Filler
Photo of Shira

 

 

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

Entrances, Song Transitions, and Stage Presence

By Saqra

 

 

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The Dance Tip

When you are starting a performance to any song, always let some of the music play before you do anything, even if the music seems irresistible. Allow the audience to hear the music first, and take a moment to really hear it yourself.

That is easy at the beginning of a set. You may be off stage, and you can resist the urge to immediately charge in at full speed if you can't see the audience. However, many dancers have trouble resisting the urge to just run out and get started.

Once you have made a controlled presentation and given the audience a taste of who you are, and once you have given them a chance to see your costume, then it is appropriate for you to dance like crazy, as appropriate with your music.

When your first song comes to an end, take a pose not making eye contact with the audience (or they may think you are done dancing) and hold it long enough for your audience to see the pretty picture. Then transition to a more relaxed but poised body posture until the next piece begins. Hear the piece, and then move into it. Dance your heart out, as appropriate with your music. At the end, once again acknowledge that ending with a non finale-non-eye-contact pose (or once again you may be sending the signal you are done).

Once you have reached the finale of your last song, take the time to give a full pose with eye contact and hold! Wait for applause to begin! Acknowledge the audience with your sincere thanks. For most dancers it isn't wise to get too fussy or elaborate or your audience is likely to stop applauding. Occasionally a dancer has the audience worked up enough that she can stay on stage and encourage more applause with acknowledging the audience.

But the best rule of thumb is that dancers that show strong confidence but humility speak to the audience's heart and earn more admiration and praise.

When you exit, stay in character until you are completely gone from view. And the only appropriate response to post-show praise is "thank you," even if you believe you had issues.

Your mileage may vary.

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

Saqra

 

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The Chicken Version of the Dance Tip

Note from Shira: Those of us who know Saqra in real life know that she loves birds of all kinds. We also know she enjoys sharing her weird sense of humor, and it's one of the things we love about her. In that spirit, here is the original version of this dance tip, as posted by Saqra on her Facebook page on February 17, 2015. Bak bak bak!

When you are pecking and dancing, always let some of the music go before you do anything, even if the dried mealworms look irresistible. Allow the audience to hear the music first and take a moment to really hear it yourself.

That is easy at the beginning of a set. You may be offstage, and you can resist the urge to immediately dance and peck at full speed if you can't see the mealworms. However, many chickens have trouble resisting the urge to run out and see if there are treats.

Once you have made a controlled presentation and given the audience a taste of what a cheerful or moody bird you are, and once you have given them a chance to see your lovely plumage, then the time is right for you to peck and dance like crazy, as appropriate to your music.

When your first piece comes to an end, take a pose not making eye contact with the audience (or they will think you are full) and hold it long enough for your audience to see the pretty picture. Then, transition to a more relaxed but poised body posture until the next piece begins. Hear the piece, and then move into it in search of treats. Peck and dance like crazy, as appropriate with your music, and at the end once again acknowledge that ending with a non finale-non eye contact pose (or once again you may be sending the signal you are full).

Once you have reached the finale of your last piece, take the time to give a full pose with eye contact and hold! Wait for the shower of dried mealworms to begin! Acknowledge them with your sincere thanks. For most chickens, it isn't wise to get too fussy or elaborate, or else the shower of bugs is likely to stop. Occasionally a chicken has the audience worked up enough that she may find cracked corn or even live mealworms being tossed at her.

But the best rule of talon is that chickens that show confidence but humility speak to the audience's heart and earn consistent quality treats and some ruffling of the feathers on the back of the neck.

Your scratching may vary.

Saqra

 

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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 www.saqra.net

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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