Belly Dance Backstage Etiquette

Amulya

Moderator
Found this interesting article:

Belly Dance Backstage Etiquette: Dos and Don?ts for Sharing the Dressing Room | She's Got Hips

Any other things to add?
I must say I have been very lucky when sharing space with other belly dancers. Less lucky in other places where they just tried to put me in a room with other performers but they were male. No thanks!
The only time with other belly dancers which was less nice was that one of them was a diva type and kept complaining about everything.
 

Daimona

Moderator
So many true things in there, particularly the first point of leaving a small footprint. One of my dance friends use sooooo much of the area available that I'm amazed she manage to bring most of her things back home again. Unfortunately she's also very good at drinking a lot of champagne backstage after performances (and are getting slightly animated) so me and the other ladies in my group have helped her gather her stash more than once to be sure she remembered everything. And because of this I usually try to stick at the other end of the room than her to keep my things apart from hers (hence I'm always the first to be ready to leave, then wait for my friend while the rest of the ladies in the dressing room leaves and then help her gather her things).


If you need help to put on your costume, do ask for help, but don't expect the one you're asking to drop everything she/he has in her hands at the moment you ask. Be patient, even if you are stressed about your own performance. Your performance isn't necessarily more important than their performance.

If you don't have time to help out when being asked because the eyelash glue won't dry quick enough for you to put them on or your nail polish are still wet, please say so in a positive manner so the person asking isn't wasting time waiting for you.


And since this thread is about back stage etiquette, not just when sharing dressing room, I'll add some other points as well:

If you don't happen to share a dressing room (because you were lucky enough to get the luxury of a room of your own), don't burst into someone else's dressing room without asking permission just to view yourself in their mirror when you're dressing room has got plenty of mirrors as well. On the other side, if you need a hand or need help to pin costumes or guidance or just a final check by a set of new eyes, do ask. Even if your feeling lonely and want to chat, do speak (and if necessary ask if it is ok). Just don't burst into the other dressing room to study yourself in their mirror not saying a word other than mumbling things to yourself about how good you look.


If you are allowed to enter the audience area while not on stage or in the dressing room, cover up your costume, be quiet, DON'T slam the doors and walk quietly (no noisy high heeled shoes please). Also be quite an don't speak loudly when other dancers perform. Do tell the person who is responsible backstage for getting the dancers on stage on time where you are so she/he don't have to go looking for you and be prepared well in time before it is your turn to enter the stage.


if you are getting a nervous break-down just before your performance, don't just lock the door of the dressing room and keep quiet and stay there on your own, but DO tell the organizer and give them a possibility to do some last-minute changing of the program if truly necessary (such as skipping your part and going to the next dancer).
 

Darshiva

Moderator
So many true things in there, particularly the first point of leaving a small footprint. One of my dance friends use sooooo much of the area available that I'm amazed she manage to bring most of her things back home again. Unfortunately she's also very good at drinking a lot of champagne backstage after performances (and are getting slightly animated) so me and the other ladies in my group have helped her gather her stash more than once to be sure she remembered everything. And because of this I usually try to stick at the other end of the room than her to keep my things apart from hers (hence I'm always the first to be ready to leave, then wait for my friend while the rest of the ladies in the dressing room leaves and then help her gather her things).


If you need help to put on your costume, do ask for help, but don't expect the one you're asking to drop everything she/he has in her hands at the moment you ask. Be patient, even if you are stressed about your own performance. Your performance isn't necessarily more important than their performance.

If you don't have time to help out when being asked because the eyelash glue won't dry quick enough for you to put them on or your nail polish are still wet, please say so in a positive manner so the person asking isn't wasting time waiting for you.


And since this thread is about back stage etiquette, not just when sharing dressing room, I'll add some other points as well:

If you don't happen to share a dressing room (because you were lucky enough to get the luxury of a room of your own), don't burst into someone else's dressing room without asking permission just to view yourself in their mirror when you're dressing room has got plenty of mirrors as well. On the other side, if you need a hand or need help to pin costumes or guidance or just a final check by a set of new eyes, do ask. Even if your feeling lonely and want to chat, do speak (and if necessary ask if it is ok). Just don't burst into the other dressing room to study yourself in their mirror not saying a word other than mumbling things to yourself about how good you look.


If you are allowed to enter the audience area while not on stage or in the dressing room, cover up your costume, be quiet, DON'T slam the doors and walk quietly (no noisy high heeled shoes please). Also be quite an don't speak loudly when other dancers perform. Do tell the person who is responsible backstage for getting the dancers on stage on time where you are so she/he don't have to go looking for you and be prepared well in time before it is your turn to enter the stage.


if you are getting a nervous break-down just before your performance, don't just lock the door of the dressing room and keep quiet and stay there on your own, but DO tell the organizer and give them a possibility to do some last-minute changing of the program if truly necessary (such as skipping your part and going to the next dancer).
The scary thing is that those points are all so detailed because they've happened! I must have been so lucky so far that I haven't had anything except the dancer detritus and sprawl of sequins issues!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Cover up your damn costume if you are going to be wandering the halls or watching from the balcony. I've ground my teeth every time I've been to a show "up north" of here because the so-called professional dance troupe members insist on running all over the place in full costume. ("Look at me! I'm a STAR. Don't you wish you were hot like me?") I mentioned it once and was condescendingly told that when I've been performing long enough I'll not be bothered by it.

I didn't tell her I started dancing about the time her mother was born.
 

Amulya

Moderator
Not really etiquette, but a tip that might help:
Put on all make-up before arriving, saves a lot of time and also is easier to do at home than in a busy room. Put false eye lashes on at home as well, than there are no last minute failures. I also always put all my jewelry on beforehand so I don't need to think about that in the change room, and no chance of things getting lost either.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Not really etiquette, but a tip that might help:
Put on all make-up before arriving, saves a lot of time and also is easier to do at home than in a busy room. Put false eye lashes on at home as well, than there are no last minute failures. I also always put all my jewelry on beforehand so I don't need to think about that in the change room, and no chance of things getting lost either.
Yes. I virtually always do this. Sometimes its unavoidable to need to do makeup/hair/jewelry in the dressing room for a variety of reasons, but I really do prefer to do same at home. I have a nice makeup counter with good lighting, a large adjustable mirror, and plenty of room - I'd *MUCH* rather do my "do" there, rather than crammed into a dressing room with 15 dancers all trying to do the same thing! We've all done it, but its much nicer to avoid...

I have a show coming up in a couple of months that will involve 3 completely different costumes, makeup, and even hair. I gotta have an updo done (by a dance sister assistant) for a costume contest that follows 2 separate dance performances. Thank Goddess its a big venue with PLENTY of dressing room space! Still, I'll arrive with my jewelry, makeup, and basic costume on for the first set. Put the rest of the costume on, touch up my makeup, and onstage I go!

And there isn't a Belly Dancer on the planet who hasn't wanted someone to check their posterior for them before they hit the stage - so much going on there that we can't see, that other set of eyes is a blessing!
 
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Daimona

Moderator
The scary thing is that those points are all so detailed because they've happened! I must have been so lucky so far that I haven't had anything except the dancer detritus and sprawl of sequins issues!
True. And of the three latter two of them were even involving the headliner of the show (at different shows).
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Cover up your damn costume if you are going to be wandering the halls or watching from the balcony. I've ground my teeth every time I've been to a show "up north" of here because the so-called professional dance troupe members insist on running all over the place in full costume. ("Look at me! I'm a STAR. Don't you wish you were hot like me?") I mentioned it once and was condescendingly told that when I've been performing long enough I'll not be bothered by it.

I didn't tell her I started dancing about the time her mother was born.
I think if I'd been in your shoes, I would have. Snarkity little upstarts, BAH!!! >:/
 
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