This is the latest installation in my continuing series on dancers backstage rituals. The featured dancer is Mahin, of "Daily Belly Dance Quickies" fame.
“My pre-show ritual starts about 2 hours before stage time with a light meal - usually hummus and veggies or cheese, crackers and fruit. A good mix of protein, carbs and a little fat fuels me up with some time to digest. I always pack my gig bag (and my Lucky Monkey) and do my makeup while listening NPR - yes, I admitted that on the record! Doing my makeup backstage makes me feel rushed so I really try to do it at home or in my hotel room if I'm travelling. I stay more relaxed that way. If I'm going to listen to my show music, I usually do it in the car on the way to the gig.
I like quiet and calm before a show - it helps me to get centered and ready for a good performance. If it's a club or party gig, I take a peek at the audience before selecting a show playlist - I like to look 'em in the eye before I pick their music!. I warm up to whatever is playing at the venue. I always pick something out of my Magic Box to put into the show. My DBQ subscribers will be familiar with this - it's a little box with cards of moves I've seen in videos or learned from other dancers that I'd like to get into my improv vocabulary. I pick one and do it over and over in my warmup - then I make sure I use it my show. I'm not generally a superstitious person, but things just aren't right back stage without Mr. Monkey and my Magic Box.... and I don't let anyone touch my zills or my sword!
When it's time, I take twirl, strike a pose and smile at myself in the mirror to get into "stage mode” and I'm ready to dance! “
MAHIN WILL BE TEACHING WORKSHOPS ON IMPROVISATION & DRUM SOLOS IN PHILADELPHIA, PA THIS COMING WEEKEND, ON AUGUST 12:
Here are links to Mahin’s Daily Belly Dance Quickies:
** Mahin is wearing my Princess Farhana For King Of The Nile "Ghazal" costume in red, which can be ordered here