WE’RE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was the text I received from Mary at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday.

I had been in my regular Tuesday night class, completely on tenterhooks just as we had both been all day. I had tried to relieve the tension during class announcements by a bit of clowning, pretending to bite my nails all the way up to my elbows as Sabeeya once again announced the show, but it really didn’t help.

During class I obsessively checked for a message every time I grabbed a drink of water. Finally, after class I saw that Mary had both called and texted during the last ten minutes of class, so I knew what it had to be. I read the message and started jumping up and down there in the studio in my caftan, holding my cellphone over my head in triumph. Yeah, I was just a little excited. Our three class friends who were still there all yipped and hollered along with me, while Sabeeya and Habiba looked utterly pleased and, in Sabeeya’s case, gratified. We’re just her students, after all!

Since then we have been separately rehearsing continuously in our heads, plus running through the dance countless times in my dining room Wednesday & Friday nights to iron out the spots we weren’t happy with. We’ve planned our entrance and exit as well as we can given that we’ve never actually seen the stage. Then there’s the nightly slatherings-on of good old L’Oreal Sublime Bronze for that fake tanned look — thank goodness we finally found the Deep color! Still need to do the fingernails, though!

Tomorrow night will both not come fast enough, and come far too fast, I suspect.