By Marcy Morrison Pearce
Editor's note: Islander Marcy Morrison Pearce is performing with Alameda's Dance/10 in London during the Olympics and is also visiting extended family in England.
Armed with ginger, ginger beer and my fellow dancer's vertigo meds, I crossed the English Channel with Dance/10's Team Europe. Apparently the 22 miles of water between the White Cliffs of Dover and Calais, France have calm down quite a bit since I last did this in 1980. None of my remedies were required.
The ferry we took was nothing like the tiny thing that was tossed by the seas when I was a teen or the vessels we Alamedans take to the City. It was more of a mini cruise ship that holds tour buses at the bottom with about three restaurants, two bars and lots of shopping opportunities .
Here in France, we had our final performance on the Disneyland Paris stage. For an extremely green performer, such as myself, it was an intimidating stage ... professional lights, three big video screens that broadcast our performance and three tiers of seats. The only difficulty was navigating the backstage ...
Apparently, this stage has been used for Lion King shows and we had to traverse fields of fake rocks and trails to get on and off the stage. We were absolutely thrilled to be dancing for Monsieur Mickey but I must say there was a collective sigh of relief when we returned to the dressing room, realizing the task was complete; we did what we came there to do. Now it was time for fun.
We were unleashed in Disneyland Paris, to find it was absolutely charming. In some places perhaps not as clean and as well kept as our Disneyland but the buildings were brilliantly painted and the foliage and flowers stunning.
On a personal note, I have to add that this dancing mom was blessed to celebrate her birthday dancing on a Disneyland Paris stage. Chronologically speaking, it was not a significant birthday but it was the one I will not forget. It was spent with my team: close friends, new friends, and an old friend with whom I'm embarrassed to say how many birthdays we've celebrated together. This birthday, I do not feel older.
Today, my dancing friends left. It broke my heart to see them go. I could jump off and on tour busses with them forever and continue this dancing tour showcasing our Yankee Doodle spirit through the rest of Europe. But now I'm sitting in a lovely hotel lounge in the charming city of Reims, France, one of the centers of champagne production in the world, with my husband and daughter. Tomorrow morning, a tour of the bubbles beckons!