Dance Personality + Magnetism...where does yours come from?

I was having a delicious conversation with a dancer yesterday about performance personality, magnetism and how vital it is on stage. By the way, if you've been in bellydance for any length of time, you've noticed that this is a recurring topic…and we love it!
We touched on how important it is that the dancer be communicative in his/her way, no matter what style or what message the performer must connect with their audience. But it's not just about having something to say. You must say it in a way that it is understood, in a way that it registers with the spectator. You must attract and engage the audience member enough so that they remain receptive to your message. That's magnetism baby.

Think about some of your most beloved performers. It's never just about technique. You were pulled toward them. They spoke to you. Their personality came through.
Which leads me to ask this question. And it's not a rhetorical question, I really want to know what you think.
Does your personality inform your dance? Or does your dance inform your personality?
Please tell me what you think in the blog post comments. I would love to hear where you're at on this.


  1. I think it's a constant cycle... The more I dance, the more confident I become, and the more confident I feel on stage. With each successful show where the audience really connects with my stage personality, it gives me a little more encouragement to be myself on and off stage.

    That said, my stage personality is definitely a lot more bold, direct, and flirtatious than my normal self. Normal AJ is only bold and direct when she's comfortable with people, and only flirts with her husband, and is otherwise still content to quietly sit in a corner and listen to others talk.

  2. I am definitely more confident and bold when I'm on stage than off. However, I think that personality has always been with me, but just restrained off stage. Since I've always worked with scientists (and even grew up with them!), I've always believed that I should tone down my feminism and sexuality. It's not something that's conscious or encouraged by the people around me - it's just the culture I grew up in. So when I dance, which is in many ways outside of normal society, I feel like I can let myself go.

    That feeling of freedom is what makes bellydance so special to me. I don't *have* to act a certain way. I can act flirtatious in a way that's comfortable to me, and I feel like I won't be judged too harshly for it. :)

  3. I also think dancers go through both of these phases (not necessarily a cycle). Or at least they should. I think early on, we're simply trying to grow our vocabulary of movement, not really daring to put our "spin" on it (no pun intended). So we take movement that may or may not look great on us because it's what our teacher's feed us. We also, naturally, take on some of our teacher's expression. So early on, dance informs our performance personality.
    Eventually, if the dancer progresses, he/she will be more confident, learn to trust their choices and do less second-guessing, letting more of their personality fuel their dance. That's not to say we don't keep growing, but as we grow we already have a strong foundation on which to build on, so we're still very much ourselves, just more refined. So if anything our stage presence and personality is even stronger.
    Unfortunately, many dancers get stuck in the first phase and never grow to cross over to letting their own personality inform their dancing.

    I think it's interesting how both of you (AJ & Stephanie) mentioned being more flirtatious on stage. It's funny because that's not a quality I was envisioning in my head when I wrote this. I mean, it's a given, any form of bellydance is going to have a bit of sensuality. It's just that I don't see "magnetism" as solely a sensual energy.

    And as for being one way on stage and another off. I don't see that as two different personalities. I just see it as different aspects of the same very powerful people you both are!
    Thanks so much for commenting today gals!!

  4. I'm struggling with having ANY personality on stage. I find I'm so wrapped up in remembering the choreography that I just plaster a blank smile on my face while the wheels spin out of control behind the mask, trying to remember what move I do next. It isn't until I'm really comfortable with a choreography that I can then put effort into creating a personality.


Thank you visiting and taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...