Before I even have the chance to shower the sweat off my body (Sorry, Futon.), I have to sit down to chronicle my excitement of the day.
I went back to ballet this morning, for a perfectly challenging Intermediate class. (My extensions? EW.) The other students in class were basically the same people I’ve been seeing at Shawl-Anderson. That one Pilipino guy who likes to wear subtle pieces of punkiness in his ballet outfits, the White pianist who likes to burst into random bouts of improvisation when she gets to take a class, and the same old Asian ladies who give me hope for when I age.
We did a lot of jumpy stuff today, which got me excited. The combos were challenging, to the point where Pilipino Punky Guy took an unfortunate spill to the floor. He’s fine, but his fall became the subject of water cooler talk in the dressing room after class.
One of the older Asian ladies, the Japanese one who always wears the cutest skirts with colored leotards and full-on pink tights, started discussing how she fell recently. “I was dancing with a stool, you know, and I fell like this. I was dancing to Mos Def, and when I fell, it made such a big sound!” As the other older White ladies in the class nodded and exclaimed “Mos Def!” like they knew what “that” is, something tugged in my brain. This sounds really familiar…
When we saw Lalah Hathaway, Bongo and I noticed that Mos Def was slated to appear at Yoshi’s later that week. I also recalled hearing “Nice, Yoshi!” earlier during class. I looked back down at this petite Japanese thing with her flowy skirt, and it wasn’t difficult to imagine it being untied and used as a flowy scarf.
Someone asked her where she was dancing, and she said “At my club.” Oh! Someone else said that they didn’t realize she was the Yoshi of Yoshi’s. She nodded. Confirmed!
All this time I’ve been dropping in on random classes in the company of Yoshi of Yoshi’s. When there was a break in the conversation, I excitedly told her how I recently saw Lalah Hathaway and how I especially remembered someone dancing next to our booth. “I told my boyfriend ‘I want to be her!'” Yoshi smiled and laughed like she hears this stuff all the time. She probably does. Isn’t a happy older life like hers what we all should be striving for?
While her clubs are legends in the Bay Area, Yoshi’s improv dance has a reputation of its own in the jazz industry. Apparently performers sometimes ask her to appear onstage with them as a special treat.
I used to joke around about it being my life’s dream to open a club just so I can have a venue to dance. Yoshi might be providing that template.
With the advent of Web-based social networking, the charm of real-life stories like these actually amplifies, rather than disappears.