My Hat is AWESOME!

Published by Erica on

We have this dance we do called “El Cumbanchero.” We don’t very much like it, so we decided to add some enthusiasm to our performance of it by dubbing it the “My Hat is AWESOME!” dance. It helps. 

We did this dance a few times on tour, once in Athens and at least once, maybe twice in Istanbul.  What you see below is the final pose from our Athens show. What you do not see in this picture is how bad the dance was! Our band, much as we love them, never once played this song correctly on tour. Here at our Athens show I could tell the music was getting off and subsequently it threw off my dancing. Having only learned this dance last year, I tend to cue off the music for certain parts. Not being able to do so resulted in some extremely mushy footwork on my part, most likely a strained smile, and my fabulous ending pose.

El Cumbanchero, Athens 2010
In case you can’t tell, I’m in the back on the right. Yes, I am just pointing off into space, not making a “gun” like I’m supposed to. Trust me, you’ll forgive me athat once you hear how I ended this mess. So, we’re fuddling through with moderate success to the end of the dance, with the band presumably oblivious that they are not at all with us in the music. To end we do a ripple, then pop into the pose you see above. Amy starts the ripple in front. As she does so, she shouts “we’re done!” to the band, who is not near the ending and not really close to an ending phrase either. The ripple comes to the back row and I do the hop around and hit my ending pose, on my knee, shooting out to the side. OH WAIT. That was my pose from last year and now I’m in the back and should be standing when I’m actually kneeling… I popped up and hit my correct pose for this year, and thank goodness Fez didn’t take this picture until I did so. I haven’t seen any film footage of that performance but I’m sure it would be ridiculously hilarious to watch now. We had to hold the pose for a few bars while the band finished off…
El Cumbanchero, Athens 2010
Amy, Erin, Erica, Jenny, Emily

I bet you thought this story couldn’t get any better, but it totally does. Our director decided to have us open one of our segments at the Kucukcekmece Festival with this dance.  Remembering the mishaps of our last performance, we practiced with the band to make sure they knew the order of the sections (ABA and tag twice) and to make sure that synced with what we were doing in the dance. We ran through it in parts a few times, and then did it all through. We even did it a second time for good measure. No way could we go wrong…. Well, ignoring the fact that it started raining right as we were supposed to get on stage, we were ready to show this dance who was boss. The rain was light, so we opted to just dance through it. 

The dance was going so much better! We were on with the music, yep, still together, wait a second…. the band was off. Somehow. Bless the wonderful band, but they were WRONG! It wasn’t as bad as the first time, but we most certainly were not on with the music. We could hear them coming to the end, and this time they were going to finish before we were done. In a stroke of genius, Amy shouted to go straight to the ripple, meaning we would skip a step (about 16 counts, if you count it fast). We hit our position and instead of going into the step, Amy started the ripple. I don’t know if we all heard and understood what was going on or if we just knew to follow what she was doing, but we all went straight to the ripple and ended the dance with the music. I don’t think anyone except us and the band realized that something was up and that we had skipped a step. In the end, we left tour without ever having done the dance right (with the music), since we didn’t perform it at the second festival. What an adventure, and what awesome hats! 
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