It’s the middle of October. The end of October, actually, and I feel we’re just now leaving summer. That’s less to do with the weather, despite North Carolina’s impressive reluctance to cool off, and more to do with how wonderfully busy I have been with projects all spring, summer, and fall.
In May, I did some backup dancing for the lovely and multifaceted AnnMarie Fox.
She’s an incredible pop singer, choreographer, and boss-woman. She, I, and a group of other backup dancers (and Danielle Blaiq, a very talented rapper) performed at Ft. Bragg, a military base in Fayetteville, NC. The crowd seemed small - but that could have more to do with what I had envisioned (think Bob Hope footage from WWII) than with any kind of reality.
As the only white person onstage with a group of black performers, I evoke a different response from the crowd than the other women do. Sometimes the reaction is amusingly confrontational (as at our inaugural show together, where I hear from the crowd “You better bring it, white girl!” right as the beat drops on our first song), and sometimes it’s simply a conspicuous lack of attention. At our Ft. Bragg show, I felt like the Rhoda of the group, ignored by all the fans that came up to the other girls after our set. As I made my way from the stage over to the food stands, one man - an older black cook - made his way from the food stands to me, holding above his head a turkey leg and a pineapple smoothie housed in a cut-out pineapple. As he approached, he repeated to himself (and to everyone around him) “I’ve never seen a white girl MOVE like that! I’ve just never seen a WHITE girl MOVE like that!” I blushed as I thought to myself “Is he talking about me? And was I really that good?” Whatever the answer to the second question, he was definitely talking about me. Like Moses, he parted the sea of people between us to present me with the biggest turkey leg I’ve ever seen, and the most decadent smoothie I’ve ever tasted.
I blush still when I remember his astonishment, and his approbations. I am by no means the most amazing white-girl hip-hop dancer there is - but hearing such positive words from such an unexpected place is worth more to me than all the turkey legs in North Carolina*.
I’m excited to post more soon, anecdotes and memories from other projects I did this summer. Stay tuned!
*I’m mostly vegetarian, but I ate that turkey leg, and if anyone else wants to give me meat and espouse my dancing abilities, I promise you, I will eat said meat. Happily.