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Thread: Horror Stories

  1. #1
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    Default Horror Stories

    Hi all,

    Please write your horror stories from performance! I am interested to hear them. It makes things more interesting and a lot of us can really learn from them, I think.

    Here's mine:

    The day I debuted (Oct 11, 2001, not a smart choice on my part!) as a performer, I danced at a local restaurant which was very popular with bellydancers. I was told that people who were hiring all along the West Coast would be there.

    First of all, they told me my costume was too racy for the restaurant (bra, belt, skirt combo), took me out if my silver/black costume, and recostumed me in a gold bra/belt with red harem pants. Too much gold looks bad on me, and I hated harem pants at the time. They also put a headband thing on me (that looked like an actual HEADBAND, not a crown), and told me I didn't have enough makeup on and slathered me with grease.

    OK, fine. I can deal. I handed the lady my CD.
    "Oh," she says, "We only have a cassette tape player."
    I had practiced this song for a month prior to this performance/audition, but I still felt...calm down, it should be fine. I asked her to find something fast for me.

    So my turn comes. I get out into the restaurant as the music begins to plaly (VERY slow violins, no drumbeat at all, and at the time I wasn't as fluid with different speeds as I am now so I was all confused). Even so, the music started to pick up, and thought it was OK...then I realized it was the same song I'd seen a gypsy dancer leap her way through about five songs previously!!! Either way, I thought I could salvage some of my pride, and danced anyway, around tables and patrons seated on the floor. This restaurant was Middle Eastern owned and frequented, so I felt pretty lousy dancing terribly (I thought) in front of them!

    Then, the music STOPPED. I posed a bit, thinking it would start again...and the lady came out and stage-whispered "we started in the middle of the song, we are rewinding it to the beginning now!" So there I stood, while people sitting below me said 'they stopped her tape!' absolutely aghast.

    The music starts again. I go to the other room, danced through the rest of the song, now totally humiliated and crushed. I was tipped only $1 (from the gypsy dancer whose song I was using)...and then the same lady came out again, WHILE I WAS DANCING, stopped me and stage-whispered "We are going to fade the sound out!" I nodded, angry and embarrassed, and waited to hear the beginning of the fade as I danced.

    The music was turned down, VERY FAST! Like two seconds. So I tried to quickly salvage it by doing a quick pose. I can't even explain my feelings at that point.

    Afterwards I came up and sat with the lady who had invited me there. I said "I cannot BELIEVE that just happened!" and the lady said 'Oh, you'll be fine with some training'...like she hadn't NOTICED the amazing unprofessionalism? Then the next dancer comes out, gorgeous, thin as a whip, wearing a beautiful white and silver costume that fit her perfectly. The lady I was with said, "Don't you just love her belly movements? She looks just like a little wood nymph!"

    So...this lady was OK with the unprofessionalism and the ruined chances of any other belly dancer that had my experience.

    What I Have Learned From This:

    1. Bring more than one costume.
    2. Don't LET people put makeup on you.
    3. Double check that the venue has a CD player.
    4. Never dance at that place again, or any other that treats dancers so badly.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gisela's Avatar
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    That's horrible Brea!

    I came to think of a christmas matiné performance I had that wasn't too succesful. Luckily it was for my teachers students only and a bit informal, but still quite a few people.

    I was doing a drum solo choreo. Got up on the stage and gave my cd to my teacher then "striked the pose"...and the music just wouldn't start. The cd-player would play nr 1-8 on the cd but 9 and 10 didn't work. My song was of course nr 10!
    My teacher went and got a smaller cd player and checked that it could play the cd. She moved the player closer to the audience and somehow stretched the powercord so it broke. All while I'm on the stage, feeling more and more alone, out there on the floor.
    At last I decided to dance another choreo from the cd, because I was not comfortable with improv at that time. The dance was a Mahmoud Reda- nubian dance so I had to tell the audience that I did not have the appropriate costuming for such.
    That nubian dance could actually play so I started, but got a blackout in the middle and kept repeating the same stuff, while my costume were having serious issues with staying on me.
    It was the LONGEST 5 minutes I have ever experienced, with just thinking: what's next? When is it over?, and pulling my bra in place.

    I performed an oriental which went perfect, later that evening so I at least could walk home with my back straight, .

    I learnt
    to check your cd's on many players
    to have backup plans
    get to know your costumes quirky ideas.
    immer glimmer

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Oh my! (hugs Brea and Gisela while prays that will never happen to me...)

    The worst thing that happened to me so far was:
    We were going to perform on a good stage, suitable for dancing on bare feet. However when we got there the stage appeared to be black and already exposed to the sun (it was 30°C that day) for hours! It was too hot to dance on, so I unexpectedly had to dance on flip flops. Fortunately my flip flops were silver, matching the coins on my scarf, and it went well. Also during that same event, the music stopped half way because the music installation was over heated!

    I learned:
    - to buy some dance shoes, just in case
    - to expect the stangest things when dancing on the 5th of May festival

  4. #4
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Bad experiences:

    -the one time I danced in a restaurant. The owner tried to pay me less then the amount agreed and was just a rude *** (fill in a bad word of your own choice)
    what I learned: not to dance in restaurants....

    -the one time I danced in a cafe, that was just scary. I was filling in for a friend and she said the place was fine. When I got there, after a long travel I found out there were only men in the place, I had to change in a broom closet! And I had to beat a guy who tried to grope me. The whole thing ended dangerously, there was no public transport home (the person who was going to bring me home never showed up) so the owner of the place brought me home. I made sure to get out in another street so he wouldn't know where I lived. I had to jump out of the car for my safety, otherwise he would have done something to me.
    What I learned: even though a friend says it's ok, never go alone to a place like this.

    -other bad experiences where nasty audiences, and one time an agent who didn't pay. I send him a letter pretending to be a money collecting agency and the money was there in no time...

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    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Geez Amulya your story so far the scariest!!!

    *hug*

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    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    I have had one or two rather forget moments but the worst was at an ourdoor festival in 1997. It was a baking hot day and the black stage was in direct sunlight. I was working with live musicians and walked barefoot onto the stage with a sword on my head. ]
    My feet were burning so bad that i began to feel sick and faint. I left half way through and my feet had giant blisters. I completed my set in total pain. It took over a week to recover and I could not walk for days without bursting my huge blisters!
    I would of course walk off now and tell them i could not do it, but it was a big festival and i was so delighted to be asked and felt the show must go on....fool.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    I have had one or two rather forget moments but the worst was at an ourdoor festival in 1997. It was a baking hot day and the black stage was in direct sunlight. I was working with live musicians and walked barefoot onto the stage with a sword on my head. ]
    My feet were burning so bad that i began to feel sick and faint. I left half way through and my feet had giant blisters. I completed my set in total pain. It took over a week to recover and I could not walk for days without bursting my huge blisters!
    I would of course walk off now and tell them i could not do it, but it was a big festival and i was so delighted to be asked and felt the show must go on....fool.
    Caroline -
    OUCH! You were lucky not to have very serious serious burns, I hate to imagine how painful that was The soles of the feet are so tender and not always an easy place to heal!

    Moon, you were lucky to have flip-flops with you, I imagine they were rather difficult to dance in though, especially when turning, I am sure I would trip over myself dancing in flip-flops

    Amulya, That was a heck of a scary incident <shudder> so glad you got out of it unscathed, what a creep the owner sounds Yuck!

    Brea, you poor thing, That must have been gutwrenching going through all that, you should be very proud of yourself for being able to carry on and complete your set, I think I would have willed the floor to open and swallow me whole
    ~Mosaic

  8. #8
    Member Salma Parvaneh's Avatar
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    Hi!

    I had several belly dance horror stories....

    First was a medieval fair by a well known organisation. I was there with my former tribal group Shabbannah. A stage play with a local theatre group was planned and they had a "professional" belly dancer, too. We did not know her at all, so Germany is very small, and we know each other. In our tent, she wanted to have a quick lesson in belly dance. As we asked her why she had not a training at a local teacher before, she told us that she just had four lessons. O.k., so far we did not know her part in this story. We did our tribal show and the audience was friendly although one of our girls had lost her sills. Then the bellydancer entered, did some spins with her veil and......put off her costume completely!

    We were so angry about it!!!!Nobody told us in advance that we were participants in a medieval strip show!

    The second horror-trip was a performance at a turkish sports club. The owner phoned and in the background I heard some women and children chatting. So I thought that it was o.k. to go there together with a female dancing colleague. When we arrived we found a men's club; about 80 turkish men, empty raki bottles and a room to change our clothes which looked like a jail.My colleague had to go to the toilet very very urgent....but...imagine! They only had these for men - I don't know the english expression for it, but it is this thing where men stand in front and which is not usable for ladies.

    We did our performance, got good tips and everything worked. The men were unexpected friendly.

    I learned

    -to check exatly the intention of the party/restaurant/theatre
    -to go to toilet BEFORE!
    -having no prejudices about(or against???) 80 drunken men-it can work and must not end in the worths thing

    KR
    Salma

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    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    A belly dancer is not complete without a horror story!!! Amulya, yours is really scary.

    Brea, when I was reading your story, I felt for you.

    My horror story is, once a guy in an egyptian restaurant I was performing got soooo excited and he strated to flash. I was shocked first but I didn't want him to ruine my night so I clapped my hands and I made a very loud annoucement like this "hey everyone, we have a stripper in hiuse and instead of me belly dancing he is going to strip for you guys" and kept clapping my hands. He was soooooooo embarassed and apologied to everyone. He said sorry to me and wanted to give me hug . I told him "only after you wash your hands naughty!!!". Later I found out he is a celebrity from Hong Kong and he wanted my phone no and address so that he could send me flowers.

  10. #10
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    ...
    Last edited by Brea; 05-04-2009 at 09:29 PM.

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