A very short but extremely relevant interview with Professional Bellydancer Amartia of Maryland regarding her love of competitions…
My cheeky response is: for the sparkly crown for the glory! But in all seriousness, I compete for the challenge. A competition is an arena that allows you to get critiques from people who don’t know you. They don’t know your teacher, your friends or your history. You are there to show them your best and go from there. It forces you to work for months for a performance that only lasts 5minutes, sometimes 10. Competing is that kick in the butt that gives me a goal to work towards; Especially knowing that it’s in front of other dancers. Dancers who know their stuff!
At the very least if you don’t place or win then you have great photos and video from your performance and that’s always a great thing. You can use video for marketing purposes OR for your own personal dance development. It is also an opportunity to network and to meet other dancers. You get to be seen and known by a whole new audience. Who knows they may see something that you do and bring you out to teach them how to do that very thing!
Know your competition! Do your research. Who are the judges, what do they like in a dancer, what style do they like. Yes, you’re going out there to do your best but if your judges are all classical style dancers who love ballet lines and you don’t put that into your performance, you’re not going to score as high as someone else. If you are dancing to a live band, look up videos from previous years. See what other dancers did who placed or competed. Listen to the music; see what the arrangement sounded like. Start prepping at least a month before. Even in an improv format the more comfortable you are and the more combos you can recall at a moment’s notice, the better. Choose your costume, hair, and any props in advance. Rehearse in them; the more you do the less likely something will go wrong- losing a headband, a bracelet. There are those times that it occurs even after you rehearse with it but doing so will limit the likelihood that it’ll happen on stage when it counts the most. These are just some of the things to consider. I could go on and on!
Bio: Maryland Belly dancer Amartia offers extravagant belly dance entertainment in the Belair, Abingdon, Baltimore (Maryland) area. She is known for her Greek bellydance styling and her fabulous wedding reception performances. Allow her to dazzle your guests with her sparkling couture costuming and her fun engaging dance style. www.amartiabellydance.com