Bellydance shows are usually exciting... The costumes, the choreography, the festive atmosphere... And since I also dance with many of the people that I photograph, I get the privilege sometimes of knowing when things go wrong and witnessing the "save." Sometimes, things go wrong that are completely outside the dancers' control... Saturday, August 16th, 2008 was just such an evening.
Asali put on Evening in the Orient 2 in Dallas, NC to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She had a great space in Myers Auditorium at Gaston College and a fantastic lineup of area dancers and her own students.
Naima was performing her solo early in the second half of the show when the fire alarm went off. She kept dancing, but also kept looking toward the wings to see what was going on. She finished abruptly but gracefully and then Asali came out and informed the audience that we had to evacuate.
All the dancers grabbed their things from the dressing room and headed outside. A couple of the dancers helped me schlep my portrait gear outside as well (hey... at least I had gotten everything packed up during intermission!) Everyone was quite upset because there were still quite a few dancers who had not performed.
Then two fire trucks arrived. One of the dancers remarked
"Please let you guys be HOT!"
The guys got out of the trucks and rushed into the building. Lots of activity. No smoke. The word that they were trying to reset the alarm so we could go back inside started filtering through. Everyone started relaxing.
Five minutes passed. Still no smoke. The official word was that as soon as the fire department reset the alarm, we could continue the show.
Then five more fire trucks arrived.
No smoke... just fun photo ops.