Ya Habibi!

Ya Habibi means “my darling” or “my beloved” in Arabic, and it’s the name of one of the songs to which we danced this past weekend. The experience was grueling, involving a ten-hour dress rehearsal on Thursday followed by two performances on Friday, one on Saturday evening, and a matinee on Sunday. Mostly we sat (or stood) waiting for our two 3-minute segments. Since the program was almost three hours long, that was a lot of waiting in an uncomfortable costume. Gorgeous raiment, but uncomfortable.

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The experience was also awesome. We caused quite a commotion with our costumes, moves, and the whole lot of shaking that went on. It’s really incredible playing to a receptive audience, but truly, despite a few minor missteps, we were fabulous, and deserved the applause, hoots, and whistles.

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A friend took a couple of photos of us dancing (I am the one in the silvery mauve; the rest of the performers got left out of the photo) and even met me at the stage door with flowers. I felt like a star. And, in fact, as we were leaving the theater, the woman who dealt with the lighting said, “Here come the stars.”

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Ah, the joys of the limelight! I will be eternally grateful to my dance teacher for giving me this priceless opportunity.

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(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)