How long between when you began lessons and your first performance?

Darshiva

Moderator
For those of you who are worrying about getting on stage - it does get easier. Obviously you still will get butterflies beforehand, but after a few (might be, 2-3 might be 20-30) performances you'll find that once the music starts up, that's all that matters. If you get the opportunity to perform*, take it because it's all experience and that experience will count towards your eventual 'zomg, MUSIC!' attitude on stage.


*For friends, family, rest homes/retirement villages, etc. People who will be happy for you to just come & dance because you're you without any huge expectations. Leave the huge crowds for later when it's 'zomg, MUSIC!' for you instead of 'what if they don't like....'.
 
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Uruviel

New member
Just did my first performance on saturday.

I started on August to assist to bellydance classes and I felt little nervious before an sooo much more on stage, but I liked it, though.

Read all of these posts helped also to maintain my going to classes this year.
 

Empyreus

New member
I took lessons last year over the summer, than retook them up again this year for 6 months. My teacher encouraged us all to perform over a friendly hafla and we also performed a well rehearsed choreography at a small local unpaid show as well as our solos. All the students chose music they liked and it was a lot of fun. I love to dance but I wasn't ready to belly dance however it was a great learning experience and it was somewhat empowering to know you can dance on stage with people watching. I didn't know I could do it but I didn't feel that much stage fright once up there.

Next time however Im only going to perform when I feel more practiced and to music more suited. I don't regret performing early though. I found it to be a positive experience.
 

ana_bat

New member
It was probably a year of continuous classes until I performed for the first time at a belly dance festival, but I now look back and realize I just wasn't ready yet. If I could do it over again I'd have tried to be more self aware of my own progress and ask my instructor to really tell me what she thought about me performing. Its different for everyone indeed and I think its a super personal decision. Just remember its supposed to be fun (well at least eventually anyways :p)! I've grown to realize that EVERYTHING worth doing deserves to be done well, at the best of your ability (I know...duh on my part right?). Keep the practice and classes a'goin and the performances will come when its time ^.^
 

SeeJaneDance

New member
I took three classes before performing in the annual student gala. Even though there were complete beginners who also performed, I still wish I'd sat out. I felt nervous and flustered, and very unprepared. I will say, though, that (after watching it on video) our performance was not half bad for what it was. And I credit the fact that it was a short (4 minute or so) veil dance. The veils hid a lot of oopsies for the non-dancers in the audience, and they made staying together very easy. It was also easier to improv with the veil at the time than to just dance (there were two 30 second sections where half the class couldn't pick up the choreo, so the teacher said to just improv while circling the stage--I preferred the choreo, but those people just weren't going to get it in time.) This, though, is how our studio is set up. There are about seven or so different classes going every quarter, and in the summer quarter, they all perform at the same event, along with the two troupes.
 

Yorkshire Lass

New member
2.5 years for me. My teacher suggested I should perform at her hafla in the group choreography piece at the end of my first year but I didn't feel personally ready to go on stage. I struggle with choreographies and was convinced I'd muck it up. I think in the end it was worth waiting the extra time until I was sure and confident of what I was doing.

In one sense it was very scary and I was so nervous beforehand but the rest of the group was really supportive and I'm really glad I did it when I did it and I can't wait until the next hafla.

I know I'll do better next time. :D:D
 

Piocca

New member
I performed for the first (and only) time in June last year, at the annual "party" (actually it's not so much a party, more just performances), organized by my teacher for all of her classes, after about 15 months dancing. I was less nervous than I thought I would be- I think because it were two GROUP choreos I was dancing and I could hardly see the audience (lighting) and I didn't know them :lol: (well, most of them ;)) However, my hands were still shivering so hard, everytime I looked at my hands I was just thinking "Oh, can you just stop this shivering please! No need to!"- well, i wasn't able to stop it :pray:


But actually, what is worrying me much more at the moment is, that I might peform in about two weeks at my grand aunt's 70th birthday *shock*
There will be around 40 people (mostly family members) and we are celebrating in an restaurant (separate room though). As my grand aunt loves watching dancers and actors (theatre), I thought I could do it as a surprise. She also watched the classes' performances and she liked it a LOT. But I'm not a "natural performer"- acutally I don't like to be in the spotlight (loved the feeling during and after the group peformance though and definitely don't want to stay "just" dancing in my room for myself- rather want to share this joy) plus quite low self-esteem, and like my own WORST critic- everything has to be perfect :rolleyes: Haha. But this thread has encouraged me a lot, especially Darshiva's comment.

For those of you who are worrying about getting on stage - it does get easier. Obviously you still will get butterflies beforehand, but after a few (might be, 2-3 might be 20-30) performances you'll find that once the music starts up, that's all that matters. If you get the opportunity to perform*, take it because it's all experience and that experience will count towards your eventual 'zomg, MUSIC!' attitude on stage.


*For friends, family, rest homes/retirement villages, etc. People who will be happy for you to just come & dance because you're you without any huge expectations. Leave the huge crowds for later when it's 'zomg, MUSIC!' for you instead of 'what if they don't like....'.

so I think, I will just do it :D SO excited!
and little bit in a hurry. still have to finish my underskirt.
And what makes me the most nervous is that I know nearly everyone in the audience (maybe sounds strange that it's much harder for me to dance for people I know) and that it's improv (loose choreography for some parts though).

But I'm so looking forward to it! Wish me luck and fun :)
 
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Darshiva

Moderator
Just focus on dancing for your great aunt. It's bad advice from an audience interaction perspective, but as a newbie to performing in public, it's probably going to be a lot easier on you if you project your energy to the one you know LOVES this sort of thing.
 
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Henna

New member
I was less nervous than I thought I would be- I think because it were two GROUP choreos I was dancing and I could hardly see the audience (lighting) and I didn't know them :lol: (well, most of them ;)) However, my hands were still shivering so hard, everytime I looked at my hands I was just thinking "Oh, can you just stop this shivering please! No need to!"- well, i wasn't able to stop it :pray:
I am not a natural performer either and I also thought group choreos were the easiest way to perform. Until I peformed my first solo and found it was so much easier to dance alone. :) With the group I nearly died of stage fright every time and always messed up in one or another way. But when I stood alone in front of the audience, I suddenly realized that there was nobody by my side to betray my mistakes. It would not matter, if I forgot parts of the choreo and did something else instead, because the audience had no idea what it was supposed to look like. That thought took a huge load off my shoulders, and for the first time in my life I felt relaxed and could have fun when performing.

So I'm sure you'll be fine. More than fine, you'll probably love it. :) Best of luck!
 

Taslin

New member
I have a performance that ive agreed to do at the end of April :0) the classes for it started last week, and i requested the night off from work.

Soo with that said for me it will have been hmmm a full year i think! maybe even a year and a month,lol.

I need to check my thread on here to see when my first lesson was. Im super nostalgic and glad that i posted about my first class on here and can look back at it now. When i perform i hope to document the same on here :0)!!!!!!!!
 

Piocca

New member
Thanks for the advice :)

And Henna, I think you're right. Actually I had exactly the same thoughts before the performance last year. I was SO afraid of messing up, because as you said mistakes would be obvious. And now I'm "afraid" because I'm alone :lol: But on the other hand I like it that I can dance MY way and interpret the music my way (heavily inspired by certain youtube videos though ;)), rather than performing someone else's choreo.
 

Piocca

New member
Dear all!

Today was the day *yay*
and I'm so happy that I did it- thanks again :lol:



I had so much fun. Beforehand I was SOOO terribly nervous- I felt sick, I was shivering really hard and I was freezing, but as soon as the music started everything was gone I really enjoyed it a lot :D
it was quite hard because there were tables with people all around, but I have already thought that it would be like that...
And I assume my audience enjoyed it just as much, at least most of them came to me afterwards and told me that it was fantastic. Haha. I have already watched the footage and I'm really pleased cosidering it my second performance and first solo performance.
Maybe- when the first rush of joy (don't know how it's called) is over- I'll post it for some critique, in order to improve (and there's a lot ;)).
 

Piocca

New member
For the costume I have to thank my aunt, who spent her whole saturday afternoon and sunday morning with me sewing, despite the fact that she traveled all this way just for these two days in order to participate at the party.
I thought we just have to finish the white skirt- do the waistbend, cut and hem. But we ended up altering the top completely and also renewed the blue skirt's waistband.

And yes, I have video (thankfully)- even from different angles :lol: my dad was filming with his camera and my cousins were filming with their cellphones...was a little shock to see all the cameras when I entered, actually I don't even know what to think of this :confused:
 

Amulya

Moderator
With so much footage you could edit it with different camera angles, would be nice! Lucky you have an aunt to help with costumes :)
 

Shadawing

New member
So, I walked in my class casually like "Hey what's up?" and my teacher is like "Oh hai! Nah, just came from a job blah blah blah..... you are performing 12.5.... and that water is fixed, you can drink now blah blah blah...". Like... wtf O.O This will be my performance, and while I am super excited about it I am afraid I will ruin something in performance. In one moment I am happy (because I want to show my dance and enjoy doing it) in the other moment I am nervous as hell. :lol:

So I was wondering if I could upload a video for you to show my dancing to this coreography and get some opinions here? I respect fully my teacher, she is great, but it would not be bad to hear from you also, would it be? :)
 

gisela

Super Moderator
So, I walked in my class casually like "Hey what's up?" and my teacher is like "Oh hai! Nah, just came from a job blah blah blah..... you are performing 12.5.... and that water is fixed, you can drink now blah blah blah...". Like... wtf O.O This will be my performance, and while I am super excited about it I am afraid I will ruin something in performance. In one moment I am happy (because I want to show my dance and enjoy doing it) in the other moment I am nervous as hell. :lol:

So I was wondering if I could upload a video for you to show my dancing to this coreography and get some opinions here? I respect fully my teacher, she is great, but it would not be bad to hear from you also, would it be? :)
The few time I have shown my dancing I have gotten some good advice from the people here. You are most welcome to put a video here (in it's own thread for best results).
 
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