A second-generation dancer, she has extensive knowledge in Brazilian Samba, Salsa, African, Afro-Haitian, Hip-Hop, Flamenco, and Belly Dance. She currently teaches children dance back home in the Bay Area.
Looking back at the four years I spent rehearsing and performing with her, I was too caught up in other BS to truly appreciate her talent and level-headedness. After leaving San Francisco and being able to look at things from a better perspective, I realized she regularly put up with a lot of my bullshit when she didn't really have to.
About a year or two ago, I emailed her with the following message:
[I] Just wanted to let you know that while I've been teaching up here [in Portland], I've shown the clip of us dancing at The Beat (2009) to show how fluid and subtle a follower's arms and posture can really be. That clip has become a really good teaching tool for me.
To be totally frank, I didn't appreciate having a [second]-generation dancer as my dance partner until long after I left SVT (and eventually San Francisco). Looking back, I was too busy drowning in my own problems to see it.
Thanks for tolerating me for about 4 1/2 years... I should have been a better dance partner for you and you deserve better.
I saw her in San Francisco this past February; it was the first time I'd seen her since I moved to Portland. We hugged hello and danced a song. I then brought up the email I sent her, and she said she never got it. I reiterated what I told her in the email, then added that I never should have let other people change my general disposition.
In the end, I'm glad she never saw the email, because I felt better telling her face-to-face. As she always does, she responded with the grace that only she can display, and let me know that it was water under the bridge.
See you next February, Aisha!