Youtube, and some thoughts of the day

Today I started updating my youtube account. It needed an overhaul. Well, it still needs one: that is, I need to post new videos. The last video I have posted is from two years ago. A lot happens when you finish two bachelor degrees, move across the world, and start a master's degree, but I'm very excited to finally have some time to focus on my dancing. That being said, new videos to come! :D

On that same note, I went to the account of a friend of mine, who had a video posted of me dancing. It received two thumbs down and three negative comments. I totally agreed with the comments. Firstly, the video was very poorly shot. The camera was shaky, there are people talking loudly in the background - in short, it's a mess. It's always been difficult to find people to video tape me, and to do it well, so my current video repertoire is not very strong. More importantly than this, the comments were correct about my dancing. Granted, we are each our own worst enemy; that is to say, we judge ourselves more harsh than we judge others. So, it goes without saying that I almost hate to see myself on tape, but I honestly was not ready to dance at that time and I was ill prepared for that particular performance. However, I responded kindly to the negative comments because I really appreciated the honesty of the people. It has given me an even greater drive to do well and redeem myself (and my cinematography). Also, it's been two years and I have grown a lot in that time, both mentally and as a dancer. I'm very excited to see the difference between my videos then and now.

For any future belly dancers out there who wish to be professionals (hindsight is 20/20), I recommend getting all of your things in order before going public. What does that mean?

1. Build up your repertoire. Get involved in social media and make it professional. Have more than a few very good professional photos and videos prepared of yourself and keep making them. Post them everywhere. Social media is huge now, and it acts as your resume, so make every site count and take the time to do it all. If you're like me (aka poor), this will take some time. Be patient!

2. Go into your interviews (restaurants, other venues) with a plan. Bring a sample of your music on a cd and on an ipod with you. Bring your business cards. Ask if you need to do a demonstration, and even if they say no, be prepared with a little choreographed something when you go just in case (even if you don't have an dress with you). Don't be nervous, you're the professional. If you believe that, so will they.

3. Research other dancers. It's not against the law to go and see another performance or watch someone on youtube. Go to their website, go to their social media sites, see what they're doing. Get ideas. As always, don't blatantly copy someone in every way, but take pieces of what other dancers have and add them to your own style. Become well rounded.

4. Have an idol. Have someone to aspire to. This will keep you motivated.

5. Love yourself. There will always be someone who doesn't like your dancing. There will always be someone who will tell you how you can dance better or who will have some comment about what will make you better. Especially on social media and the internet, people will say whatever they want because they don't have to say it to your face, so take it at face value. Accept the good and the bad and go back with new information every time to improve upon your art.

These are just a few thoughts that passed through my mind today :) Happy dancing <3

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I fell in love with belly dancing when I was 16 years old. I was a Russian dancer with a group from my church and we were performing at an international party when I saw belly dancing for the first time. I couldn't stop watching the dancer and decided from that point on that I would focus all of my dance energy on belly dancing. The rest is history...


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