Eastern Delights Troupe Performing Saidi Cane

Last weekend the Eastern Delights troupe were back performing at two wonderful events. The two events were very different from each other but it is interesting how the dynamics of a venue and audience can alter your performance without realising it. So here my review of the Friday and Saturday show.

Mind, Body and Soul Charity Show

Eastern Delights Shaabi

The Eastern Delights are often invited to perform at charity events and this time it was the Choices Charity who asked us to come and perform.

Choices provide refuge and support for victims of domestic abuse and their families so it felt really good to be performing a style of dance I believe to be powerful and great for boosting self confidence. It was especially touching to hear first hand from a woman who had been in that situation, taken refuge and support from Choices and how she felt about everything these days. It reminded me of how lucky I am and how lucky we are to have charities such as Choices who can help.

The event was organised to celebrate the charity’s 20th Birthday and included a Zen room which offered massages, spray tans, henna, readings and much more. In the main room was the entertainment in which myself along with Eastern Delights troupe members Helen and Lia performed a short and versatile set.

Starting off with our upbeat Shabbi choreography I couldn’t help but smile as I looked out and saw people smiling and clapping along. It is such an energetic piece and always gets people interested in our performance. From high energy to something a bit more flowing I performed a Oriental Veil solo which is one of my favourite dances to perform and then we finished with a new Saidi cane dance choreography which showed a powerful yet fun side to us. We struggled a bit performing canes due to the space and worry of anyone being whacked with a cane but my ladies dealt with it like pro’s which I was proud of.

I was a bit nervous about performing to the general public with my pregnant belly out now that I am 30 weeks but the wonderful feedback I received after performing actually made me feel a lot different. Someone told me that it was great to see a pregnant woman being active instead of sitting around like many others feel they need to do. I was also told by a woman that I looked sexy with my big belly out and that is was powerful. These comments really touched me and made my night. I’m glad I was able to inspire other women to were keen to learn how to belly dance.

The whole night was so much fun and glad that we were able to bring some dancing entertainment for a great cause.

Superstition Belly Dance Spectacular

Joanne Performing at Superstition Belly Dance Spectacular

So after performing the night before I was ready to kick butt at this annual show in Broadstairs organised by Belly Dancer Vanessa. After months and months of being slightly isolated from the local Belly Dance community (I hadn’t seen any of them since my own hafla event back in May) I was excited to finally see everyone again and feel that buzz when everyone is friendly and all about Belly Dancing. This event was in support of the PKD Charity so I guess we were certainly doing our bit for different charities this weekend which is great!

Having performed at the Sarah Thorne Theatre for this event twice before it was reassuring to know what the set up would be like and how the event would run. Not knowing the venue or performing area is always something that makes me nervous before a performance so I am always a bit calmer more familiar spaces.

Although I know what costumes we would be wearing for the troupe performance I did have to think about what to wear for my solo. It was a choice between looking professional or being comfortable since I didn’t want to squeeze into something that currently doesn’t fit me but also wanted my costume to compliment my dancing. In the end I went for something comfortable since it wasn’t a paid, professional gig and I just wanted to feel relaxed and have a great time (which I did).

When I got on that stage and began dancing I felt amazing! Throughout my performance I couldn’t stop smiling. Having performed at outside venues (usually on grass) in the summer it felt so great to back on an actual stage with lighting along with a supportive audience clapping and cheering for me. I was back in my element and it reminded me why I love this dance after months of struggling with limited work due to being pregnant and not pushing myself. I am especially hormonal these days and I’m very surprised I wasn’t in tears afterwards because I felt so happy. It was also extra special because of my bump and the comments of me being sexy and powerful still in my head from the night before. Everything about my solo just felt right.

After watching the rest of the first act which included so many different styles and creative ideas it was time for the Eastern Delights to get up on stage and perform our Saidi cane dance. We knew that it would go better than the night before since we had a lot more room to swing our canes and didn’t have to watch out for anyone (well except each other). For this dance I wanted the costumes to be simple and uniform to go with the folk style of the dance. I wasn’t sure how it was going to look and was concerned that maybe it would look too plain and boring but deep inside me I was sure that it might actually stand out from all the glamorous and sometimes crazy costumes. After performing we got a lot of compliments about our formations and how we were synchronized with our moves and costumes so I now know that it did work.

This whole weekend has sparked something inside of me again and although I can’t really use it too much now (except for our next and last performance of 2016) it will be useful for my preparations in the new year for courses and troupe ideas. Although I am very, very excited to meet my little man at the end of this year I am also excited to start new things in 2017 with my dancing too so keep an eye out.

Check out more photos from the Superstition Belly Dance Spectacular on our Facebook Page

Performance Review – A Weekend to Remember