An update from the airport this time, very tired after a long final day and no sleep!
Our final warm up class was a cute fellaheen choreography. The warm ups have been led by Bedru who has taught us different folklore styles every day (bedouin, Nubian and I forget the others! Sorry Bedru!). Randa then taught us some more technique and finally a classical choreography to a song which her singer Samir had taught us yesterday. It is very important to know what the words mean! We have been told this again and again over the week and it’s true. Knowing what the song is about adds so much to your appreciation of a performance.
Then is was time for the show which included the final of the competition. I was on second so at least I got it over with quickly. I actually enjoyed the performance even though the music wasn’t quite what I had hoped for! But nothing escapes Randa’s eyes and she could tell I am very inexperienced when it comes to working with a band, and in fact she was quite cross with me for not dancing my best 🙂 she loves all her students and wants us to always dance at the level she knows we are capable of. All the others dancers did really well, I enjoyed watching them a lot. We then had performances from a lot of the other dancers on the course (some of them twice!) with the band. Quite a few people chose to perform choreographies that we learned during the week, I was very impressed by their memories. It was lovely to see everyone that I’ve danced alongside this week up on stage.
There was a little surprise in the middle of the show because it was Randa’s birthday! (No I don’t know how old she is and I wouldn’t dream of asking). We all knew this but had kept it a secret from her 🙂 and had had a collection to buy her a birthday present. I think she liked it 🙂 . We finished very late (2:30 I think), the band had worked incredibly hard to keep going for so long, there was just a little time for dancing before saying goodbye and promising to connect on Facebook. I just had time to finish my packing before being taken to the airport.
Obviously it’s disappointing to finish the week on a downer but Randa and I have agreed that tonight’s performance never happened 🙂 and we are concentrating on the good from yesterday. I am so pleased that I got through to the final, because I know that dancers from the UK don’t have a very good reputation and for her to say yes, you are good enough, you have so much feeling and soul that you are like an Egyptian not a British person…..it confirms that my approach to learning and training is right and that it is possible for British dancers to raise their level to meet the rest of the world. So if you’re in my classes watch out, I’m going to expect even more from you from now on!
(Edit: because I realise I’m at risk of sounding a bit egotistical. I plead sleep deprivation. I’m not saying I’m the only British dancer who has feeling. Far from it. I know lots of gorgeous dancers who are full of feeling and it aggravates me that we have a poor reputation. I want to show people that it is undeserved, not just for me but for all the dancers.)
If you’ve enjoyed reading about the course (and I hope you have because I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you) and think you might like to go yourself I’m afraid I have bad news. This was the last one. Randa does plan to do something similar in the future, but will work with other teachers next time. It will still be a course, not a festival, so there should be a similar kind of atmosphere, but I’m glad I got to be part of the original version (twice!).