practice at home.   About a month or more before the performance, I had to stop tango and my ballrom lessons.  I managed for the most part, to keep up with ballet.   I pretty much immersed  myself in the flamenco performance.  It wasn’t all flamenco, it was a mix of Spanish dance and flamenco.  I loved it

The performance came and it went well, the second performance was best, but unfortunately nobody that we know of recorded it.

The week after the performance my body and brain just seemed to crash.  I put so much myself into this that I guess when it was over I was exhausted.  This was the first time that something like that happened to me after a performance.    Normally I’m tired, but not like this.  Now it may sound like I’m complaining, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  

Well, my plan was to get right back to my private ballroom lessons and tango.   That week though, I just couldn’t do anything, I needed a rest.   I was excited about getting back to my ballroom, but then one thing led to another and I was. not able to go back.   The lessons are costly and I think I spread myself too thin.  So I had to make a decision, and for now, I had to give it up.  

So my plans for this year have pretty much crumbled away.  No more ballroom, I will try and go back in the Fall, but for now, it’s done.   This is really hard for me to accept, but it has to be for many reasons.    I will still do the group tango lessons in Fort Worth and for now privates, but I can’t travel back and forth for the extra classes  in Dallas to really improve.

I am going to do more flamenco, I’ll do more sewing (we are already planning our next performance and costumes) and I will do more ballet.    But I will really miss my latin ballroom lessons.

So my plans for the year have  not panned out, I guess that sometimes happens.   I was planning on a new tango partner, that never happened, I was planning on learning more International Latin, that had to stop.  I wanted to do the tango performance class in Dallas, but I needed a partner for that, so that never worked out.   I wanted to do the June Showcase at my dance studio…   that never happened…

Another big thing, is that with my photography, I decided that I’m going to stop doing it as a business.   I’ll never stop it personally.   I’ll concentrate more on art and costume design and construction.

So here it is almost mid-year and so much is changing.  I’m not happy about most of it, but sometimes things are just beyond control and in the end it all works out.  

As always, thanks for reading.. 

Laura