Every time I plan a show,
I invite dancers based on whether I think they are reliable,
easy to work with, and suitable for the event. Each event is
different, and since I don't have a troupe with set
membership, different dancers are asked to dance at
different times. This is the method I've found works best
Attending my classes
practically guarantees the opportunity to perform at my
Class Haflas and annual Recital.
The dance spots at all of
the other events are filled either by open call or by
invitation. Even the members of my PRISM Rehearsal Club are
not guaranteed a performance spot in any show.
The PRISM Dancers functions differently than standard belly
dance troupes. Any student of mine who performs in my show is
considered a PRISM Dancer; no matter what level they are. I
draw on my years of experience as a professional performer
(over 25 years now) to match the right performers to each
I offer my students performance opportunities because I
believe that performing is part of the art of belly dance; so
my job as a teacher is to provide this, and not to play
favorites with my students. That wouldn't be professional,
fair, or ethical.
How Do I Decide?
When I am planning a show, I
consider the venue, and how high the expectations are for the
performers. Is it a paying show like a private party,
corporate event, or school multicultural fair? Is it a show at
a reduced rate, for instance at nursing homes, the Women’s
Forum, or charity fundraisers?
After considering that, I decide whether it is an open call or
invitation-only show. If it's by invitation, first I see
whether that student follows the Performer’s
Agreement. Then I consider how each student functions in
class, at rehearsals, and shows.
These are the qualities
that are important:
You can see that I take
performing very seriously, and I consider it a privilege,
not a right. The audience deserves the best we can do.
- preparedness - do
they come to class, rehearsals, shows, with what was
asked for previously (costume, veil, etc.)?
- punctuality - are
they consistently late? This is often a daily and
unconscious trait in someone’s life, and can be very
difficult for other performers
- reliability - do they
show up when expected, or are they absent without giving
- improvement - in
technique and understanding, signifying practice at home
- good attitude - do
they seem glad to be there or more like they’re granting
- humility - do they
take corrections well or do they bristle defensively,
and offer long explanations?
- inner light - can
they perform with self-confidence; do they "give" to the
audience, or does their dancing seem wooden and empty?
- sociability - does
their presence foster “a family feeling”, do they share
themselves freely or are they closed off into their own
- stability - do they
evidence a calm joy in learning or performing; can they
take corrections without “losing steam” & faltering?
Do they distract others with erratic behavior or acting
I hope this helps you
understand why I may ask certain dancers for certain
shows;, and if you have any questions please let me know.
If you don't understand why I judged someone appropriate
for a show over someone else - remember the element of
mercy may be involved.