Planning a tour is no small feat. I have always loved the expression "hindsight is 20/20", because it really is! I recently hosted my first tour, in California for Zadiel Sasmaz- one of Europe's most famous male belly dancers. Looking back, there are so many things I would have done differently. Contracts, for everything, for starters. More promotion. Tons and tons and tons of promotion!
That said, the tour was successful in many ways. Namely, I discovered what it was like to live with two gay men. You wouldn't believe the amount of cologne that was sprayed in my house- I almost debated wearing a gas mask! And if you ever thought that teenage girls were boy crazy, you'd quickly realize that gay men truly define the term "boy obsessed". But can you blame them? Two gay guys from Germany in San Francisco for the first time, how could they not get a little nutty about all the gay men walking around?
The best part about touring is all the people you meet. From San Diego to San Francisco, we only had the best of hosts along the way. And to share the stage with other talented dancers is priceless. The downside? Lack of sleep! We all kept staying up way past our bedtimes because we were enjoying the pleasant company so much!
Also, as one of Zadiel's hostesses, I got to take all of his workshops. And Zadiel is a master teacher. From "Dancing to Turkish Pop" to "Drum Solo" to "Turkish Roma", I was shimmying my heart out. The "Turkish Roma" workshop was my favorite. The only drawback was that all the hopping a walking and sliding gave me a blister the size of a large grape on the bottom of my right foot. For the past three days I've been hobbling around like an old lady!
The toughest day of the tour, though, was the day of the Balkan Fusion Party show at Triple Crown in San Francisco. I was running on five hours sleep, and drove from San Diego to Los Angeles, then flew to San Francisco, got ready in thirty minutes, walked to the club, and produced a show.
In hindsight, that all seems very stressful and a little crazy. But then I pause to reflect some more and I think, "Lack of sleep? Excessive traveling? Blisters?" Meh. It's just another day in the life of a belly dancer.