Updated: Jan 13
After completing my second TT with Devereaux in Ancona, Italy, I arrived back in London at the beginning of December 2004, jobless, broke, and with two maxed out credit cards. To make some quick money, I picked up a few cover classes at various Bikram Yoga Studios around London. It was relatively easy as many Bikram teachers were American back then, so there was a huge exodus to leave London for the holidays. And as a lucky result, many of them did not return causing the studio owners to ask me to become the permanent teacher for my cover classes. By the end of the 2005’s New Year, word spread and I was lucky enough to pick up a few private clients. With the combination of the permanent studio classes and a steady increase of private clients, I was able to live off my teaching without needing to get a second job. I had inadvertently become a yoga teacher in London. So by the time I went with Olof to my disastrously first Tripsichore company class in March 2005, I had already acquired an easy flexible work schedule, which allowed me to invest energy and time into yoga dance. Because, like I mentioned before, I quickly got hooked, and soon became determined to master the Tripsichore Yoga style, technique and become a performer. I had no inclining of how long it would take, or how it would happen, but I trusted and believed that it would work its self out somehow, and all I needed to do in the mean time was to train and get ready for when it did. Consequently, I broke up with my then boyfriend, moved into my own flat, forsook all social life, and practiced Tripsichore with every spare moment I could find between teaching, eating, and sleeping.
And then it did happen. In December of 2006, at the end of a company class Edward Clark asked me out for a Christmas drink while I was putting my coat on to leave. I thought that this was a bit odd, as he had never really conversed with me after the first time I showed up with Olof and he didn’t appear social with anyone else who attended the company class just for the practice. While trying to figure out the reason for his invite in that brief moment between his invitation and my response, I decided that this was the moment I had beed working my ass off for. For 22 months I had been travelling 90minutes across London three times a week to practice with the Tripsichore performers, with no hint of encouragement or kind word from anyone of those pretentious elite fuckers. So whatever the intent behind the invitation for a Christmas drink, I was going to take advantage of the opportunity, and talk to Edward about my chances of performing for the company. So I accepted.
We agreed to met on a Friday evening three days before the New Year at a little French restaurant called L’Abbe’ on Old Brompton Road. And I remember thinking how strange that I had never noticed this place, as I had two weekly privates in the immediate area. I arrived 15 minutes late, well, not really. I actually climbed out of South Kensington Underground Station and arrived onto Old Brompton Rd. 15 minutes early. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the restaurant, due to them not having a sign up outside, as I later found out. Thinking I had the wrong name, I tried to call Edward on his mobile phone, but he never picked up. Consequently, I ended up frantically walking the length of Old Brompton Rd. sticking my head into every restaurant before long last getting the right one. When I finally entered L’Abbe’, I saw Edward sitting at a table facing the door. Relief flooded over me until I saw him mouth the words “About Fucking Time”, when he clocked my late arrival. This pissed me off. Without thinking, I stalked up to the table and asked him, “Did you just say “About fucking time?””. He looked surprised at this. And I was surprised that he looked surprised. In that moment I was ready to chuck 22 months of hard work down the toilet. Edward eventually found his voice and replied incredulously “Pardon?” I stood there shocked and confused thinking, “I know I saw what I saw, but he’s saying he didn’t say that. Did I miss read his lips?” I felt so unsettled by his denial that I just stood there looking at him for some sign of deception. The silence became awkward, so I clarified, “When I walked in just now, I saw you see me come in, and then, I saw your lips say the words, “About Fucking Time.””. To which he laughingly replied, “Why would I say such a rude thing. I’m glad you’re here. Please sit down, take your coat off and order a drink. The rose’ here is delicious.” His voice was so smooth and charming. He didn’t sound like the man I practiced with three times a week in the little studio in North London. I looked down and noticed a wine glass with pale pink liquid inside it. I quickly scanned the room and realised I was the only black person there, and I was starting to draw attention from the other diners, so I slowly sat down as I didn’t want to get thrown out of a restaurant in a neighbourhood I worked in. Gesturing towards his wine glass, Edward said,“Would you like a taste of mine to see if you would like to order one yourself. Please take you coat off and get comfortable” I kept my coat on. Eyeing him, I said sharply, ”I’ll have champagne, thanks”. “Excellent choice.” he acknowledged and called the waiter over and order it. My plan was to knock back my champagne as payment for my hike across London and then leg it back to Snaresbrook. This looked like the end of my hopes for being a Tripsichore performer, but somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to be wrong and him to be right.