5 Tips and Tricks

Over the years of performing I've collected a few practical tips for dancers when performing.  I decided to write them down and share them with you :) 
Warning: the titles get a little cheesy! 

1. Bangles-Beware:  
Bangles be beautiful but they are a potential pit fall because it's so easy for stuff to get caught in them and they are always moving around so it can be a distraction…. but they are so pretty!  From of disastrous experience I've learned that if you are going to dance with a cane (and you are right handed) wear your bangles on the left arm.  It's easy for the cane to slip down into the bangles or if your arm is down for the bangle to slip down over the cane. This leads to the cane getting caught at best and at worst that it un-lodges then flies out of your hand and hits an audience member.   When doing sword I often need to bump the sword with my left wrist in which case I switch my bangles over to the right again…many things to keep track of!  Also, if you are going to play cymbals and where bracelets make sure you practice in them first so you get used to how is feels as you play. 

2. Khaleeji is for Studs:
Ok that was a lame pun, but my point is that if you are going to swing your head around and get your hair flying, I recommend not choosing those long dangly earrings.  Studs are much more practical or else you will end up like I have many times- cutting the earrings out of your hair.  Small hoops work too as do short tear drop style earring.  On a side note, it's also worth mentioning that there is a certain size of hoop that can get caught up over your ear,  try to pick ones that are either too small to do that or too big to get stuck.  


3. Decaf Bellydance:
There is no way of getting around sweating completely but one tip is to not drink caffeine before your show.  In fact I've found that anything that my body wants to detox will make me sweat more, including caffeine, alcohol and even medication (this I know from my many sick nights on stage!) 

4. Hair- the Bigger the Better:
Related to the topic of sweat I've also figured out that a curly hairdo is better for those inclined to sweat.  Here is my entirely unscientific rationalization- if you have straight hair the sweat just runs straight down it, so if you have thin hair it will soon look stringy.  If you curl your hair (warning this gets a little gross) the sweat kind of gets trapped up there and your hair won't look sweaty as fast.  This is also why if I have two sets I'll go for a curly look if not for both at least for the second.  Curly is simply more forgiving.  

5. Skirt Skills:
I work a lot in skirts that are slit along both legs so there are certain techniques to keep everyone from seeing your shorts when you turn.  Sadly I learned these after I wore a circle skirt with heavy beading on the hem so each time I turned the beads by centrifugal force lifted up…. way past my knees.  

So trick 1, when preparing to turn use the prep to catch one side of the skirt and pull it across you as your turn covering your legs.  

Trick 2, use the preparation to turn to catch the center panels between your legs, you may show a lot of thigh turning this way but at least it will only be thigh.