Performance emergency!!!


New member
I am on edge right now... I took a bit of a hiatus from dancing due to financial and family related reasons... Now, I have an improv performance on the 20th, but I have dancer's block!!! I can't find my mojo!! I think it's my music, but I'm not sure... I just don't feel it. I don't feel the spirit of dance, and I don't want to back out of the performance.

It's a barter fair, and though I am NOT committed to any paid performance or anything, and my dance sisters will be there, so I may just dance after them or not at all... I just feel bad cause I told a lot of people I would be performing, and now I'm not so sure....

I don't know what to do!


If you aren't being paid, and you have no actual commitment, then just tell yourself you're not doing it. You can always change your mind later.

Also, what would those people who are coming to see you say if you got sick or injured & couldn't dance? Would they be upset or understanding?

Finally, ditch the planned music. Just chill out & listen to some bellydance music and DON'T DANCE. Whatever you do, DO NOT DANCE. You are not allowed to dance. Eventually you will go mad with the desire to get up & go for it. When that happens you will know you've found your song.


New member
They would understand, I'm thinking it's just stage fright coupled with disconnection from my belly dance herd.

I am hoping that once I get on stage, the spark will hit me again. I thrive in the group, and I will sit back to watch a few if the others before coming back to mine.

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Practice all you can until then. But first, relax, breathe, then remember in your mind, then let it flow down to the rest of your body. Tell yourself you can always back out since there is no contract or exchange but I have found it's like riding a bike and your mojo comes back sooner than you thought. Let us know what happens.


New member
Dancing in a barter fair! first, i love this...

context for your art performance! second, i think that after been far from stage for a while, you have simple stage fright - it is the dancer's block because you are not a beginner, but a pro and this interval has changed you as a person and as an artist.

What about trying something you have never done before? What about using something from your out-of-stage stories during the previous period to create an onstage performance (strange music, a peculiar theme, etc)?

You know, i think that you have just not digested the time you spent far from performances - but sometimes, Goddess or the universe has other plans for her dancers: She pushes us when we feel we are not ready, just to make us realise something that we will never be ready on our own to understand. I do not know what this is in your case, but you do know! Take the chance, practice (so that you are physically able to perform whatever your spirit decides at the last moment) and forget about... the stage till you are on it and the music plays.

by the way: welcome back!

PS/My explanation might seem deterministic - but i just wanted to tell you that the story of our art and our personal artistic adventures are like rivers: take it as it comes, sometimes is weird, sometimes is uncomfortable, sometimes it keeps us in an non-dancing riverbank, sometimes it throws us into the ocean. Stress, feeling uncomfortable, fright, are rules of the game. Who cares?


New member
IMO if you made a commitment, don't back out. Not every performance is our best performance. I've done some very uninspired performances, and it's a little upsetting because I always try my best and I always want to see improvement, but sometimes it just doesn't happen.

Sometimes when you have to pick out music in advance, by the time of the show, the music no longer inspires you. Sometimes you are inspired and excited but at the last minute you start to feel a bit under the weather, or something stressful happens in your life. Sometimes you are inspired and your music is great, but there is an issue with the venue, like something wrong with the stage you are dancing on or you have a really horrible audience.

Not everything works out well 100% of the time. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that your performance might be mediocre. And then you make up for that another time. And hey, even when you don't do your best, there is always someone out there who will appreciate your dance anyway.

I am not saying to settle for mediocrity. I'm just saying that it's normal not to be at the top of your game all the time. Even the best dancers have bad days. I have seen performances by my favorite dancers that were drop dead amazing, and performances that were just "meh." And that's okay!


New member
I don't mind a mediocre performance... I mind getting up there and then going completely blank and freeze up..... I AM NOT A PRO, I have done about 5 improv performances with my belly sisters, this will e the fifth. I haven't done any belly dance since july, really, maybe once or twice after but there has been a very dry, not even around the house spell of no belly dancing.

But the day is here, I am leaving in a little bit, and I am sure it will be fine. I will give it my all, and if my all says 'forget you' and leaves me high and dry on the stage, so be it. it happens.


Super Moderator
My advice to students who freeze is to start with head movements and work their way down through shoulders, torso, etc in the order of warming up until automatic dance vocabulary kicks in and takes over.


New member
It went a lot better than I thought, I think the rule of not allowing myself even the slightest dancing movement prior to the actual dance did a LOT to make my body crave dancing. It wasn't all that great IMO but my friends and belly sisters enjoyed it.