Thursday, December 07, 2006

Festivus Miracle #4: First Belly Dance Showcase

Tuesday night I came into my own as a belly dancer -- sort of. My classmates and I took our routine to Dar Maghreb in Hollywood. We performed our routine together, and my classmates (who have more belly dance technique down and probably made it to more classes than I did) did solos. I had fun doing the group routine twice, and I didn't regret not signing up to do a solo. I want to have better technique so I feel I can improvise with the style better before trying to work a room for tips. I also just got over the flu and did three dance numbers Sunday that I busted my butt to get perfect.

What was great about doing what I did and watching the solos was that I realized it wouldn't take much more technique before I felt confident doing a solo. I could easily improvise a pole routine because I know a lot of moves, but I won't be ready to go it alone on the belly dance until February. I learned that people have to touch you to tip you, so it's important to have accessible places for them to stick cash -- waistbands, belts, bra straps. It's best to have music that you love as a dancer. It's also important to smile. I executed a couple moves incorrectly but I was smiling and no one was the wiser.

It's neat doing live, interactive dance. My veil got caught on my hip scarf coins and I had to work it free while smiling and trying to do the routine. My hip scarf got caught on another dancer's rhinestone belt when we were doing the hafla (belly dance "all-skate" that requires audience participation) at the end of the night. I had to smile and keep dancing so she could free us from one another. I had to hold my veil above my head when I was spinning so I didn't drag it through anyone's dinner plates, but that exposed the lowest part of my boobs. There are so many things that were unrehearsed that happened, and the magic of live performance is that you can't just edit them out in post-production. It's fun.

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