Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Vienna, Alicante
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Please help!! difficulties presenting myself...

    I would love some help/advice from you all!

    I am going to dance in some student group performances in 2 weeks. We are rehearsing for it.
    My problem is that I am very shy. I donīt have confidence presenting myself. I almost feel like it is immoral, forbidden or dangerous to present my own beauty, enjoyment, grace, confidence, fun.
    The result is that I have a serious face and cold attitude on stage. I look as if I don`t even care!!

    In the group-choreography I am okay. I am following my steps and trying to smile and enjoy. But....and now comes the problem.....after the show the teacher wants to call each dancer by her name to come out on stage alone, do some movements and greet the audience.

    Even I am one of the "best" students in the group, I couldn`t do it. Without flattering myself.....compared to others I have really good technique and learn choreographies fast and exactly....but I was the only one who couldn`t improvise. The song we are using for it is great, very catching rhythm.
    Everyone else was spontaniously coming up with some very cute and appealing moves. It was really fun to watch them as they were giving something to the audience.
    Me, I was too tense, so that after a few steps when no movements came to my mind or I should better say to my body, i literally ran of the stage.
    I am really frustrated and challenged by this situation...
    ....I need courage! And selfconfidence and what else? What can help me to develop more confidence???

    My bellydance-obsession is starting to become a real challenge and lesson-learning....

    LOVE
    DALIA

    I also want to add that generally I have a good feeling for music and when I dance in a club I can improvise very well and people will even make compliments....
    It is just the bellydancing that I am so afraid to make a fool out of myself, that i don`t have the courage to make any unplanned step....
    Last edited by DALIA; 04-17-2009 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    100
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi Dalia

    I know a little of this fear for it is with me as well. I have my first solo performance next weekend and it's mostly IMPROV! Absolutely terrifying! I don't know how long you have been dancing, but it's taken me over a year to be able to really 'connect' with my audience, meaning acknowledging their existence. I still am an absolute wreck before performances but I'm trying not to let it show so much as I don't want to be the whinger and worry other dancers.

    What I have been told to do to overcome my fear sometimes helps a bit. One thing is reminding yourself right before you go on that if you flub it up, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, and it certainly doesn't mean you're a bad dancer or anything. Heck, I did a veil duet with my teacher in October last year and I actually made her look bad. For most of the performance, she was fighting with the veil to get it to do anything and I felt so bad, but I just kept going. Mess-ups happen to everyone so get the worry out of your head that everything you do has to be perfect.

    That said, the second thing I've been told to do before performance (which also helps with the fear) is to breath big and deep and slow, feel your body's connection to the ground and as you breath in, imaging yourself growing taller and reaching toward the sky. As you do this you should feel your posture straightening and your head holding itself higher, and the energy flowing up to project through your eyes. The energy flows up your body and into your arms and out of your fingertips with a tingle as if you could shoot little lightning bolts of joy at people. I know this sounds crazy, but I have found this helps. I try and breathe this way and take this posture before I begin.

    Your feelings that what you're doing it immoral is only coming from yourself and what likely has shaped your thoughts on female power and the belly dance and it is only you who can change the way your thinking, which will affect how you're feeling. My feeling is that it sounds like you have a good talent there, I know what it feels like to be moving and learning faster than those around you and I stopped trying to slow myself down for their sakes and feel much better for it. If you are afraid to use that talent, then what's the point of having a talent? It's a gift that you have that you can share with others. This is a good thing, honey! You have the power to make others feel good about themselves and about women and dance just by exercising your talent. Once you start to feel better about it, you'll start to lose that 'serious face'. I've got a pretty scary 'serious' face myself. It helps me to force a smile, even if I'm feeling nervous, because people will be looking more at your face than anything else. The smile will become more natural over time.

    As for your spontaneous classmates, some people are better at improv than others, as I'm sure many people on the forum will tell you. I feel I'm not good at technique at all when I do improv, but I'm going to keep working at it. I think for now, maybe you should choreograph that little bit you need to do that is improv, if you feel it will help you. You will find that power in yourself, that is part of the journey after all. What they don't tell us when we start bellydance is that it is so much more than dance, it's a lesson in life (many lessons in fact!)

    Here's wishing you the best performance yet!

    xx Holly

    Quote Originally Posted by DALIA View Post
    I would love some help/advice from you all!

    I am going to dance in some student group performances in 2 weeks. We are rehearsing for it.
    My problem is that I am very shy. I donīt have confidence presenting myself. I almost feel like it is immoral, forbidden or dangerous to present my own beauty, enjoyment, grace, confidence, fun.
    The result is that I have a serious face and cold attitude on stage. I look as if I don`t even care!!

    In the group-choreography I am okay. I am following my steps and trying to smile and enjoy. But....and now comes the problem.....after the show the teacher wants to call each dancer by her name to come out on stage alone, do some movements and greet the audience.

    Even I am one of the "best" students in the group, I couldn`t do it. Without flattering myself.....compared to others I have really good technique and learn choreographies fast and exactly....but I was the only one who couldn`t improvise. The song we are using for it is great, very catching rhythm.
    Everyone else was spontaniously coming up with some very cute and appealing moves. It was really fun to watch them as they were giving something to the audience.
    Me, I was too tense, so that after a few steps when no movements came to my mind or I should better say to my body, i literally ran of the stage.
    I am really frustrated and challenged by this situation...
    ....I need courage! And selfconfidence and what else? What can help me to develop more confidence???

    My bellydance-obsession is starting to become a real challenge and lesson-learning....

    LOVE
    DALIA

    I also want to add that generally I have a good feeling for music and when I dance in a club I can improvise very well and people will even make compliments....
    It is just the bellydancing that I am so afraid to make a fool out of myself, that i don`t have the courage to make any unplanned step....

  3. #3
    Junior Member Bellyrina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Fitchburg, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DALIA View Post
    I would love some help/advice from you all!

    I am going to dance in some student group performances in 2 weeks. We are rehearsing for it.
    My problem is that I am very shy. I donīt have confidence presenting myself. I almost feel like it is immoral, forbidden or dangerous to present my own beauty, enjoyment, grace, confidence, fun.
    The result is that I have a serious face and cold attitude on stage. I look as if I don`t even care!!

    In the group-choreography I am okay. I am following my steps and trying to smile and enjoy. But....and now comes the problem.....after the show the teacher wants to call each dancer by her name to come out on stage alone, do some movements and greet the audience.

    Even I am one of the "best" students in the group, I couldn`t do it. Without flattering myself.....compared to others I have really good technique and learn choreographies fast and exactly....but I was the only one who couldn`t improvise. The song we are using for it is great, very catching rhythm.
    Everyone else was spontaniously coming up with some very cute and appealing moves. It was really fun to watch them as they were giving something to the audience.
    Me, I was too tense, so that after a few steps when no movements came to my mind or I should better say to my body, i literally ran of the stage.
    I am really frustrated and challenged by this situation...
    ....I need courage! And selfconfidence and what else? What can help me to develop more confidence???

    My bellydance-obsession is starting to become a real challenge and lesson-learning....

    LOVE
    DALIA

    I also want to add that generally I have a good feeling for music and when I dance in a club I can improvise very well and people will even make compliments....
    It is just the bellydancing that I am so afraid to make a fool out of myself, that i don`t have the courage to make any unplanned step....
    Here is what I have found to be helpful -- 1) a stage name and 2) A WIG!! I have red hair, past my shoulders. I always wanted blonder hair ... much longer . SO, before my first belly dance show I bought a wig (eBay -- about $40). You know how on Halloween you can slip into another character with a costume? Well, -- it's the same for me with my dance costume and long wig. Different slice of myself -- a slightly bolder version. And there is less chance my work clients (bank marketing) will recognize me at on stage at festivals. (Like the one I'm dancing in tomorrow.)

  4. #4
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Posts
    15,414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well, choreographies terrify me- especially when I'm the choreographer!

    I almost feel like it is immoral, forbidden or dangerous to present my own beauty, enjoyment, grace, confidence, fun.
    You'll be just fine. See, here in the forum you've already admitted to having beauty, grace, etc.- now all you have to do is admit it on stage. (And no, I don't mean "Hi, my name is Dalia and I am beautiful and graceful" though many dancers might could use a twelve step program for shy persons.)

    Offer your audience what they want to see- a lovely dancer moving like a cloud across the stage. Choose your favorite movements, the ones that make you happiest, and give them to the audience as a gift. A beautiful spin, a graceful arm movement, a gentle bodywave- and they are enchanted.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Foot of the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    1,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm for all the fine advice you've gotten so far. Immoral? Hey, I'm a dancer and a Lutheran and God still loves me! (Probably laughs Hisself silly, too!)

    Every day, practice smiling, saying your name and doing a few random moves -- do it until you're doing it in your sleep, practically. It'll help you to go on automatic pilot when you feel yourself freezing up. Remember, the audience is admiring you, already!

    And if that still sounds too scary -- consider getting professional hypnotherapy. It worked great for me when I needed to go to the, gulp, dentist!

  6. #6
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Colchester UK
    Posts
    2,124
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I sympathise. As a disco dancers, I have had many compliments but when I started learning BD, I was too frozen by fears that I wasn't doing it properly and too busy drilling. I had to make myself put on BD music and home and dance. One thing that stops us non-ME people is that we think of it in terms of what moves shall I do to this music. What you must do is let your body do something (Nadira Jamal calls it 'noodling') If you want to you can then go back and think what did I just do, or you can continue to practice expressing the music. Eventually you won't be able to stop yourself dancing BD to everything!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member nightdancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Between the sea and the mountain
    Posts
    871
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Jen,

    I have that DVD, too. I really do like it.

    Dalia,
    Really, its okay to be nervous. Just do your three favorite individual movements, however the music tells you that you ought to be doing them. Add a pretty turn between 2 and 3 and voila, your improv time is now over, and you were glorious.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Vienna, Alicante
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Thank you!

    BIG HUGS TO EACH OF YOU!

    Thanks for understanding and encouraging me. It feels good.

    As Oona has put it so well:
    "You will find that power in yourself, that is part of the journey after all. What they don't tell us when we start bellydance is that it is so much more than dance, it's a lesson in life (many lessons in fact!)" (sorry still have to find out how to quote)

    I had no idea that this, my love, my passion, will bring up all my unsolved personality-issues. Well, I am going for it, allthough it is really hard sometimes.

    Shanazel:
    "See, here in the forum you've already admitted to having beauty, grace, etc.- now all you have to do is admit it on stage."
    Thank you for reminding me that I DO have those qualities and that that`s what the audiance wants to see.

    I guess it is time for me to turn inside and find my own connection to the music, giving myself some "dancing-meditations" where everything is allowed. I have hoovered enough input from the outside for now. I think it is time to be myself now.

    Thank you so much for your compassion!

    LOVE
    DALIA

  9. #9
    Junior Member wildflowr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    16
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    getting into character is a great idea- many professional dances I have talked to say they *still* get nervous and the jewelry, costume, and make-up really help.
    But if you are looking to express yourself as yourself, and feel weird taking on a different dancing persona- why not try playing the storyteller?

    Your music has a story- whether there are lyrics or not- there is a story there waiting to be told. Don't think so much about telling your audience who YOU are, think about how you are going to tell the story of the MUSIC to your audience.

    The dancer's goal is to *become* the music so people can *see* it right?
    Try to concentrate on that.

  10. #10
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sussex, England
    Posts
    4,856
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DALIA View Post
    ...I almost feel like it is immoral, forbidden or dangerous to present my own beauty, enjoyment, grace, confidence, fun.
    Welcome to the world of being a nicely behaved female.

    And welcome to the world of bellydance where you can let all that stuff out of the box; IMO the more you do the better it looks.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •