Monday, October 25, 2010

Oktoberfest Part One

The Performance

Tulsa's Oktoberfest is a big deal around this area. It is run by the German American Society of Tulsa (GAST) and is in fact considered one of the best Oktoberfest's in America (somewhere in top 10... something like that). It lasts five days, it is extremely well attended by Tulsans and people from all around, there's loads of entertainment for children and adults, good food, bands and entertainers from Germany, as well as local groups (like my Irish dance school), and from other states. Like I said it is a well-run big deal and I think Tulsans are rather proud of this little fest. Follow the links for ore info about the origins of Oktoberfest via Wikipedia, and the Tulsa Oktoberfest.
Okay so after that little info filled paragraph onto the dancing! Or as I preferred to call it, 'Dear God we have to dance for an hour???' time. We danced in one of the smaller, 'family friendly' tents (yes, I know, but, it is America after all folks). Sunday is a pretty tame, 'low-key' day for the fest, but, still the tent was packed and the same went for most of the other tents I saw.
GAST took very good care of us and even provided water and beer (woot!) for us! That said, the man in the above picture totally felt me up. Yeah... old man, in German garb, feeling me up pre-performance equals eww, but, it also means I have a funny story.

Jon was kind enough to tag along and take LOADS of pictures. These are some of the good ones of the performance. I will write up another post about the after performance fun. Oh and there was fun, but, I promise not TOO much fun. ;-) So sit back and enjoy the pictures and my random commentary about what we did.

This is why Irish dancers wear bloomers aka kick pants under their skirts. If we didn't have those there would be quite a bit of errrmmm... yeah.
You wanna know what I was saying during this break? 'Omg I am soooooo sweaty- ha! I need a towel!!' I was dripping!! And this was after just one dance. To be fair, it wasn't nearly as bad as the Scottish Games, but, it was hot enough.
Better than too cold I guess. At least the warmth keeps your muscles warm which does help keep your legs limber. Can you tell I'm trying to keep positive here? Good, just wanted to make sure.

Did I mention I love the fact we have a guy dancing with us now? He's so uber cool, from Canada, and a talented dancer. Guys get some really cool moves in Irish dance. Makes me wanna be a guy sometimes... well, at least when dancing. On top of the cool moves, they don't have to worry about the need for kick pants and tights. Almost makes it worth it right there.

One thing I love about our performance was the diversity in ages and abilities. That little one above is only six years old and she is so talented! She was the youngest and the oldest is over fifty. Very cool and motivating to share a passion for something with so many people from different backgrounds.

Hey look!! My turnout is getting better. Woot, woot!! I've been working hard on the building up my technique. While I certainly didn't dance my absolute best yesterday, I can see signs of improvement in places. Always nice to see some progress!

My instructor K.t and my good friend on stage together. They are extremely talented and downright lovely people. Side note: I want my K.t's legs. They are gorgeous!!

One of our younger dancers injured their toe, but, still wanted to be part of our Oktoberfest performance. So, instead of dancing she played some fiddle music with her sister. SO cute! Even though the sound wasn't always on (there were a lot of sound issues actually) the audience was very generous with their applause. And we dancers were grateful for a bit of a break too! It was a win win for everyone!

There were moments during the performance I got to dance and kinda be in charge of the younger dancers. Go me! You see that look on my face above? Yeah, that's me thinking. I had to call out what to do to the other dancers while dancing!! That was almost too much multi-tasking for my brain, but, hey a challenge is a good thing right? We stayed together really well and that's all that mattered.

The hazards of dancing with little ones though? They forget sometimes! It's cute though and in fact they could probably just stand there on stage and the audience would still eat it up. So while it can be a bit stressful to make sure a kid knows what to do on stage (and worry about them not doing it), it never ends up being a real ordeal as they are cute and up there trying their best. That's what really matters!

This is just a cool pic. That's all I have to say about that!

We ended our performance well despite a mondo big mistake, but, hey when it's onstage it's not a mistake right? So I rolled with it and I don't think the audience could tell anything went wrong. Performances can be hard, especially since we never get enough rehearsal time due to the fact we don't have our own space/studio yet. It takes a lot of focus to remember what is coming up next, it requires telling the younger dancers what's coming up next, etc, etc. However I find dancing up on stage is a good experience for me personally to work on getting over my stage fright and use it as a constructive way to improve my dancing.
All in all yesterday was fun. Even with little mistakes and issues like the sound cutting out during a dance (and coming back on in the middle of my dancing which was 'fun') I think the crowd enjoyed it and we were happy to have been able to have a bit of fun onstage.


Sara Louise said...

You guys really seem to enjoy yourselves and that's what matters the most.
(plus Irish dancing gives you kick ass legs!)

Habebi said...

Sara Louise- thank you!! We did have fun and you gotta when you know it's not going be perfect. And hey I'm all about having great legs!

Anna Walker said...

How fun! :)
I am glad you had a good time preforming!

Habebi said...

Anna- Thank you hun! We did have a lot of fun. Wait until you see round 2. It was just a happy day all around. I feel lucky to have such good memories!