Bellydancing For Yourself or For Others


Most beginning bellydance students start studying bellydance for their own personal enjoyment and improvement.  The majority of them take up the dance for fitness, as a creative artistic outlet, or just for fun.  To gain the benefits of bellydance, you have to master the moves, the techniques, and how to apply it all to music.  Bellydancing for your own personal improvement is very internal – you don’t need to think about anyone outside of yourself, only how you and your body feels and reacts to the music.

However, a funny thing often happens to belly dance students.  After they master the dance for themselves, they often decide to perform, to dance for others.  With performance opportunities available such as recitals, student nights at restaurants, and community fairs, many bellydancers decide to share the fun.

Performing bellydance for audiences requires additional skill sets as opposed to just dancing for yourself.  While dancing for yourself is arguably the most important reason to dance, this is just the beginning if you wish to perform.  Mastering the dance internally is critical to being able to project the dance externally to others.  If you’re dancing for an audience you must also focus on their needs and expectations.

Bellydancers who fail to ‘tune in’ to their audiences can bore them to death!  Instead of using the dance to connect the audience to the enjoyment of the music and the moment, the dancer holds them captive to the expression of her own inner world and feelings.  She’s really dancing for herself, albeit in a public space.  Unfortunately, many audience members couldn’t care less about the dancer’s own inner world and quickly lose interest in the performance.  Learning how to tune in to an audience’s needs and expectations and to entertain them is an art form in itself!

If you decide to perform bellydance for others, learn how to bellydance for yourself first.  This is how you can forge the deepest connection between your body, the movements and the music.  Once you have that solid foundation, practice until it becomes second nature to you.   It’s then that you can turn your attention to the energy and mood of an audience and use your personal skills to forge a connection between your dance, the music, and others.


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