…And then the party started…More about Jan 24, Open Dance Night

Where did I leave off?

Oh, yes, we’ve got BFF Crew arriving at the Mercury Lounge to set up and get ready an hour before the event  doors open to the public.

The Mercury Lounge staff, featuring the lovely Kate and the equally lovely Bartender, that I missed her name, were there nice and early to help us by setting out chairs, candles, and a water station upstairs for the performers.  Kate also got me set up with the music along with a quick reassurance from Lance that I could pop back and forth between the iPod and laptop without any problem.

I exploded upstairs and with Kalyani and Laksha, Farasha and Eric helping, we set up all of the stuff that we needed:

An aside – thank you to Kalyani for calling me as she was heading over in her Golf and offering me a ride, it made it much easier to carry all of the things I wanted to have with us, plus her circling the Metro parking lot as I bought the food!

The LIST:

  • Rack for costumes and coats upstairs for the performers. This is a super helpful thing to have and not every location has extra ones for you to borrow, so I always pack my own if I can.
  • Printed out: roster,the door list for advanced purchased tickets,extra posters to put up on the outer door to direct people,extra paper- just in case.
  • Markers, masking tape, pens
  • Cash floats – 1 for the door that I brought with clearly marked amounts to keep the numbers straight later; 1 that Farasha brought for the fake mehndi that Kalyani and Suhani were taking care of.
  • Drum – for the live drumming segment
  • Costumes for my performances including footwear since this is a bar after all.
  • food

So we got the items set up – I had also brought sari to decorate, but the club looks great the way it is, and I had a sign for Belly Dancing Fof Fun, since that’s my “company” name that was co-hosting, but since we don’t have a BFF sign, I decided to not bother.

Kalyani and Suhani set up their quick dry mehndi station upstairs and I was their first customer!

Eric, husband of Farasha, very kindly sat and listened to me as I explained the door list and what we needed done as people came in.  Sadly, since he was stuck at the door, he did not get to see his lovely wife perform and next time we’ll rectify that!

Meanwhile, Tom, husband of me, arrived and decided where he would set up and then helped me with some of the audio stuff – not having received all of the advanced music in advance led to some last minute juggling.

It all worked out, but I really do find it so much easier to have the music in advance digitally. But the cd’s played just fine when I got them from dancers as they arrived, it just took a few seconds for them to load up.

And a word on volume. I will ALWAYS want the music less loud than any musician in the room. I bring earplugs with me to protect my hearing.  So when I started the first number and was asked to turn it up, I said no, but then I did ask the audience if they wanted it louder.

A few folks said yes, so I acquiesced and then was told by the folks in front of the speakers that it was too loud – eventually we settled on a spot that seemed to work without making me deaf.

My apologies to the people who like it loud !

Okay, so we started the show later than originally planned as one dancer had to make a quick trip back out in the cold to get her iPod, but we were quickly back on track as we had no one sign up that night to dance last minute.

The roster then shifted and flowed as we had some  on the spot adjusting based on timing needed, arrival of the performers etc., but we skipped ahead and back and forth as needed without any major problems. We did have another dancer who arrived later than expected, but again, it was easy to shift and move the times as needed!

Other things to note – our BFF Crew tag teaming worked ok, but if we do it again, we’ll take more time before the event to make sure that not one person is in charge of any one thing for the entire night.

I am a self-admitted control freak, and when I do ask for help, I usually try to let the person helping choose the best way that they feel they can help, so that I don’t bug them while they are doing their thing { my friends who volunteer with me are also very capable of telling me to go away, they got it!} .  So I was  once again so happy to be surrounded by capable people { Suhani being thrown into using my laptop was my bad  – I thought she was a mac user !  But she did great!}

And the party went great. Supportive audience, great dancers, some folks enjoying the bar aspect, the kids who were in attendance did great as far as I know, and a good time was had by all as far as I could tell!

I feel like I could go on more, but I think you get the gist of it and if you were there, and took photos, please add them to our semi private Flickr group:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/2467815@N25/

You will need to request permission to join, so if I don’t know you, I may ask you who you are before granting permission -= just trying to keep things respectful of our dancers.

And if you feel like offering some feedback so that future events can better serve the interests of our community, please go here and fill in the feedback form!

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