Egyptian audience and from somewhere else

I decided to write about the Egyptian audience and others around the world. To refer to the first one I need to start making some references to make it more understandable:
The Egyptians are people of very hot blood. They show what they feel without problems. Maybe from the outside may seem exaggerated: Dancing around the mother when she cooked something nice, kiss her hands and say “God bless them”… mourn the screams and slapping themselves when they are faced with something that hurts a lot (eg death of a loved one). There are demonstrations that are not common elsewhere in the world.

The Egyptians celebrate everything with traditional zaghrota (sound strident achieved by vibrating the tongue from side to side while saying “LU” to end in “i”) and singing and dancing without the need for a sound system to dance just because they need to sing and clap, so that these manifestations of joy can take place either in a hall of a five stars hotel or at the bridge over the Nile.

The Egyptians love music and dance. The music is definitely the quintessential art form. From it have emerged idols who never go out of style: Abdel Halim Hafez, Om Kalthom. Whose songs can be heard in international dance festivals as well as in a taxi in Cairo.
The music is more accepted than dance. Remember: this is a Muslim country so that not all are dedicated to the dance. The problem with dance is not the dance itself, the problem is to make it a career because it involves exposure… which would be the opposite of “cover yourself”.
Despite this, and I know many Western dancers will be angry for what I say, all the Egyptian women know how to dance, some more than others, it’s in their blood, they flow naturally with the music and they have innate conditions for this kind of dance. I’m not saying they are all professional dancers. There is a big difference between dancing in the celebrations for fun and dancing in a show with live music which requires other training and play a role that in a society like this, and more being Egyptian, has its price.
The little girls also have a very special charisma. That exquisite mix: “leap-shyness” and they dance very well. Easily highlighted in any gathering. They ignore any prejudice and they are not caring “who will say what” this is their advantage. I remember in my city had about 40 girls between 4 and 12 years in my dance school. Here there are no dance academies for girls, the one who wants to learn should take private lessons or any schedule in any gym, go on their own and often in secret.

The Egyptian woman who choose art as a profession (particularly dance or acting) should be strong and be clear about what they want. No doubt they will give up many things but if their vocation is authentic it worth the sacrifice.

The Egyptian public is a very special audience. They are very warm and super demonstrative.The Egyptian enjoys a dance show if it meets certain requirements:

Performance and content of the show

_Here are not used: wings, swords, fan veils, poil veils. Are not used any “item” that remove the dancer from the foreground, with the exception of the stick as a “saidi” well done is very well received. The Egyptian doesn’t care about if you can dance with a thousand veils or how high you raise your leg. The Egyptian is not interested in acrobatics. The Egyptian is interested to see that you understand what you are doing.
The expectation is greater if the Egyptian knows that you are foreign because there is a preconception that foreign dancers are cold and “they don’t understand” what they dance. It is therefore absolutely essential that each dancer takes the time to translate the lyrics of the songs that will be part of her repertoire, or at least know roughly “what it says”. You can not dance “Darat el Ayam” with a great smile. The translation of the letters is a job that I highly recommend. You can thrill to tears and your dance will transform forever.
Attitude of the audience vs attitude of the dancer

_There are several types within the Egyptian audience, and each has their preferences.The attitude of the Egyptians with the dancer varies according to the event. Wedding: sure everyone will want to participate, even grandmothers. Restorant or elsewhere: depends on their attitude willingness or “what they ate before” … The selection of the songs for the show depend on type of celebration. There are songs that can be used at certain times and others no. Some songs can lift the atmosphere automatically.
The Egyptian don’t like the “shy” dancer. They must see and feel that the dancer enter into the stage “being awesome”, someone who eats the stage and smiles from the inside, someone “super sure” from every step and every turn… Although it sounds “obvious”, this attitude is very useful for the dancer to face certain Egyptian women who want to make her feel “sad or shame” looking at her with contempt or scorn.(Which is likely to happen, as some women are very religious or very jealous and they don’t like to see a dancer “half naked” and worse if she is pretty and have nice figure) I have a personal belief and I testify its effectiveness “There is nothing more powerful than a smile”  believe me I got women to dance, they were hating me with the look and after five seconds we were clapping together. This attitude is a tremendous help as it sounds easier than to put it into practice… But after a time it becomes your shield of protection and it is this integrity that keeps you intact with the attitude from the entrance to the final bow.

 Return of the public

_The Egyptian who enjoy a show does not hesitate to let you know. Approaches are common after each presentation, they ask you for take pictures with you or the number of your manager (in some cases they ask for your phone number but it is a matter of prestige, and very convenient, refer them to your manager’s mobile, the dancer should not deal with these issues: cachet, duration of the show and organization of future events) … Some come just to thank you for bringing light 🙂

In my particular case I have no words to define how much I have become rich professionally. My dance has been transformed.
I feel great every time an Egyptian get surprised to know that I’m foreign… they confess that they are confused because they see technique and “feeling” in the same package. They love that someone who comes from so far execute their dance with love and dedication.

Other places audience
_I have the luck and the privilege to dance in a place where tourism is constant so it is common for me to be surrounded by people of different nationalities during my shows: from Peruvian to Australian, Canadian to Chinese and Germans… to name a few. Each audience has its way of expressing affection. A Swede and a Hindu doesn’t react in the same way… The warmth I receive from the Latin American audience, to the astonishment of Europeans when they see my hips go from side to side… The power and the swing from the Africans who have prove it every time I take them to the stage with me… Everyone fill my heart with deep love but I want to highlight the Japanese audience and Orientals in general… I admire those people for being quite polite, also very participative and always have a smile accompanied by a beautiful expression.
It’s wonderful to learn about other cultures in this way but also is a big commitment because many tourists come here with planned activities, visit us just to familiarize and they have little time… So maybe my show is the only bellydance show that they will see in their short stay, so, needless to say, it is my duty to represent very well this wonderful art that I love: “Oriental Dance”.

I assume this commitment and I appreciate being able to do it because I feel very blessed with these beautiful experiences and, undoubtedly, I have been transformed 🙂



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