First Belly Dance Solo
Lots more pix below!
First Solo, A Rite of Passage.
There comes a time in the development of every belly dancer when s/he strikes out on his/her own and choreographs and performs a solo dance to his/her choice of music. For most gals, this time is generally somewhere between 6 weeks and 6 months. For a slow learning male like me, it was more like 20 months!
I had agonized over music choices, didn't have a clue on how to put a routine together, etc. My belly dance friend, Imzadi, helped put my mind on the right track, and after months of practice, tweaking, more practice, and more tweaking, at last the solo was ready for student night at Kalisa's. I chose my costume with care, had had my hands Hennaed the week before; and, much to the surprise of audience members who knew me (12 of them who had invited themselves, drat them! ), I wore no glasses, having picked up my first pair of contacts that afternoon.
First however, it was time to go up on stage with my dance sisters and perform. This time it was the little Tsiftetelli, the first belly dance I had ever performed. The troupe went on to dance two more advanced dances, neither of which I know (yet). After a second troupe performance by a different group of students, the soloists started performing.
My teacher had put me in slot 3, which was exactly where I wanted to be as coincidence would have it. So while the first soloist was doing her routine, I was backstage fiddling with my veil wrap. Once I was satisfied with it, I was able to watch the remainder of her routine - one I was glad I wasn't following, she was very good.
The second soloist went on, a gal from my class who is about a six monther, who did a lovely sword routine that would be hard to follow too!
Then it was my turn.
I handed my tape to Janette, who just happened to be running the sound equipment, and strode to the stage. As I faced the audience, much to my surprise, I felt none of the panic that I had felt with my first (troupe) belly dance performance. In fact, this felt just like a Greek dance performance where I was the leader. I knew my routine cold because of all the practicing I had done. This gave me the confidence I needed!
There was promptly a problem with the sound system. After several minutes of fiddling, the music started. I went through my routine. Early on, my left arm momentarily flubbed snake arms (It had a habit of doing that unless I kept my eye on it!), but I got that under control immediately. I smiled and made eye contact with various members of the audience. Just before my veil routine is a part where I advance towards the audience. A slightly clumsy moment there as I basic egyptianed off the stage and towards a friend in the audience - the stage was slightly higher than I had remembered! My (gal) friend in the audience looked a bit alarmed as I advanced, eye contact locked! But then I "twist egyptianed" backwards towards the stage, stepped back up as it was time for my veilwork.
The veil unwrapped as planned and I twirled with it across my shoulders. The left side momentarily refused to flutter but I was able to walk my fingers so that it fluttered nicely by the second turn.
Then the veil was off my shoulders and I was into my "grapevine while doing Toreador" thing. Then several types of twirls, flip it overhead and back and use it to frame several Maias. A last Toreador and wind it around my body as the music ended. Whew! No veil disasters!
I had worried a bit as the necklace I was wearing had lost its clasp at the last minute and a safety pin had been pressed into service to hold it on. There was a mild chance that my veil could have decided to entangle itself with the pin!
I was somewhat surprised and very much gratified at the thunderous applause and zaghareet I got! I made a deep bow and headed backstage where my dance sisters, EVERY ONE OF THEM congratulated me!!
And then the moment every student loves, congratulations and praise from my instructor!
Wow, what a feeling! Yesterday I couldn't even spell 'belleee dansur', today I are one!
Dancing with my dance sisters!
With hands beautifully Hennaed...
Waiting for music to start...
Note simple veil wrap and earrings that match my veil. Not too many guys can say that their earrings match their veil!
Starting the hip slides.
And now snake arms - very Egyptian looking here!
Snake arms, different angle. Note framed Belly Dancer picture on wall - Kalisa's is full of these beautiful pictures, accumulated for better than 45 years!
Looking dreamy here, hip circles while watching hands scoop upwards.
Hand scoops done, a couple of horizontal figure-8s before turning...
Snake arms, back to audience.
Finishing a Camel.
Hip circle turn.
Hip circle turn, front-on shot. Right arm posture could be better here.
Around we go!
"Inside out" hip circle turn.
Now we're down with the audience, "twist-Egyptianing" away.
Time for veilwork!
Who says males can't do veil!
Swinging veil around, not sure what's up with the facial expression here!
Where did he go?
There is nothing like veilwork, I feel so divine!
Frame those Maias!
Wrap up the dance, in more ways than one!