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  1. #1
    Member Samira bint Aya's Avatar
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    Default My first performance tonight – nervous and excited!!

    I am sooo nervous, my stomach feels like it’s been tied to a knot!

    This will be my first performance for a paying audience, outside the safe environment of student haflas. I will dance in a duet with a friend of mine, so at least I will not be alone up there on stage.

    We are performing at a person’s nameday (people here celebrate their birthdays as well as their names!) at a respectable local restaurant/nightclub. Only yesterday did I learn that the person to come on stage after us will be a famous greek singer by the name of Doukisa. This really put more pressure on me and my friend!

    One thing I worry about is perspiration. It is still hot and humid at this time of year here in Greece, and I sweat like a pig at the slightest physical activity! I plan to wear one of those headband-tiara things, which I hope will stop at least the sweat from my scalp from travelling into my eyes (I know, I am pathetic!) Also wear waterproof make up for safety.

    Any advice some of you beautiful bellydancers would like to share with this rookie?

    I am so excited and stressful too!

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    You will do great baby !!!!

    Kalh epityxiaaaaaaaa
    and I want the video after !!!
    Your proud and happy teacher

    Maria Aya

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Samira, congratulations to you!! I know you are well=prepared if Maria is your teacher!
    I aslo sweat when I dance..
    I wear headbands too to prevent the sweat from stinging my eyes.
    I've heard that using a anti-perspirant will help.Varying degrees of luck for me..but if you want to try it..get a natural anti-perspirant/deodorant crystal
    The Body Crystal - Frequently Asked Questions

    Creative hand and harm flourishes help disguise the fact that I'm wiping sweat off my face..hey that works too!!

    Professional make-up companies such as ben Nye make a make-up fixative that works very well.

    Really, I haven't found a fool proof method...sweating is necessary. Yet you won't have to worry about a healthy glow and sheen!!!!

    Ok we are gonna want to see pics!!!
    Yasmine

  4. #4
    Member Samira bint Aya's Avatar
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    Yasmine, thank you for the tips.
    I did buy the body crystal, however, I forgot to use it! (I forget a lot these days)

    The whole event went very well. The crowd was very receptive and they seemed to enjoy themselves. My friend and I had lots of fun performing too.

    As this was my first time, I was very nervous, so I was a bit stuck with a strange half smile on my face (as you can see in the picture ) at least for the first song. As the performance went on, I relaxed more and I was able to enjoy the moment and interact with the crowd more.

    I noticed one thing though. The way I danced was not as good as the way I normally dance during rehearsals. My technique was sloppy.

    I am not sure weather this is a general truth about performing, or weather it is just because this was my first time. What do the experienced performers think?

    I haven’t seen the video yet, but I am dreading it a little. I’d rather stay with the sweet taste of having a warm audience and the praise we got afterwards, than see myself dancing badly. Aya, I will improve, I promise!

    Here are a couple of pics. One is with my sister in the dressing room (she helped us out) and the other from the performance itself. You can see both me and my partner.

  5. #5
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samira bint Aya View Post
    I noticed one thing though. The way I danced was not as good as the way I normally dance during rehearsals. My technique was sloppy.
    I think this is very common. In a rehearsal you are calm, grounded, relaxed etc. nothing is really interfering with you doing your best. When we get nervous a lot of things happen; our muscles get tight and a bit stiff, that can upset our balance and 'center', range of motion etc. it can interfere with connecting to the heart, there can be almost a kind of physical and emotional disconnection that may or may not be worked through during the performance. Warming up, giving some place for that energy to go, facial relaxation exercises, emoting exercises, breathing techniques, self acupressure... some or all of those things right before a performance can really help dissipate nervous energy.

  6. #6
    Member Tarabelly's Avatar
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    I've found that shimmies as part of the warm up help a lot. Both excitement and anxiety have the same physiological response in the body, ie shaking, shallow breathing, sweating, cold hands and feet. The difference is the mental perception. Excitement is fun while anxiety is not. Shaking with shimmies is a great response to both excitement and anxiety as energy is moved through the whole body and the adrenal glands that rest above the kidneys also benefit from shaking. Telling myself to notice that I am safe and "woooo I am excited!" really help to. I also say a little prayer- "I am a beacon of Love and Light in Our Service" which makes my show more a gift than about my ego, and it seems to take the pressure off.

    I am still trying to find the grounded presence that I have in class and rehearsals, in a show. I pretty much always get too excited and get all spazzy.

  7. #7
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Big Grin

    Samira, you are so beautiful! Congratulations on your performance! I hope you put a video up!

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    I'm very proud of both of you !!!!
    You look gorgeous and i'm sure you did well !!!
    Alf mabrouk ya bint !!!

    Maria Aya

  9. #9
    Member Samira bint Aya's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the advice! Next time I will use your tips!

    Tight and stiff, Salome, you were spot on. That is exactly how my muscles felt. I did some yoga and an extended warm up before the performance, but I was still very stiff. Now I can interpret it as a stress response in my body. I will add some breathing and more introspective exercises, to deal with the psychological aspect of stress too.

    Tara, I like the idea of shimmying out the extra nervous energy. (Buy the way, I have friends in Pune, lovely place! )

    I don’t necessarily think that nervousness is altogether bad though. I actually feel that a little shyness on stage goes very well with this type of dance. Here in Greece, many belly dancers appear overly assertive on stage, and that takes away from the beauty of the dance, in my opinion.

    However, my nervousness overwhelmed me. My goal is to be able to manage it better next time, and hopefully transform it into a kind of sweetness that will make the dance more beautiful…

  10. #10
    Member Samira bint Aya's Avatar
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    Maria Aya thank you for the unending support and your love! Although we live far, we can feel it because it is so real.

    Farasha, thanks! I don’t really know how to upload videos… Once I work it out, Belly Dance Forum will be the firs place where I will post something!

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