Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened While I Was Bellydancing...Vol. 3

All professional performers must be able to think on their feet. This goes double for bellydancers - we are all about that improv. In this blooper reel of a blog series, we shine a spotlight on some of the most ridiculous moments of our careers. Let the stories begin! 


Dancing at one of my favorite spots in Athens, Greece, I still had lots of energy left for the drum solo. I was hitting the accents hard. At one point I did a big hair flip, bending forward all the way for that DUM DUM. For TEK, I rose up with that fiery little-mermaid-hair-splash. This was a great show, with a captivated audience. I reveled in that awesome feeling. 
Soon, something felt different.  Was I just light-headed? As I looked around, I realized people's eyes were fixated near my feet. I glanced down - and to my horror, discovered my ponytail hair extension stuck on the sequined patterns on the skirt. It looked like Cousin It from the Addams family, a hairy creature doing its own dance on floor level. This was now an unintended duet. What's a bellydancer to do?  I was on such an endorphin high that instead of embarrassed, I actually felt empowered. I stuck my fingers in my real hair, releasing it from those useless hairpins and elastics, and tousled it free while violently shaking my head. The audience suddenly refocused on me…the liberated wildwoman I had become! For the grand finale, I bent down to remove the stray ponytail off my skirt, and took a gracious bow - with a bunch of fake hair in my hand. 
Next time, I pinned that pony on hard. 
Athena Najat - US / Turkey
These days, Athena holds onto her hair 24/7


Our group was performing at an open-air festival in Tallinn, Estonia, as part of a diverse lineup. A few minutes before we were to take the stage with our swords and canes, it started to drizzle. We were hoping it would just be a few drops, and proceeded. We were wrong. Soon it was pouring. Wet skirts clinging to our legs, makeup running down our faces, we bravely performed for a handful of umbrella-clutching people. Strangely enough, it was the most liberating and refreshing performance ever! We had no complaints whatsoever - and hey, we got paid.
Kaidi Udris - Estonia / Egypt
Kaidi in dry weather


I used to perform at a restaurant which had three dancers on Saturdays. One night there was a group, who for some reason assumed we dancers didn't speak English - when in fact two of us were American and the remaining Brazilian was of course fluent in English. In their minds, we were some poor fresh-off-the-boat Eastern European girls, who had to do this kind of work to survive. This may have made sense in a country like Egypt, but not so much in Atlanta, Georgia...The customers dissected us as if we weren't there, making all sorts of unpleasant comments. They worried my boobs would fall out of my "too small" bra - it fit just fine, thank you very much - so I made sure to shoulder shimmy with gusto every time I passed by their table. 
Omega - US
Omega, just chilling in the Land of Opportunity


My show at Turkish restaurant had been going well - until a fight broke out between two groups of clients. Men stood up to throw punches. In a blink of an eye, it was Wild West in there. Shellshocked, I continued to dance in the safest corner. The owner had to empty the entire place to put an end to the mayhem. Music still playing, I collected my things. The waitress wiped the blood off the floor.
Suvi Safira Turunen - Finland 
Suvi and a peaceful banana


Two years ago, backstage before the show, I was asked for my cassette.

Pro bellydancers, submit your funny story at


  1. haha! can't wait for more!
    oh wait! I got more!!!! thanks Zaina for writing and sharing our tales!!!!

    1. We can't wait to hear more of your stories, Athena!

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  3. dancers but I also really liked how the intensive was made up of both technique classes AND composition classes, as well as a variety of electives.

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