Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened While I Was Bellydancing...Vol. 4

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! 


One night in Tunis, I was wearing a beautiful, pink costume. The bra gave me a nice cleavage, so I felt especially good in it. Unlike most bras, it closed in the front with a single hook and long pieces of fabric which were tied in a bow. 
I started my entrance with a veil. Within a few moments, I noticed I felt oddly comfortable. I looked down, and realized the hook had busted open, my boobs were in my armpits, and everyone was gawking at the wide open gap the size of a parking space on my chest. At least so I imagined. I turned my back to the audience, and gesticulated my situation to the band. I was so mortified I wanted to die. The musicians of course burst into laughter. They turned down the lights and I escaped backstage. Thank God, a female singer was around to help me, and we were able to fix the bra with safety pins. I returned to the stage like nothing happened.
Adriana Teixeira - Brazil / Australia

Adriana on a good bra day


My first New Year's Eve dancing in the Middle East, I was in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. 
People were clapping and singing, and giving me great tips. I felt like a superstar! When the Saidi began, I happily grabbed my cane to spin it. Somehow, it escaped from my hand, flew in the air, and landed on a table filled with food and drinks. Embarrassed, I went over to retrieve it. Thankfully, the clients were gracious about it.
"Don't worry Habibti", they said, and handed me the cane.
My superstardom, on the other hand, remained between the plates of Hummus and Kibbeh.  
Francia Elide - Mexico / UAE
A caneless Francia


I was working in Delhi, when my agent sent me across country to do a wedding show in the Himalayan town of Siliguri in Assam state. The client booked my flights and hotel. I started my performance, but my music was faded out in the middle of the first song. I left the stage, without thinking too much of it - maybe the bride and the groom were just about to make their grand entrance.
Backstage, I waited and waited. Other performers took the stage, but my turn seemed to never come. Hours later, I went out to see what was going on. It turned out there had been a miscommunication within the families: while the younger generation wanted a bellydancer, some conservative older folk had pulled the plug on the show. So, after traveling two thousand kilometers and performing half a song, I just packed up, received the payment, slept, and flew back home to Delhi.
Janka Jaan - Slovakia
Look, they let Janka dance

It sounded like the most benign of events: a woman's birthday party on a Wednesday night, at a Manhattan restaurant. As I walked in, I was a little surprised to see only women in attendance. Someone offered up an explanation without me asking - they were members of a lesbian club. 
"Everyone here is a lesbian", she clarified, in case I didn't get the jist.
The sound system of the restaurant was computerized, which meant they were unable to connect any external source of music. It was the first time I encountered such a problem in New York City. The only thing they could play was barely audible elevator muzak, and not even the volume could be changed. Now what? A round of cordial blamegame followed. I remembered a tip I'd heard from another dancer, for those times when the music stopped mid-show: direct the audience to clap their hands at a steady beat. So I gathered my moxy, and said the show would proceed. Besides, I wanted to get paid.
The "show" started out okay. I twirled with my veil for a while, then tossed it and asked the birthday girl to dance with me. She was in her fifties - and despite it being only seven o'clock in the evening, inebriated. She came very close to me and put her hands on my waist, and before I had a chance to discreetly back away, kissed me on the mouth. I tried not to look overly disgusted, but put enough distance between us to be safe from any further molestation. The hand clapping, which had started out clear and strong, was disintegrating fast. The birthday girl lost her balance, and landed on her butt. I was embarrassed - for her or for myself, I couldn't tell - so I turned to face away from her. I gave it a good ten seconds, and turned back around. She was still on the floor, too drunk to get back on her feet. I took it as my cue to wrap it up. 
Zaina Brown - Finland / Thailand
Zaina will also dance underwater if necessary

Pro bellydancers, submit your funny story at


  1. it have outstanding info about New Year's Eve dancing in the Middle East, I was in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. thanks for bring that useful article too.

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