Rebel Heart Hangover



The curtains at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on January 12, 2016. Madonna came on late, but she was definitely worth the wait. | Photo: Sara Samora

I saw Madonna performed for the second time on Tuesday night. She is the definition of success, of breaking barriers, of outlasting and beating her naysayers, and dare I say in cliché, someone who dances to the beat of her own drum.

I received these tickets on my birthday, so it was a show I longed to attend. I love her latest album. Moreover, I have the fear that one of these days, she will say, “This is my last tour.” So why not see her while she’s still doing her thing enthusiastically?

When I watched Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour Workshop videos on her YouTube, the music and the rehearsals created anticipation for this show.

And as I watched these videos, I couldn’t help but remembered a quote from one of my drill instructors from Marine Corps boot camp, when she had my platoon practice for initial drill evaluation.

She would slap the rifle, and ease it down to her side, butt facing the ground. Then she would yell at us –as every drill instructor does –and tell us that it was wrong.

“An amateur practices it until she gets it right,” she said. “A Marine gets it until she can’t get it wrong.”

When I read how often Madonna and her dancers rehearsed –even in her ballet days in Michigan and New York –it made me think about this quote.

Seeing the show live, with the acrobats, the special effects, the dramatics, it all looked so easy.

Every intricate dance move, every swing on the pole, and even a fall back leap from the stairs on stage, looked natural and dramatic, bringing excitement and gasps from the audience.

Might I add, some of the more acrobatic choreography were without harnesses. And if they had them on, her road crew did a great job hiding it.

Sometimes I think if Madonna had not gone the road of worldwide superstar, that she would have been perfect in the military. The woman is fit and very disciplined. Moreover, she does have a –ahem –colorful sense of humor.

I can’t help but imagine how she would play games with her junior cohorts. If the below is any indication of what kind of games she would play:

“My daughter has a problem picking things up in her room, so if you leave your clothes on the floor, they’re gone when you come home,” Madonna explains.

“[Lourdes] has to earn all her clothes back by being tidy, making her bed, hanging up her clothes.”

The little one’s wardrobe also gets taken away if she throws a tantrum over which outfit to wear.

“We have got down to one outfit — she wears the same outfit every day to school until she learns her lesson,” Madonna says.

While I do think her junior cohorts would probably despise her, they would probably love her at the same time. Seeing someone like her pushing hard, going above and beyond, looking over their uniforms like she does her dancers’ costumes, making sure everything is in order and then teach them a thing or two about culture and/or traditions.

“She’s pushing us to go harder, because she’s going so hard.”

She would want her unit to be the best, to give their all on the daily tasks. She would only want the best and would push them to keep up with her.

It’s inspiring to watch her career, to watch her try, and either succeed or fail. Regardless of what critics say about Madonna, she’s going to prove you wrong. And if she does fall, she will try again, or try a different route.

But that’s what a rebel heart is; being different and true to yourself.

Now if only I can convince some of my friends to look past the ageism, past the genre and the decade, and see what she can do. They would be amazed, and they won’t be disappointed.


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