Bellydancing…What I Give The Audience

“What’s important is how we feel, our connection to the music, and what we give to the audience.” Alia Thabit

I learned last Thursday that practicing and learning Bellydancing is different than performing it.

This probably seems obvious, but I never thought about it before.  Not until  last week, when I practiced performing for the first time and had a panic attack.

My panic wasn’t about dancing, not really.  It was about something unresolved inside of myself.  And it’s my problem, not the audiences.  So if I’m going to perform, even if it’s just for the other women in my class, I have to leave my crap out of it and only bring what I want the audiecne to receive from me.

My friend Kat (aka Kitty), who introduced me to Bellydancing, emailed me an article called  What Is the Most Beautiful Move, by Bellydancer Alia Thabit about performing.   She writes:

“The movement doesn’t matter. What’s important is how we feel, our connection to the music, and what we give to the audience.”

Before I started taking Bellydancing classes, the only dancing I ever did was  moving my body according to the music and how it made me feel.   Bellydance has been such a completely new experience for me, I’ve been just trying to learn the most basic things.

I’ve been too busy thinking to feel.

“Get out of your head and into your body,” is something I’ve heard both  Julz and Kathleen (my teachers) say more than once.

There was a dancer at the last Bellydancing Concert I went to that I still remember.  She wasn’t the best dancer, but she gave a great performance.  She danced with the kind of joy that was infectious. She was as much fun to watch as it seemed she was having.

I may not be able to do all the moves well and I’m sure to make mistakes.  But I can bring my love of Bellydancing to my performance.  I can aspire to that attitude that I so admire in the Sisters of the Shawl and the Sahidi Sisters.

I know with my art, when I bring confidence to what I do, it makes all the difference.

A mark made  with confidence has a completely different feeling then one that is self conscious.   A confident line, whether straight or not,  is bold, unapologetic and honest about what it is and what it isn’t.

Alia Thabit says that the audience feels the mood that the performer creates.

In three weeks I’m going to be performing, in front of other Bellydancers, at our yearly Haflah  and I don’t want to pass on my panic to them.   I want them  to feel  the “Here I am, This is me” kind of honesty when I dance.  I want to dance as well as I can and not forget to feel the music and the joy of dancing, so they will too.




6 thoughts on “Bellydancing…What I Give The Audience

  1. Maria, kudos to you for so much!
    -Paying attention to your body and recognizing what you feel
    -Giving a chance to try something new
    -Taking a risk, initially by getting your photograph taken in your bellydancing dress with attitude!
    -And taking another risk by being willing to dance with joy and verve in public. I know this is a huge milestone for you, and I wish you the best.

  2. Thank your for sharing this, for sharing yourself and thoughts and feelings here. As you write and reveal some of your thoughts and uncertainties – and your resolve – you help to open my eyes to my own and ways forward. Thank you. Good luck and enjoy the Haflah – I am certain you will. Sincerely – Jim

  3. Hi Maria

    I’m so happy that article spoke to you.

    It is my mission to empower dancers with the treasure of their joy.

    Thank you for dancing, thank you for reading, thank you for putting the puzzle together.


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