Excerpt from Anne Thomas Soffee’s book Snake Hips. Great info everyone’s thinking but dancers don’t say enough to new dancers!
- It is considered terribly, terribly gauche to be seen in costume when one isn’t in the throes of performance. Put on your cover-up.
- No dancing on the sidelines when others are performing unless they invite you to join them. Otherwise you’re competing for the audience’s attention, which is very unsisterly.
- Never do a backbend with your crotch toward the audience.
- Don’t touch yourself lasciviously while you dance.
- Try to refrain from pulling faces that look as if you are having a private moment. Not only is this horribly lewd when done correctly, it is incredibly (and unintentionally) amusing when done incorrectly.
- Tattoos are iffy. If you are going for ethnic authenticity, stick with the tribal face markings and hennaed hands. If you’re going for cabaret glitz, a skull and crossbones on your shoulder might be a wee bit detracting. If you’re doing American Tribal style à la Fat Chance or Gypsy Caravan, well, break out the ink, sister, you are in luck.
- Ditto navel piercing.
- Tips are something else that is up in the air–sometimes literally.