Weekly Challenge! July 23, 2012

It’s Monday!  This week’s challenge is going to be a bit different.

Watching other dancers

I’m going to be completely honest here, and toot my own horn.  If you haven’t been following my website or my Facebook, you might not know that I have a big performance this weekend (actually…two big performances…).  A REALLY big performance.  It’s a big deal, and I’m very grateful to those who are paying their hard-earned money to come and see me dance. (If you’re in Tucson, and want to come, check out my website for information on how to buy tickets.)

This, of course, has influenced my thoughts about what this week’s challenge should be.  Many of us dancers, once we get to the point where we want to perform, try to perform at every restaurant, hafla, show, street fair, Renaissance festival, or other event we can jam our little toes into.  In a close-knit or small community, it gets to the point where dancers all see the same dancers over and over, with the same costumes, the same songs, the same moves.  Newer dancers may not get a chance, because the experienced dancers have all of the connections to the event organizers and fill up all the available spaces before anyone else has a chance to try it.  That’s not always the best thing for experienced dancers, newer dancers, or the general public.  We get caught up in me, me, me, I want to dance and forget to help nurture and support other dancers–new or experienced.

What’s the solution to this?  One dancer I know is in a troupe that has a really awesome requirement: once a month, go to a belly dance show where you are NOT dancing.  When you are dancing at an event, it’s hard to watch other dancers.  Either you are backstage primping or frantically changing costumes, or in the audience being too nervous to watch or focus on anything other than your own upcoming performance (or even worrying about whether to eat now or later so you don’t throw up on your first belly roll or get too hungry to perform…).  And then don’t get me started on the dancers that waltz in just before their number (even though the event organizer asked all dancers to arrive at a specific time), stay backstage with headphones on, dance, and then leave… Of course, some dancers may have gigs before and after, and that’s fine, but that’s a different story.  Ahem.  Sorry.  Anyway…it’s difficult to be supportive of other dancers if you are focusing on your own performance.  I think it’s fantastic that some troupes require dancers to support other dancers by going to a show and only being an audience member.

So, what’s this week’s challenge?

Support a dancer!!  Easy, right!?  If there is a show this week, just go and watch.  Don’t bring your cards (rude!), don’t bring a costume just in case…just go watch a fellow dancer perform and actually sit and enjoy the performance.  Watch her (him!), don’t critique or think about how you might dance to that song.  Just enjoy it.

The rest of the week (and especially if there are no shows for you to attend this week), be a YouTube audience member.  Show support by liking or commenting on a video (please be nice…and if you can’t be nice, move on!)

Of course, if you do follow my blog, you know that I do not like comparing ourselves to other dancers.  It’s not helpful.  So don’t start it this week.  Don’t sit there and think, “I’ll never be able to do that!” or “Wow, what was she thinking…I’d never wear that costume.”  Just enjoy the performance, and know that you are helping another dancer and creating a stronger community!

Happy WATCHING!

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About Kamrah

Kamrah is a belly dancer in Chicago, IL. They started belly dance as an exercise routine but it turned into a passion for dance that has not lessened, even after more than a decade. They have a powerful presence on the stage, and is particularly known for their amazing shimmies. Kamrah is also known as a very versatile belly dancer, and audiences have come to expect the unexpected from them. Performances can be anything from traditional Egyptian, to tribal fusion, to fantasy cosplay (costume play) pieces.

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