Trxbe takes University of Massachusetts Boston (Again!)

This past Thursday, Trxbe ended the school year with a bang. I talked a little bit about our last performance in front of the Suffolk University student body and faculty (yes it’s the one in which I made a complete fool of myself, but it’s okay because I promise that I’m somewhat, sort of over it), our very last performance ever was at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Now, for those of you who have been keeping up (and if you haven’t been go check out other posts), Trxbe’s first performance infront of an off campus crowd, was just last month at the University of Massachusetts Boston, for the African Student Association. During our last practice of the year, our team leader announced to us that we were being invited back, to perform at an event that was being hosted by the Cape Verdean Student Association. Unfortunately, two of our members had to pass, because they had other engagements. Now, we’re currently a team of six people, meaning that only four of us would be bringing the energy and hype, to what after just the second piece feels like an hour long routine. All I could think to myslef, was “lord, help us all.”

When we all got to UMB, it was discernible that all of us were drained, and probable that the four of us weren’t going to be able to deliver as much energy as we had hoped. We had to adjust several spots in our routines, because the others were missing, and we were a bit apprehensive because of it. Warning: I’m going to throw in a first world problem here. I had actually attempted to shave before the event, accidentally drove my razor into my skin, so I had my own little issues going on. We were there because we promised to be there, but we were all just not in the mood. For that three hours before the show, we experienced something that all performers and artists deal with at least 50% of the time. Apathy. We were being lazy, and we didn’t care. But when I tell you that the “5-minutes-’till-showtime” rush is the only cure, believe me, it’s the only cure. When we got out on that stage, we nailed every move, we were in sync, and we most definitely brought the energy, from the beginning to end when we hopped off stage.

Take Five: A Reflection

Last Thursday, exhausted and drowning final assignments, I lay in bed and rolled over unto my stomach, only to face a text message that read: “You know pictures are at 6:00 right?” It was our Trxbe secretary, and the pictures she was referring to were the pictures that the Suffolk Performing Arts Office (PAO) takes of its performing arts groups before each performing arts show at the end of each semester. It was 6:04, and I knew better to answer back with a snappy “no, I didn’t know..” because clearly the question was rhetorical. So I rolled out of bed, irritated, and quickly scrambled for my cropped team sweatshirt, and had to settle for a pair of crappy leggings, that I knew would leave my entire mid-section exposed for the entire duration of the dance, because they never stayed up. I ran to the school theater (boy, I sure do a lot of running to places in these blogs), where I had been told that I missed the team picture, but that we could take another. I hadn’t practiced since that Sunday at the dance studio with the team, and I had a gut feeling that told me that I was going mess up in some way, shape, or form, because of it. Well, very rarely does my gut lie to me honestly.

It all started when our music began while the crowd was still cheering, preventing us from hitting our introduction, and forcing us to have to start the track again after the song had been going for at least 45 seconds. Then, my nerves began to take control, drove me right out of our six person triangular formation about 15 seconds too early. After that, my mess ups kept coming, one after the other, after the other. After we danced off stage and headed up to the balcony, grabbed my stuff and left. We were the second act.

I remember my Literary Citizenship class having a conversation about how toxic it can be to be a perfectionist and an artist at the same time. I feel that this was one of those scenarios in which toxicity is evident. In my mind, I had humiliated my whole team, and might as well have been tossed off of the edge of the earth at that point. The performance ended up on facebook, and not too long after, Youtube. It took several phone calls from my mother before I actually began believing that dance didn’t end here for me. Point is, as a dancer, as an actor, a singer, a musician, anything…recognizing the importance of making mistakes will probably be what causes you to prosper in the long run.

Another Suffolk University Dance Event: Kizomba Workshop

       

I had heard that it was Caribbean week here at Suffolk, and the April 20th event just happened be a ‘zouk’ workshop. I sprinted to Donahue, right after my 4:00 – 5:15 class. I was technically late, but I know Caribbean folk (because I am one), and there are only a handful of them that are actually on time (I’m typically not one). When I got to the place where the event was originally supposed to be, I saw a different group, and all I could really think was that either one of two things had happened: Either the event had been moved, or I’ve been wrong about Caribbean folk all of my life, I was the only one who was always late to things that I probably shouldn’t be late to, and the workshop had already ended. I decided to head to the fourth floor, the only other place that I could think of that the workshop could possibly be at.

Luckily, when I got there I saw a dj setting up some equipment in the corner of the room, and three unfamiliar faces. I quickly inquired if this was where the dance workshop would be, just to be on the safe side, and was told that it was. I approached one of the unfamiliar faces, a professional looking woman wearing black dance heels, and asked the only question that was on my brain at the moment: “what is zouk?” to which she quickly answered that there had been a mistake, and that today we would actually be learning kizomba. I of course, had heard of kizomba, but I didn’t exactly know what it was either, which was perfect. She pointed me in the direction of the actual overseer of the program, who was a man that looked like he was in either his very late twenties or mid thirties. So I did as I was told, and asked a few questions about what kizomba was all about. Evens Joseph, owner of Ej dance studios, greeted me with a handshake and a charming smile. “Kizomba is a dance from Angola” Joseph said, “it’s a beautiful dance, it’s pretty easy, and smooth and sexy.”

When we got into the dancing, I understood exactly what he had been saying. We ultimately learned a series of foot and hip movements, and when we were paired up with our partners, we were repeatedly told that we needed to be closer to them. When we finally got the steps down, it actually turned out to not be as difficult as I thought it would be. At the end, we were all rewarded with $70.00 worth of lessons at Ej dance studios!