I'm not sure why this happens, maybe it's just human nature, but most people don't ask advice even from experts in a given field. Or maybe people are just a bit intimidated or shy to approach an expert.
Experienced belly dancers are flattered when you ask advice from them. Yes, very flattered! So do ask. It makes them feel good that you think highly enough of them to ask their advice.
Maybe its movement technique advice, or how you choice your music, or your costuming. The best way to ask is in person, but when you can't do that pick up the phone or email. Be sure to pay them a compliment. Who the heck doesn't like compliments? You could make their day! As a matter of fact they could be having a down day and you'll be the "pick me up" they need. And trust me, they won't forget you either.
So when in doubt, go ahead and ask their advice. Both of you will benefit.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
A common problem with newer belly dancers is that they tend to dance at just one speed - fast. Too fast. Even the veil and/or floor work part of the routine looks rushed. Much of this has to do with being too nervous while performing or just being new to belly dance.
I have 4 suggestions for a cure.
1. Practice - A lot! The more you practice and rehearse your performance, the more confidence you will have in your yourself. The more practice the less nervous you will be while performing. And therefore you will perform at a "normal" speed.
2. Breathe. Remember to breathe normally throughout your dance. And once and awhile take a deep breathe and let it out slowly - this will give you a pause and your audience will follow you.
3. Add to your performances changes in speed. Make some of them dramatic. Heck, you can even stop for a second or two and add just a little gesture. Add these changes of tempo during all parts of your routine. During the opening, taxseem and drum solo. This will give your performance drama and will keep your audience's attention.
4. Watch some of your favorite dancers perform. Watch their changes of pace. Learn how they add drama to their dance.
I distinctly remember the first time I saw FatChanceBellyDance perform. It was at Rakkasah. I think it was in the late 1990s. Besides their attire being completely different from a Cabaret belly dancer, what really stood out was the speed at which they danced. At least 1/2 of the performance was slow. Slow and very dramatic. Everyone in the auditorium had their eyes glued to them throughout the performance. They are a perfect example of adding change of pace, which results in a dramatic dance.
I hope these suggestions help you in your next big performance!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Yesterday I was asked a question that I've been asked numerous times over the years. "When I get hired to dance at a party, how should I get paid?
There's a little more to it than just getting paid, but I will just address this issue. Here's the answer: Get paid up front. When someone books you for a gig, be very clear on the terms of payment. Get a 50% deposit in advance and the balance at the gig before you perform. Generally speaking if its a regular gig, you can trust the employer to make payment.
I can't tell you how many dancers that have told me that they got cheated out of payment. It happened to me too when I was new to belly dancing. Wish I had a mentor back then.
Don't be afraid to stand your ground and get paid.
Happy Belly Dancing,