TribalCon 2012

TribalCon — what can I say? My first one was both what I expected & completely surreal. I alternately felt inspired, amazed, spastically clumsy, awestruck, overwhelmed, peaceful, lonely, discouraged, determined…sometimes changing from one emotion to its polar opposite in an eyeblink.

It was my first encounter with all of the teachers there:

  • Tamalyn Dallal — a living legend in our presence! I missed her keynote address Thursday night, and the majority of both her lunchtime lectures, sadly. Her Friday afternoon workshop just didn’t quite catch and hold my attention, but her Saturday class was somehow just what I needed. No one had ever really emphasized the concept of shifting weight and how it could help you with your movement, but once she showed us, it clicked and suddenly several things I’ve struggled with of late just came together.
  • Ariellah — I knew better than to skip out on her morning conditioning classes. I definitely needed the warmup and stretching she provided, and her repeated reminders of “intention” through the weekend helped keep me in focus when I started feeling scattered about. Her “Dance as Theater” workshop on Sunday was enough to give me the beginnings of an understanding of what goes into a choreography so that when I’m ready to attempt one, I’ll have some idea of how to proceed.
  • Megha Gavin — Thank goodness I had just finished Lacy’s ATS Level I class or I would have felt totally lost and embarassed! She introduced me to the concept of puja; I want to continue with that beautiful moving meditation. I loved her two workshops on ATS fundamentals, but they have left me terrified of June’s General Skills Intensive with her and Carolina Nerricio. HOW am I possibly going to be decently prepared for THAT experience?
  • Zoe Jakes — One of the queens of Tribal Fusion, and now I see why dancers elevate her to near-deity status. The only word to describe her is amazing. Her body control and expressiveness would discourage me from ever calling myself a dancer if she didn’t inspire me to at least try. Her explanation of drum solo and demonstrations of how it happens were a revelation; her Musical Combos session at 4 p.m. on Sunday was, my god, the HARDEST workout I can ever remember. HOLY CRAP. I will remember THAT for a long, long time.
  • Ziah — Her Zills workshop may be the only one in which I didn’t feel like a total spaz!! Yeah, I may be a klutz but I can play zills, at least a little. Her session was a definite step in taking it to the next level, playing solidly WHILE I MOVE.

Both the live music show on Friday night and the all-star gala performance on Saturday night were a feast for the eyes, the ears, and the soul. The highlight of  the two nights had to be Miriam Amaya’s sword dance — the only performance to get a standing ovation from the entire audience. I have never seen anything so freakin’ incredible in my life, not even at the Cirque du Soleil performances I’ve attended. That one performance made me buy both the show DVDs, just so I can see it again.

I didn’t attend the after-parties either night because bed called my exhausted and aching body. Since I was staying at Andrea’s (to save an hour of driving each day) rather than the hotel, I just left right after each performance. I kind of made up for it at the vendor’s hall, though. It drove me into utter magpie mode — “OOOH, SHINY!!!!!” at item after item after item. So my dance wardrobe got a bit of an upgrade, and I can even wear a couple of the pieces to work (like the silk wrap skirt, which I wore yesterday 😉 ). I really don’t want to see my VISA bill…

From my vantage point, the entire conference looked like it ran perfectly. Ziah and all her staff are to be commended on doing a truly professional job with smiles on their faces. I’ve done my share of running conferences and I know what a challenge it is to keep things running smoothly!

One downside for me was the agony of my underused and overworked muscles as the weekend wore on. I’m not used to that much intense physical activity and I paid for it. The other was that I really didn’t know anybody there to speak of except Lacy, and she was busy in the vendor’s hall the entire time except for the shows. I’m not a terribly outgoing person and retreat into myself when in crowds, and since it seemed that most people were there in groups of two or three or four, it was too challenging for me to just walk up and introduce myself to anyone. Hopefully next year I can convince Mary or another of my dance sisters to go with me, because I WILL be going next year unless something truly drastic happens, and I’ll have someone to just hang out and share the experience with.

TribalCon 2012 ROCKED, and I can’t wait for TribalCon 2013!!