Make-it/Break-it Part 2


I was lucky enough to have some of the pros in the NE Ohio area reply with their own advice! So lucky in fact I thought this needed a Part 2!!

Erika Elliot added- ” Let’s not forget to also have respect for your fellow performers WHILE they are on stage. Don’t talk loudly across the table, or yuck it up with your tablemates/buddies while somebody is performing. That’s just RUDE. Be courteous – watch, enjoy, and support your fellow sistas! and encouraging them with a couple of acknowledging yips, zaghareets, or applause is always an especially nice and courteous gesture! As a performer, I know it can really change my mood (and even my dancing!) to be able to hear a little encouragement while performing. Leleleleleleleleleleeee~~~~~”

I couldn’t agree more!! There’s nothing more stressful to a dancer then to be on stage and look out and see people whispering to each other. You hope they’re saying good things, but where does your mind go? Right to the negative. If you must comment to your friends, please do so quietly and discreetly.

We like to hear cheers, so cheer your fellow dancers on…but also…please remember…

If you can’t hear the audience, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. Qaina is a good example of this. The way the sound system was set up this year, it bubbled the stage in music, and it was hard to hear anything from the audience. I experienced this myself, and so did Jezebel Shuvani. She asked if anyone liked the opening act, and I replied “Are you kidding? The audience was going nuts!!” She said she couldn’t hear anything on stage!

I’m going to quote a dancer who came off stage as we were waiting our turn backstage. “Well that sucked. It was like dancing for a room of corpses.” Bad attitude. I was very taken aback by this comment, considering we were clapping and yipping as she came off stage with her troupe. So just remember, just because you can’t hear it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening, so don’t take offense, sometimes the sound system was set up that way.

Not to mention, the quickest way to loose support is to have a bad attitude. I almost felt like she was expecting praise, and was angry when she didn’t get it. Never expect praise, just take it when it’s given to you and be humble and grateful.

Maria Parasson- “Anymore, with internet, photography, video, etc., you can’t be anything but true as a dancer to yourself, colleagues and audience. Everything is revealed like it or not! I wouldn’t change to please anybody, but would practice good old fashioned good manners and common business sense. ”

I think what Maria is saying is that when filming you should be respectful to the dancers and everyone around you, also you’d better be prepared when you walk on that stage, because like it or not, it’s going to be captured!

I’d like to add, you should always ask permission before posting any video of a performer.

Kimberly Yamina Winrotte had the best addition…

” Leave your body image issues at the door and don’t project them on/at other dancers. I can’t t count how many times I’ve heard a larger dancer, of which I’m one, grumbling about skinnier ones as well as lithe dancers harping on a larger dancer and saying, basically, they had no business dancing, no matter their skill, because of their size. ”


I’ve always had body issues, always. It wasn’t until recently I was able to pinpoint the exact time in my life and even the exact phrase that triggered my weight.

Never put someone down because of their size, big or small. It paints you in a terrible light to the others around you. We’re here to support each other, not rip each other apart.

So about the aloof-ness thing… There’s a big difference between being shy and snubbing people, and those around you know the difference! TRUST ME! The people who are snotty/bratty will walk out of an event with out so much as a word or glance to others, while a shy person will stay, applaud, and enjoy themselves.

If you’re shy, Maggie Condon Fowler brought up a great point. It’s much easier to talk to someone after you’ve seen then perform! You instantly have a conversation starter, and every dancer loves to be praised. “What was the artist you picked? That song was so beautiful!” “Where did you find those pants/top/belt/prop?” “Who did you study with? Your arms are so graceful!” The list goes on and on and on. Simple little praises and questions will get you exposure to your fellow dancers.


Whew! I’d like to just thank everyone who’s read part 1 and didn’t jump to the conclusion that I was talking to them directly!

Like to admit to it or not, we’ve all done one or more of these things along the road, the point is the people who stick around are the ones who learn from their mistakes and grow.


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