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

Becoming the Best Belly Dance Performer You Can

Checklist for Assessing Yourself:

Part 3: Entertainment Ability


By Saqra





Sometimes it is difficult to know what you should work on to become a better performer, but I have a strategy to share with you for overcoming that!

I suggest you evaluate your videos and plan your performances with the following checklist in mind. I use this series of four checklists when evaluating performers I am mentoring. It is also the foundation for the judging sheet I use for my competition event, because it's very helpful in removing bias, educational differences, and stylistic differences between the judges.

This is the third in a series of four articles designed to address the components of an overall belly dance performance:

It is easy to feel drawn to develop an unhelpful idea such as:

  • Basing your performance on a desire to express yourself rather than considering your audience first.
  • Fixating on using props for pacing as opposed to allowing your pacing to have its heart in the interaction of the music and the dance content.

I'm starting to explain too much. All I'm trying to say is that it is easy to get ideas that unbalance your show or just plain detract from being an excellent performance artist. This series of four checkists can help you avoid focusing where you shouldn't.

Explore all four checklists! Your mileage may vary, but you are probably going to be a better dancer if you try out some of these ideas.

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




Entertainment Ability Checklist





      Charisma and Audience Connection. Ability to reach the audience and elicit personal attraction or appreciation.
      Maintaining Attention. Ability to keep the audience attentive throughout the entire performance.
      Communication Skill. Communicating the mood of the music by either the body or facial expression.
      Distinct Personal Style. Not an imitation of another dancer. Communicates personality to the audience.
      Sense of Confidence and Poise. Should look confident. Should handle any problems smoothly and calmly, with an eye towards reassuring the audience that everything is fine.
      Overall Entertainment. Overall performance should be entertaining. The dancer should not simply seem technically skilled.

Best Qualities of Entertainment Ability?


Suggestions for How Entertainment Ability Could be Improved?


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




Related Articles

Saqra's Other Checklists

Other Advice on Entertainment Ability

By Saqra

By Other Authors



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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