SIX girls cramped into a small bathroom. I don’t mean a normal bathroom. I mean a room where there is one toilet and one sink. We are all gathered around the mirror trying to put on the final touches of our glittery make up. The other girls are go-go dancers. I am an aerialist who performs 30 feet off the ground so for me the glitter is less of an issue, as no one can really see my face anyway. My concern is more with being able to stretch and warm up my muscles so I can climb and do the tricks I was brought here to do. The floor is dirty. The room is tiny. There is an adjoining room I can use. Its 10×10 which is actually twice the size of the one we are all stuffed into. We can use this room, but there is no mirror and there are boxes and loose boards all scattered about the room. That’s not even the part that is an issue. The real issue is It must be connected to a freezer, as the temp is about 50 degrees and anyone who knows about the human body, knows you cannot warm your muscles up for a physical performance in a room so cold. I wait until the go-go dancers go out to do their set and then I carefully lay my rubber mat for stretching out on the floor of the bathroom we were all crammed into. Only this time its just me in there, but even at that I still have to place the mat very precisely so that when I stretch, my head doesn’t end up knocking against the toilet or against the pipes below the sink. I stretch for a few minutes, but then the dancers come back and want to huddle in to check their make-up before their next set. I move my stuff into the adjoining meat locker like room and pile on my sweats and a coat and continue to warm up as much as I can with the restriction of bulky clothing. At least the handstands I do get the blood flowing and I notice the cold less.
The nightclub manager comes to get me “its show time Tina, are you ready? I nod yes. I take off my coat and sweats, take one last drink of water. Then as I leave my meat locker dressing room I realize how much I love that room, as it means I’m getting ready to perform aerial acrobatics over 600 people’s heads in the hottest nightclub in Miami. I would stretch in a garbage dump if it meant a chance to perform my passion, aerial acrobatics!