Orientation Day in Albuquerque

I’m exhausted! Oh wait, I haven’t even danced yet…

It’s nearly 10 p.m. here in New Mexico and I’m finally able to relax. I barely slept last night and I was up by 5:45 to get to the airport a couple hours before my 9 a.m. flight. Got to Albuquerque at noon, then made my way to the hotel, where I loitered for a couple hours waiting for a room. But orientation was at UNM at 3, so I left my bags and went out to catch a shuttle that never came. Luckily I made friends and was able to share a cab there…

Orientation was short but sweet, and I’m glad I made it there to meet a few people and get a feel for my surroundings. I felt a little intimidated because looking around this room, I had no idea who is capable of what and how I’ll measure up. Not that it’s a competition in any way; I’m just hoping I can keep up in all my workshops. I met a few women who have been students for as long as or longer than I have, and they’re taking one or two beginner or intermediate classes only. Meanwhile, I’m the crackpot enrolled in five workshops, including two that are advanced. Ummmmm… awkward.

But whatever. Even though I will likely struggle big time (perhaps embarrassingly so) in some of my courses, I’m convinced that going through this weeklong flamencathon and simply being in the presence of such artists will change me in some way. Any little bits of wisdom and inspiration I can walk away with will make me feel like a winner.

With that said, here’s what’s on the daily agenda: 

1. 10:15-11:15 – Advanced Repertory with Pastora Galvan!
This was a second section added by popular demand, so I just had to enroll. I thought it was bulerias and tangos, but today I hear it’s …. jaleo?? Hmmm…

2. 11:30-12:30 – Intermediate Technique with Marisol Encinias

3. 12:45-1:45 – Beginning/intermediate Castanets with Eva Encinias Sandoval

4. 2:00-3:00 – Advanced Bata de Cola with Olga Pericet!
O…M…G, right?!

5. 3:15-4:15 – Cante I with Vicente Griego
Yes .. singing!

After all this madness, when I’m exhausted, dehydrated, starving because I never had a lunch break, likely in a fair amount of pain, a bit dejected because I couldn’t keep up, and possibly in tears, I get to run back to the hotel to rest for 5 minutes and then get all pretty for whatever company show is at 8. 

That last paragraph reminds me that I need to watch my mouth in class. No “shit!”s or F bombs. These folks might not understand like my flamencas back home…

I would love to go to sleep now but there’s an outdoor wedding party in full effect. Music is loud and has gone from mariachi to old school to crazy merengue to classic rock to banda and back around. Right now it’s The Gap Band’s Party Train, which kind of makes me smile because this is my dad’s jam and he always requests it at parties. Anyway … so much for turning in early.

Pray for me, people. Tomorrow is going to be wild and I need all the help I can get.

One thought on “Orientation Day in Albuquerque

  1. Wow, Marissa, we had to stay in the dorms the two summers I went! Now THAT was wild — and the most awesome way to make friends, it was like being in college all over again, but as a dance major, which was what I had really wanted when I was in college.
    Anyway, my first year I took an intermediate class with Omayra Amaya and felt decent, a structure class with Marija Temo and felt also decent, and then this class with Juana Amaya. I don’t remember what “level” her class was listed as, but I figured, Wow, a chance to take class with Juana Amaya, and besides, how hard can it be? Bwahahahaha! I was THE loser of the class. What a colossal disaster! But I stuck it out and learned, well, how to stick it out.
    My second year I took class with Omayra again and felt really good about it, structure again with Marija and learned lots, and then a bata de cola class with Yolanda Heredia — gorgeous and such a fun woman! Felt fabulous in that class (bata de cola is one of my fave things).
    Anyway, just focus on learning, having fun, and making friends. And being in the presence of some of the giants of flamenco. That’s always such a treat.

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