Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Slow Down!

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!

Suzy Evans


Alizah Afet said...

Bless you! Excellent advice. I totally agree. I just saw a newer dancer perform recently. She had lovely moves, but they all ran together. In fact, I was exhausted just watching her. The audience needs to breathe, too!

Suzy's Belly Dance Blog said...

Alizah - I agree... Had the same experience and I've felt the same way - exhausted after watching.

Nargis Coors said...

Well I must say that I was also guilty to this when I started with bellydancing. It has also to do with lack of good advise from teachers in combination with stage "fever" or call it the baby steps on stage.
Great advice.

Faizeh said...

Great advice! This is exactly what I tell my students. It's often how I know a dancer is new. Mind if I share this?

Suzy's Belly Dance Blog said...

Faizeh: Please do share this blog.

Nargis: I too was guilty of it. And you are right about the lack of advice from teachers. I was never told to slow down or try changing my pace.

Good comments from everyone!

LeMava said...

Good advice!

I think such problem can be also because they can't control their muscles so - practice, practice and practice)))