Another great day here in Ames. For some unknown reason, I woke up at 5:45 am, which by the way was WAY before my alarm was set to go off. So, I decided to get up, make the most of it, and begin my day. photo-2After a lovely walk around Lake Laverne, I made my way over to Lorry’s for a cup of tea before heading to 8 am TaKeTiNa with Mary. Nothing like 2.5 hours of TaKaTiNa to help ya’ lose any remaining inhibitions you may have still had. (Today’s schedule included an 8 am session and a longer 1.5 hour session after lunch.) Once you get lost in the groove of things and you think you’ve got it, Mary tosses in a little chaos hand grenade and shakes things up a bit. All the sudden, I’m clapping on wrong beats, singing all the wrong syllables, and stepping on the wrong foot. The really amazing thing is that by the second TaKeTiNa session this afternoon, I no longer winced when that happened and instead found myself smiling with an “oh well” or “ha!” response. This stuff is pretty incredible. Two days ago, although I had heard of it, I had zero knowledge of it. It’s pretty cool what a difference two days can make. It comes down to trusting yourself and losing your inhibitions. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see the benefits from this work. Mary, you are truly amazing at what you do. See you bright and early tomorrow! I’ll be there with bells on! Oh wait, that’s Linda Grove that’ll be wearing the bells and the drum… p.s. Linda, you are a rock!

We have heard some remarkable performances these last few days, from the opening concert Saturday night, to the opera scenes last night, to today’s final concert. Some really inspired performances, tutti bravi. I have to say though, my very favorite performance of the conference was by the fabulous Cathy Allen. She played The Seafarer by Kevin Clark for solo cello. If you have never heard this piece, OMG, it’s wonderful. Cathy owned it, from her first spoken word. What? Spoken word? I thought she was a cellist? Yep. Spoken word. The piece begins with Cathy reciting the text of an Old English poem and she continued reciting it simultaneously while playing. She had us all in the palm of her hand from the first second. Brava, Cathy. You rocked!

And speaking of inhibitions, we all danced the night away after our banquet this evening. The poor DJ didn’t know what he was getting himself into; a room full of musicians, all calling out requests. “Too loud. No hip-hop dance club crap. More hip-hop dance club crap. More 80’s. Less 80’s. More disco. Less disco. How about a little Motown?” (you can probably guess what I requested) He was a good sport. We all had a blast, throwing all of our inhibitions out the door as we cut a rug, together in one giant TaKeTiNa circle.