Monday, October 3, 2011


The featured performer for Part Three of Dancers Backstage Rituals is Lotus Niraja. I have been charmed by her performances for years, as i am sure many of you have! She's also a really nice person in "real life"- we spent some quality dressing room time at the shoots for Cheeky Girls Productions "Combination Nation" and "By Dancers, For Dancers" DVDs.

She's also fireball: not only is she an exquisite dancer and international workshop instructor, she is the founder, choreographer and artistic director of award-winning dance company, The NDC , or Niraja Dance Company.

She has been featured on several instructional and performance DVDs, and is admired for her precise technique and dynamic stage presence. As if that weren't enough, she also runs the popular competition The Belly Dance Nationals, and recently partnered with Michelle Joyce of Cheeky Girls Productions to co-produce the hit web-based reality show, "Project Belly Dance".

For Lotus, stage-fright has never been an issue... but are you wondering how she gets such boundless energy?

Her secret-like her personality, is ultra sweet, just the right combination of naughty and nice!

Here's what she has to say, in her own words:

"I do not have a pre-performance ritual per se. I grew up behind the stage as a child, so I can get into costume and makeup pretty quickly.

My only mandatory good luck charm is that I have to have four safety pins in my costume at all times. If I do not have four, I feel like the stage will fall apart if I even touch it. You will find four safety pins in each of my costumes in patterns such as crosses, x's and letters. BUT...after I perform is when the ritual magic happens.

When I leave the stage and the music is off. You'll see me rummaging through my bag with a gusto. I grab a bar of high quality chocolate out of my bag, open it, and slowly savor the taste. I won't rush it either. I don't chew it , I let it melt in my mouth. My post-performance ritual is to have a piece of chocolate after every performance to congratulate myself and to savor the moment.

I have to have it, or I won't think my performance is complete! My current favorites are Yeli Belly Chocolates (made by a belly dancer in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area) and Richarts in NYC.

But if I'm desperate, I'll grab a quick 70%+ cocoa bar from the local grocery store and throw it in my bag. I love the feeling of having something special waiting for me during the finale part of my dance.

It's my little sweet secret!"


To find out more about Lotus and The NDC, please visit:

LEFT: Lotus' newest DVD, "The Icing On The Drum Solo", released by Cheeky Girls Productions

RIGHT: Lotus looking uber-glam in a costume by her mom, designer MAZ

Bottom: Lotus' newest DVD, "The Icing On The Drum Solo"

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