Setting the Scene: Some of you locals may remember when Oberon’s Middle Eastern Dance Party was taking place at the Egyptian Room in Portland. The show was downstairs in “The Tomb” which was kind of cool based on, well, you know Egypt, tombs, belly dance, and the like. I really liked the venue because there was a nice large stage area and intimate environment.
Stepping back: My then OB/GYN is probably the coolest Doc on the planet and sadly she is no longer in practice. Most of you are aware, ladies are not thrilled about going to their annual “ladies meeting”, and I am no different, except, as I said, my Doc is super cool. This yearly meeting was always fraught with sidesplitting laughter, which often caused some trouble for the both of us. We would laugh so loud her nurse would rap on the door and tell us to quiet down, that we were scaring the staff and patients. She is funny, kind, generous with her time and I simply adore her.
So to further set the scene, every year at my appointment the Doc would ask if I was still “dancing about Portland” (visual: as she would wiggle around while balancing on one of those little exam room stools, arms in the air in various snake arm positions). And every year, same answer; “yes – love it – won’t ever stop”. Then one year when I gave my usual answer adding it just so happened I was dancing the following week at the Egyptian room and she should come to the show. She was familiar with the club and asked what time, what day, and can we come? Well of course I gave her the details, saying absolutely and bring everyone. Not typical, annual exam conversation right? As always, I left her office laughing my ass off as usual and of course assuming I would see her at the next annual lady meeting.
Well, I didn’t have to wait a whole year. The following week, as I arrived, at the club there she was, sitting at a table with friends and being totally her; happy and bubbly. Now, I don’t know about you, but when friends and family are in the house, who have never seen me dance before, there is a bit of added pressure. I tend to be a little “up tight” at the beginning of the show, concerned about offering my best show and hoping not to let anyone down. I really don’t want them to think I am all talk and no shimmy so-to-speak and this evening, was no different.
I honestly don’t think I was on stage more than a few minutes when I heard her; my sweet, funny, bubbly “Gynecologist” yell, “ohhh baby, take it off, take it off”. What? I was horrified. And what went through my head in all of one beladi rhythm set was: Say what? What did I just hear? Oh Lord, that is NOT my Gyn telling me to take it off. What will the rest of the audience think? Why would she say “that”? Oh God, what should I do?
That took all of 10 seconds because as I spun about to see Michael Beach laugh and shrug his shoulders, my face turning various shades of red, my ability to speak finally engaged, and I responded with a resounding,
My response from the stage: “Why? – – – – You’ve Already Seen It All”?
Sigh, yes indeed, I said that. And no I am not sure why that came out or how it was what all those thoughts finally put into my mouth to be blurted out. But, my Doc and her friends were at their table rolling about in a fit of laughter. I continued to dance and while spot-checking the rest of the audience, some seemingly amused and others looking around confused, apparently not having heard either the Docs comments or my response.
All that was left was for me to finish the show, as I seemed to think it was funnier and funnier the more I danced. It is still one of the funniest and best dance moments ever, partly because I was so shocked in that moment never expecting that comment, and also just as shocked by my own response.
Advice: Invite everyone you know when you dance. You will create some of the best moments ever, no matter what is said and it will give you even more to giggle about and appreciate later in your dance career. And remember, laughter is so very good for the soul.