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!