September 5, 2012

The Skinny on Competitions

 bellydance competitionsI feel so guilty for not writing sooner but this month as many of you have seen has been quite busy for this Orlando belly dancer. Between school, my internship, several costume commissions, training for competitions, private parties, shows, traveling and tons more in my personal life, this has been one challenging yet rewarding month.
I write today to talk about this wbellydance competitions and answer many of my friends and colleagues questions on what competitions entail, why I decided to do them and the good and bad. So here it goes…
Let us begin by saying that competitions are not for the weak of heart. It takes time,
training, heart and soul, and mucho mula$$ to succeed and do well.
The biggest tips for future competitors (coming from someone who learned the hard way the first couple of times):

1. Choose a competition in your dance style. If your American Cab, go to an Am Cab competition not to an Egyptian one for example so that the judges fit this genre.

2. Find out who your judges will be. Chances are that if you are Am Cab mix style like me, having Dina, Randa Kamel, and etc… ss judges might not be the best idea, so KNOW who your panel will be if possible because they will be very subjective according to their style/ideal.

3. Be expressive, emotional, and comfortable

4. Wear bright colors, adornments, appropriate underwear, and wear a darn nice costume. nothing cheap.

5. Expect these competitions to last a loooong time

6. Do it for the right reasons.

7. Acknowledge the band!

8. Make sure to read the criteria and stay in the time limit and prop requirements.

9. A little less is more. You do not have to bust out all your tricks…emotion will play a big role and executing the movements you do well is better than many that are not as strong (my biggest challenge lol).

10. Choose music that truly moves you (or as close to it if music requirements are more stringent).

11. Most importantly  be ready to bend a little to the style the competition asks for but always remain you!
Cons of Competing
– it takes lots of money (studio, costuming, jewelry, competitor fee and workshops, etc…)
-sometimes you are forced to dance to only oriental classics which has always frustrating for someone like me (there I said it) but part of the challenge is overcoming those obstacles.
-if you don’t make it, it can bum you out for a few days lol
In general I absolutely love the experience of competing. The critiques received from renown judges has made me a better dancer year after year and has given me thicker skin.
Winning and placing has opened up so many doors and allowed me to meet such passionate and simply wonderful people and has put my name out there to a much wider audience which is the best advertising.
I highly recommend this to any serious dancer, it really will make you examine your dance deeply and become comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses which is critical to getting better.
Well, bye for now from Bellydance By Jennifer Inc., and if I missed anything please write a comment below with your thoughts and share this with your friends. If you are interested I offer a competition coaching program for those of you out there who are interested in bellydance competitions and really want some great mentorship in this process. Whether in person or skype, the competition program is a major advantage in reaching your goals. Talk to you soon!

4 Comments on “The Skinny on Competitions

Heather, Granbury, TEXAS
September 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Great post with super advice Jennifer! Congratulations to you on your recent string of successes! Shimmy,shimmy…..Heather

September 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

thanks hun! Hopefully this save a few headaches I went through in the beginning for some ladies out there thinking of competing. I am no competition master but thought these would help 🙂

Brandon's Oasis of Washington DC
September 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

WELL said article…also add:

A. Get your score(s) from the judges sent to you and ask for any written critique(s) available.

B. Accept any feedback from non-friends/family after the competition is over to gain a better feel for how you were opposite of any of the judges.

C. How you ENTER and/or EXIT a stage is as important as what you do ON IT
during your routine.

D. Have FUN but don’t take it TOO seriously. A lot of complaints have come in recent yrs. about these ”compos” being ”loaded”, aka, if a competitor has taken one of the judges wkshps that wknd, she gains advantages, those who have been there before knows what to expect from the judges/bands playing, etc. Representing yourself, your teacher(s) and other students and the city you’re from has to take precedence, especially if you’re just starting out.

E. Even if you think you got robbed, NEVER question or berate a judge, in private or in front of others, no good will come from that. There’s a time & place for everything, weeks or months down the road AFTERWARDS.

Rosa Vasquez
September 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

I could feel every line you wrote. I am just starting my belly dance path, and as I said, I am going to keep up the hard work and this MBDC was my very first live competition and the only thing I got to say, even though it was my first one, I felt identified with every point you covered. And as you said, I would do it again and again.

Great blog!!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *