“Day 1 – Las Vegas – UNLV”

The Traveling Ballet Master – Day 1 – Las Vegas UNLV

Finally landing in Las Vegas after my incredibly long flying time I was greeted at the airport by my good friend, Peter Jakubowski. Peter is a wonderfully talented Lighting designer and one of the full time professors at UNLV’s Dance Department.

I should mention in passing that the airport in Las Vegas is one of the only airports in the world that has a slot machine lounge waiting for you as you disembark from your plane.

At the luggage carousel, Peter informed me that we would be going to dinner right away. And would be joined by Margo Mink Colbert, the Senior Ballet Professor from the University. All I could think was, “Holy Crap” I’ve been in the same clothes for the last 24 hours and must look and smell like a Billy Goat”. On top of that I had taken out my contact lens and was wearing an old pair of glasses that I had. Could not see great but did not care for the traveling. So, I broke open a new box of contacts that I had gotten from my optometrist before leaving for Japan and while bumping down the highway put them into my eyes.

I thought I had gone blind from the excess flying time. What I didn’t know was that the optometrist office had screwed up my proscription and instead of giving me +3.00 contact lens they had given me -3.00. For those of you that don’t wear contacts what they had given me was like trying to look through the bottom of a Coke glass bottle after not sleeping for 24 hours. I just took then out of my eyes and tossed them out the window of the car.

Half blind and exhausted I was relieved at meeting Margo at the Indian restaurant. She was a very down to earth and cool person. Heck she even offered to help me with the contact lens problem. Turns out she wears the same size as me.

As our meeting progressed it turned out that Margo and my Mother (Barbara Riggins) had studied with many of the same teachers in New York. So we had a wonderful evening exchanging stories and opinions. The Dance World in some ways is very small. We are all someone’s student and eventually some one’s teacher.

Good Night from Las Vegas


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