Photo of Shira



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

Simple Calming Technique for Belly Dance Performances


By Saqra




Select a small bottle of a strong scent you don't normally smell. An essential oil is usually easiest because you can buy it in small quantities. (I personally like Clary Sage with a little black pepper ground in. if you are familiar with aromatherapy you can probably figure out how I arrived at that. I have been using that combination forever, but truly any scent will do).

Sit down somewhere quiet or pleasant and relax. Select a no-pressure time when you aren't supposed to be doing something else. Just relax. You can do a progressive relaxation if you find it difficult to simply relax, as follows: Relax your eye muscles, taking the time to feel them actually relax. Then relax your scalp, your face, your neck, your shoulders and arms, your chest, back, abdomen, hips, and legs. Feel yourself lletting the tension drain out through your toes into the floor. Let each piece have its turn to relax. Then think of somewhere you feel safe and comfortable or have felt really comfortable in the past, real or imaginary.

Just feel what it feels like to relax. Shoulders relaxed, breathing deeply and calmly, thinking of your special place. Let that relaxed feeling get nice and strong. Then take a light sniff of your chosen scent.

Take a minute and just enjoy the feeling of relaxing.

Then say, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1". Take a deep breath and resume your day with calm energy as if you had just taken a short nap. Or, if you chose to do this at bedtime, then don't bother counting. Just make sure you have stoppered your scent and go on to a nice restful sleep.

Do this a couple of times across each week leading up to your event. Associate the scent with the relaxed feeling.

Every time you practice this technique, it will be easier and easier to achieve the appropriate calm for the situation.

When it is time for your belly dance performance (or any other stressful situation), before you begin your performance, consciously attempt to relax and take a deep breath, and then take a sniff of your anchor scent.

You can also put a drop of your scent on the knuckle of your right index finger and take a casual little sniff if you feel yourself starting to tense up during a performance.

This does not always work for everyone, but it does work for many. So your mileage may vary, as usual.

Happy dancing.

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




Related Articles



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



Copyright Notice

This entire web site is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

All articles, images, forms, scripts, directories, and product reviews on this web site are the property of Shira unless a different author/artist is identified. Material from this web site may not be posted on any other web site unless permission is first obtained from Shira.

Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

If you are a teacher, performer, or student of Middle Eastern dance, you may link directly to any page on this web site from either your blog or your own web site without first obtaining Shira's permission. Click here for link buttons and other information on how to link.



Explore more belly dance info:

Top >
Belly Dancing >
Index to the Belly Dance Advice Section


Share this page!

On Facebook


 Top > Belly Dancing > Index to the Belly Dance Advice Section

| Contact Shira | Links | Search this Site |