Zorba, Male Belly Dancer

Henna Design First Belly Dance Performance Henna Design

A Tale of Terror?

So you've been attending belly dance class for a while, can do a few of the moves although you still feel clumsy. Then the instructor announces that the class will be performing in a few weeks! You feel a large lump slowly sliding down into your stomach, turning into stark raving TERROR!!!!

In my case, I had been attending Belly Dance classes for a year, when this dread announcement was made. I felt that I could do a "little" dance to break the ice. It was a simple tsiftetelli choreography consisting largely of Camel Walks and Maias. All of 1 minute, 8 seconds long!

I paid a visit to the performance venue, Kalisa's; a place that has been the center of the local Belly Dance scene for decades (Since 1958!) "There isn't enough room to swing a dead cat", as the saying goes, a very intimate performance venue with a little stage and 5 or 6 little tables for the audience. I felt like an intruder, this was sacred ground, not intended for a rank beginner like me (much less a MALE) !!! What in tarnation am I doing here?!

I went on a 3 week "perfect my Maia" program, as it wasn't up to par with my Camel; and then, trembling in dread, I trailed behind Jamaica (my instructor), and several more advanced students to the stage. "I can't believe I'm doing this!" The advanced students went on the stage; due to lack of room, Jamaica, myself, and another "first timer" (gal) sandwiched ourselves between the stage and the audience.

Audience? Oh, in such a small place, there should only be 10 or 15 folks, right? NOT! There was probably more like 40 or 50 - standing room only!

The music started, and I followed the choreography - and I didn't even make any mistakes. The only distressing part was when we split our initial line up, and I, along with the other gal, flanked Jamaica out there in front! Whoops! I had been counting on hiding in back somewhere! Oh well, too late now!

4+ years of performance dancing Greek dance didn't prepare me for the feeling I had after I danced this simple, little dance. Like WOW! I actually *did* it! Everyone was SO SUPPORTIVE.

I'm already looking forward to my next one, I'm going to try my best to be halfway competent at the "next level up" choreography", the "Spanish Attitude Dance" that my instructor has been having us do in class. The neat thing is that I have the ability to do all the moves in this particular choreography - I just need to polish it so I am at least facing vaguely in the same direction as everyone else in the turns!

As Jamaica says "That was terrifying, when can we do it again?!"

I can hardly wait...


Since I wrote this, I've performed at Kalisa's a number of times. The second time the "Spanish Attitude Dance" still wasn't ready, but the third time it was! I wasn't perfect but WOW, what a blast!!!

Zorba's third performance
Zorba's third performance - the "Spanish Attitude Dance". Jamaica leads.

Zorba's third performance
Another angle.

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