Tonight I teach my last regular dance class in LA. I have lived here for 5 years and the last time I left I knew I would be moving back soon. This time I’m leaving with no plans to return. Coming from Northern California I did not think I would like this city as much as I have grown to love it. West LA is a beautiful place with ideal weather, ringed by mountains and full of great food, art, performance, and my wonderful friends.
When I look back at who I was when I first moved here I remember myself in a totally different phase of my life…completely different stop on my life’s journey. I was a college freshman! I lived in a dorm. My parents helped me pay for things. I had a different last name. I had never traveled. I was not a dance teacher and when I did start teaching an hour long dance class would take me three hours to prepare. I was majoring in English and dance was not my career path.
Now I have two degrees in Dance and Dance Studies. I teach dance for a living and it flows out of me…that “flows out of me” feeling only happened in the last 6 months. I am married. I have credit. I pay my own bills and acquire my own debt. I used to be incapacitated as I thought about how unknown my future was, completely overwhelmed by uncertainty. Now I feel excited by that unknown, especially with my partner by my side, the education and skills I have acquired, my supportive family, and networks of intelligent, creative, motivated friends.
As much as I love LA and how at home I feel in California, I have another family now in Texas and growing group of friends in Austin where my husband’s music and friends are. I want to own a modest home and live a comfortable life where I don’t have to work quite so hard to pay steep rent on someone else’s investment. But oh man is it HOT in Austin. Reed and I met in the dead of summer in Rajasthan so we thrive in the heat at least on some proven level. Our landing pad this summer will be with our family in Houston then jobs and fortune permitting we will be settling in Austin in winter. In July I’ll be touring solo in Switzerland, Rome, and Moscow followed by a few teaching events in the States, then a two months long US tour with Bellydance Superstars. For the next two seasons my husband and I will be floating and finally both of us are done with school.
I’m looking forward to the unknown of what is in store for us this year and next. Here is to all good people finding happiness and finding one another…may we find all you good people this year.
As my good friend Lil A asked the sea on the summer solstice last week, “provide me that which is meant for me and take from me that which does not belong to me.”
My last performances in LA will be at Zulu Lounge at the King King in Hollywood on Thursday June 28 and Bohemian Roadhouse at Camarrano’s in Simi Valley on Saturday June 30. I will be teaching my last workshop on Saturday June 30 in Newbury Park.