Once then studios were able to open back up in February, I got right back into teaching. I spend most of February and March just trying to get adjusted to my busier schedule. As the weather started getting better, I started running again, which my body was not happy with me at first. I had taken 4 months off during the winter, the first few runs were quite painful. But I was determined to push through that pain, regardless how bad it was, knowing it would get easier.
I saw an ad looking for cabaret and burlesque dancers as part of a new drag show in Niagara Falls that was going to be every Friday night. I thought I would audition and see what it was all about. The show was at Club Rouge, which which is a local strip club that has 2 levels, the girl dancers upstairs and the male dancers downstairs. This show was downstairs in the Peppermints club. It was my first time in the club so I had no idea what it was going to be like. I was planning on bringing in my own chair to audition with, but I was so nervous that I didn’t bring it in. I should have, as I used one of the club chairs and they were not stable enough to bee able to do the acro tricks on. There was a pole on the stage, so I used that as well when I auditioned. Everyone seemed impressed by my performance. I gave them my contact info and waited to hear back. I was super excited about this opportunity…being able to perform non stage agin (paid!) and meeting new people, things I haven’t been able to do for 2 years.
Weeks past and I didn’t hear back from anyone about the show. Then the communication was wishy-washy and confusing about what was happening. I lost hope for a while that this will happen. Then I had phone call confirming that I will be part of the show and outlining the details. I was pumped! I invited my co-workers and studio friends to the show.
The week of the show, which was on Good Friday, my kids went to a sleepover and brought home Covid. They didn’t get too sick, but I was devastated that we spent 2 years being so careful to keep Covid out of our house, and then there we were after a sleepover. It was difficult to have to isolate from the kids but I was so worried that I would get Covid and would not be able to perform, I tested negative the morning of Good Friday, so I was good to perform!
During the afternoon, I was feeling a little off and lacking energy but I shrugged it off bad nerves, since I tested negative. I had spent the morning practicing my routines, as I was asked to have more of a choreographed routine prepared, verses the more freestyle I did the night before when I went to the club to practice. I freestyled during practice because I needed to get a better feel for the stage and pole (which is not a standard dance pole) before I choreographed routines. I arrived early, but really didn’t need to as there was no rehearsal before the show. The show itself, and was a bit of a mess. I was underwhelmed by the show and how I was pretty much ignored by one of the organizers. I had 2 routines, but only 1 was scheduled into the set list so I got penciled in last minute, being put closer the end of the show. The song for my second performance was completely wrong so I had to freestyle dance the best I could to an unknown song and scraping most of the routine that I planned.
The best part of the show is that a few of my co-workers and some of the girls from the studio came! I have very rarely had anyone come see me perform before so this made my heart so happy.
When I got home from the show, I did another Covid test as the little off feeling has gotten worse and I wasn’t feeling good. Positive. Fuck, here it is, I have the ‘vid and it’s Easter weekend. It hit me hard. It took all the straight to play Easter Bunny for the kids the Saturday night. I spent the Easter Sunday mostly in bed feeling like death, only able to muster enough energy to get up with the kids for their egg hunt, and then later for Easter dinner (which my husband have to make by himself) and I barely ate as I completely lost my appetite. I spent the majority of my 5 days off in bed, we had a snow storm that weekend so it was the perfect time to stay in bed. I was happy that I didn’t get anyone at work or the show sick though, I was so scared that I may have passed it on. Because I was so sick, I even had to delay our annual Easter photos a few days until I was well enough for photos.
After the show I communicated my feeling about the how the show went but the conversation didn’t go well and I will not be performing again at this show. It was their loss, as I sold quite a few tickets and all my friends said I had brought the better act to the show. I didn’t even get paid, despite selling more than enough tickets to pay what was agreed upon earlier. I was disappointed as I was hoping this would be an opportunity for self promotion and promotion of the studios, unfortunately I was told that this was not the venue for that despite the organizers self-promoting their own businesses and their sponsors. I was very let down of the whole experience, but I know my worth and I will not allow to be treated poorly.
After my 5 days, I went back to work but continued to have side effects from Covid for a month after. Extreme exhaustion, lack of appetite, prolonged headaches, muscle soreness were all symptoms I experienced. Every day I woke up, it was something different it seemed. I took that whole month off from running. I was so frustrated as just when I was feeling like a got one step ahead, physically back to where I was pre shutdowns, I took a giant step back.
When I did return to running, I found getting my cardio back took while. I found I was having a hard time breathing properly, which in turn my my running slower and overall more difficult. It has taken me a few solid weeks of running regularly to get back to feeing like where I was pre-covid.