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  1. #1
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    Default Sword dance advice

    I am a semi new performer been performing for about 1 year now. I have owned a sword for about 2 years but have been scared to use it. I have finally decided to put together a choreography for a show in Sept. any advice would be appreciated.
    I read in alot of places to put candle wax on the sword to help with slipping. I have tried that and it seems to work. any other advice?
    thanx

  2. #2
    Junior Member Kanika's Avatar
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    The candle wax is a great idea. Though I use it a bit differently. I put a bit of wax where the central point of the sword is (IE the place where it will balance best). That way I can easily find it without guessing or fumbling.

    The way you do your hair also plays a big roll if you want to balance it on your head. Try not to have your hair pulled back. I've been known to wear a head band and position it with bobby pins where I want to place the sword. It helps with the slippage. (Just make sure you wear the headband everytime you practice so you can get used to it and make sure it secure enough)

    Also, have fun with the sword! There are so many cool things you can do with it--balancing on your hip, hand, lower neck, shoulder, thigh; spinning with it; crazy fun poses, so much fun!

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    First of all, is your sword one that was specifically designed for bellydance? Also, since you're still new to bellydance, is your sword dulled? How well does it balance? If your sword was not designed for bellydance, you'll need to buy one that is.

    The wax is a good idea, and as Karika suggested, only wax at the balance point, where it will be resting on your head. Also, use beeswax instead of paraffin---paraffin (or candle) wax is more slippary and will do the opposite of what you want it to do. Another way to help with slippage is to take a file and make crisscross scores along the balance point only. Not washing your hair on the day of performance, or when you practice, is also helpful, even if it's gross. xD

    I'm posting a YouTube video in order to give you an example of what a poorly-balanced sword looks like, so you can avoid making the wrong choice, should you need to order another sword. I'll also post one of what a well-balanced sword will look like, because it's hard for me to explain in text. The following vids are from AtlantaBellyDance.com:



    Last edited by Farasha Hanem; 04-14-2011 at 05:53 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ty both for the advice. I bought the sword at my dance teacher's belly dance shop.
    where can I buy beeswax? I have also heard surfing board wax (since I live near beaches that should be easy to find)
    I may try the headband thing although when I see dancers performing with a headband I often think they are kind of cheating. Do you think everyone thinks that?

  5. #5
    Junior Member red head miriam's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure you can buy beeswax at sewing supply stores. Or you can see if there are any bee-keepers in your area (I'm not being sarcastic - I'm quite lucky to find local honey and beeswax at my local farmer's market!)

    Some people also rough up the balance point of the sword with a metal file - it will help take away some of the slickness. But some ppl don't like to do that b/c it can damage the finish and allow a place for rust to start.

    Also, if you're interested in some performance tips: Don't make it look too easy! As you practice, it will get pretty easy to balance, but if you seem just a little cautious about the sword - it will make it look more dramatic. (also, I personally have less balance while performing than while practicing - nerves, I think)

  6. #6
    Junior Member Kanika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katjane View Post
    I may try the headband thing although when I see dancers performing with a headband I often think they are kind of cheating. Do you think everyone thinks that?

    I don't think so. Usually if an audience sees that you are balancing the sword (taking it off your head, putting it on your head), they are impressed. But if you are worried about that, you can accomplish something similar with curled hair and lots of hair spray! Or you can just go for it without th extra aid. Just be advised that sometimes the natural texture of your hair or shape of your head can prevent easy balancing. So if you are having a hard time, it may not be your fault.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    Another trick is *after you find the balancing point* (the point along the blade where the sword rests on your head when you balance it), you can put a small amount of clear nail polish and some sand on the edge of the blade. This will add texture that will help grab onto your hair.

    Do note that a sword may have a different balance point for your head than for other areas (say, balancing on a fingertip), as the smaller the surface you will balance on, the more accurate the balance point has to be. I actually used a sharpie to put a VERY small dot on the outer edge of the blade to help me find the balance point easily in a performance (when I plan to balance on a finger). The audience can't see it, but I can.

  8. #8
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    I think wax is a fabulous idea to balance the sword and to keep away from any injury. And in my opinion if you want to do dance using sword than always perform under and trained person.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gia al Qamar's Avatar
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    All great tips! The notion that it's 'cheating' to balance the sword on a head that has a hairband, scarf or any other adornment should FINALLY be laid to rest. It's ridiculous to think that any audience member would think that the hairband a dancer is wearing is responsible for it's balance.
    Pish.
    DO dance WITH the sword...come out with it in hand, dance it around the stage...don't just pose with it...create choreography that works WITH it. Putting in on a balance point is a highlight of the number...if you're balancing it only on one balance point (like your head) leave it for the last part of the number! Build suspense...handle the sword as though it was a dangerous object (which it is!) and make CERTAIN that you are 100% comfortable with it before you take it to stage!
    Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Such wonderful tips! I bought my first sword about 6 months ago and I wasn't sure if it just wasn't the right fit for me or I just needed to condition myself to dance with it. I am most certain it is me, since I do think I am still working out some posture issues, so I will definitely invest in some beeswax and see where that takes me!

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