Kushan, my devil dancing fifth generation teacher who learnt the art from the age of 13 and is now highly accomplished at 38, proceeded to unpack a large black bag of clothes that looked like they were enough for a week’s holiday with Jetwing, and it wasn’t long before I realised how serious being a devil dancer was on a superb experience set up by Jetwing Blue. First on the sleek black tights and shirt hugged my body before a very long red sash of about 20 feet slowly wound up round me like a girls corset as I revolved on the spot, slowly turning into someone that wasn’t me.
Further accoutrements were attached to my body such as a large elaborate collar, two double layered tutus, elbow silver bangles, an equally long white sash, elaborate frilly ankle garters and the wildest head of hair I’ve ever seen. On spotting the second white sash I was reminded of mummies I’d seen in horror movies and felt a little alarmed but Kushan carried on quite unphased by my fears and strapping everything on extra tight. I was later to learn that he did this to prevent bits coming loose or falling off over the highly energetic dance routines he performed in the costume.
The heat and compaction in all those clothes made me feel a little faint and the suggestion that I sit on a sun lounger before classes began was an extremely welcome one but involved walking like someone playing Blind Man’s Bluff, perilously close to the pool edge.
I later watched the real pro at work at an evening performance at Jetwing Sea. Kushan danced in that same suit in a way I couldn’t have danced in a thousand years. Not only that, he waved around flaming kerosene batons so fast and furiously, spinning like a top, that I felt the devil must surely put the idea in his head that he would set his wild hair alight along with the safety rip cord but no his incredible spirit won through.