Thea Dance and Music

Hello, lovelies! Thea here with thoughts, tips and tricks about the art that I have been drawn to my whole life. I'm so glad you're here.

Live Performance is Not a TV Show! 3 super easy ways to invite your audience to enjoy the show.

October 2, 2019
I don't remember this performance well, but I know I wasn't making this face the whole time. I seem to remember someone catcalling from the audience and this was probably my reaction to that.
Interacting with my audience is something I look forward to in restaurant shows like this one. Its these moments that make the difference between experiencing the moment or just watching the flat screen. Sometimes we get so used to watching television or internet videos that we forget that we have the power to interact with live shows. Have you ever performed for a seemingly unappreciative audience only to finish the show to a standing ovation and rave reviews from audience members? I have seen this over and over. Someone will sit, watching the show with a look that to me reads "I would like to be anywhere but here", only to approach me after the show and say that was the most fun they'd had all week. What's missing here? Did they just forget to smile during the show? I've learned over the years that American audiences especially, need to be invited to participate. They need to be shown how to express excitement during a performance. If you've been to my community shows, you've seen me introduce myself before the start of the show and invite people to make noise and show appreciation to every dancer during the performance, but more importantly, I make a point of inviting the audience to smile and enjoy themselves while I'm dancing.

Here are my super simple suggestions for such an invitation:
1. Start the audience in a clap. This one is super easy and you see it all the time with professional entertainers. If you don't already do this, it's time you should. Clapping is universal and helps people make noise in time with each other without needing to say a word. Even the most shy of observers will participate in an organized group clap.
2. Smile. This one is also super obvious, but I can't tell you how many dancers, even professionals, forget to do this. Adding a smile to a hip circle tells the audience that you are having fun, you are confident, and that it's okay for them to enjoy watching what you are doing. A smile is an invitation. Invite your new audience friends to feel joy.
3. Make eye contact. So simple, right!? Eye contact brakes the wall of just watching and brings the audience member into the show. When you look right into your audience members eyes, they start to feel like the dance is for them. When I dance, I try to look into the eyes of all of my audience members. This isn't always possible depending on the show, but when I make eye contact, I can feel the excitement of the room and that makes the dance that much sweeter.

So go forth and interact! Have fun and they will too.
 

Effulgence: It's time to shine!

October 2, 2019
Hello, lovelies! I have chosen the word "effulgent" to represent the bright feeling in my heart when I dance. It is what I wish to share with all of you. It is also the inspiration for my (coming soon) new professional dance company, Raqs Effulgence. Art is a journey of love and pain, sweat and sparkles, desire and sweet reward. I have experienced disappointment and triumph, success and rejection, and many many costume malfunctions. I hope that by sharing my thoughts and experiences, I can he...

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Effulgent Dancer


Thea Almost 20 years ago, I found bellydance and my world changed. Dance became a way for me to come out of my shell. My body and purpose started to make sense. I have performed and instructed the art of bellydance since 2001. I have taught successful classes and workshops for 13 years and performed with amazing dancers from all over the world. You can find my videos on youtube, currently with over 43million views! With love in my heart, I thank you for visiting.

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