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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Belly Dance Tip: Handling Bloopers


By Saqra


Table of Contents



Stuff Happens

Stuff goes wrong on stage no matter how you plan. Your job as a performer is to make the audience okay with whatever goes wrong.

If you can incorporate the problem into your dance with an "I meant to do that" look, then yay.

But if it is something relatively major like a costume malfunction, or actually falling (without a serious injury you can't hide), or dropping and breaking something, you can't pass it off.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Sarah Selwood, Leeds, United Kingdom.




Now What?

Your job now becomes making it okay for your audience.

You can look angry or burst into tears or throw a tantrum when you get to your car.

But, right now, you need to acknowledge what happened and put your bra back on, rub your butt, kick the pieces of your shamadan under a table and smile!

Smile like you are advertising your dental work!

Smile, laugh, dance! Or, spin, smile, wave, and leave. Do whichever needs to happen due to the circumstances.

Show the audience you are okay with it!

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.





Do you remember the first time you saw another dancer step on her skirt and pull it down onstage? Or, hook her belt fringe in a chair and pull it over? Or something equally horrifying? And can you remember how incredibly bad you felt for her? Perhaps it made you just about sick inside?

Your job is to not leave an audience feeling sick (even if you feel sick). And your job is to not leave your audience remembering only that feeling of sickness when they remember your performance.

It happened. Don't make them deal with it forever.

Our society won't let us accept bad things happening to people. We even refuse to tell someone they have something on their front tooth because, "it might hurt their feelings."

People aren't going to be comfortable with a major malfunction unless you make them be comfortable. So give them the smile, then move on.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.




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About the Author

Saqra (Seattle, Washington, USA) is a powerful dance artist and a master instructor. Her fluidity, grace, and technical skill is highlighted by her friendly demeanor and clear joy of the dance. She did not inherit the diva gene.

Saqra won titles in Belly Dance USA (Oregon), Belly Dancer of the Year (California), Belly Dancer of the Universe (California), Wiggles of the West (Nevada), and many other competitions. She was voted "Best Kept Secret of 2005" and "Instructor of the Year 2008" by readers of Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra's journey in this dance form began in 1977 and has led her to study with many of the best dancers in the world, including in America, Canada, Turkey and Egypt. Saqra continues to travel and study both in the USA and abroad and prides herself on proper research for anything she teaches. Folklore, fakelore, and stage creativity: all three are valuable, and Saqra clearly presents for each what they actually are. Saqra is constantly expanding her expertise in the traditional ethnic forms of the dance, the modern stage variants, and the continuing evolving fusion techniques, all these areas combined keep her material fresh and current.

Saqra is widely known as an event promoter, musician, music and instructional video producer, and a registered hypnotherapist in the state of Washington. That is enough stuff to start explaining what she has been doing in belly dance since 1977. Visit her at

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California. In the photo, Saqra is holding her Teacher of the Year 2008 Award from Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra with Award



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