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What is Advice for Dancing with a Sword?

Have you already purchased your sword and started learning how to balance it on your body? If not, read the advice here on how to get started with sword dancing. If you’ve already got the basics down, though, and are ready to prepare a performance piece, read on for tips and advice for belly dancing with a sword.

Costuming

While it’s possible to wear any costume for performing with a sword, some costume advice makes more sense.

First of all, if you’re going to be balancing your sword on your stomach or hip, avoid costumes that have a lot of dangly bits in the midriff area. The last thing you want to do is get the tip of the sword caught in the beading, which will cause the sword to fall and the beads to fly… That really is the last thing you want during a performance!

Similarly, if you’re in the habit of wearing a bodysuit or meshing for coverage, that might not be the best option for sword balancing on the torso. The fabric makes the surface slippery – again resulting in a dropped sword.

Finally, practicing and dancing with a sword on your head can cause hair breakage, depending on the heaviness of the implement. The breakage isn’t permanent. However, if it bothers you, consider wearing a headdress when you practice and perform.

Showcasing Sword and Form

First and foremost, dance like the sword is the weapon that it is. Even if you’ve bought a decorative sword so dull it couldn’t cut warm butter, part of the allure of belly dancing with a sword is the contrast of a delicate dance with a dangerous weapon.

In that vein, implement dance moves that showcase the form of the rigid sword against the fluidity of your form. For instance, while in profile, hold the sword stiffly away from your body while you perform undulations. Not all has to be about the balance.

However, when you’re getting ready to balance the sword on your body, draw out the moment. The audience has been waiting for just that, so create some drama. Play with the sword edge or keep your fingertips extended to the tip and hilt for just an extra second before confidently revealing your ease with balancing the sword.

Balance During Performance

You’ve practiced belly dancing with the sword – otherwise you wouldn’t even consider performing with it, right? Trust in yourself and your balance.

However, if you’d like to hedge your bet a bit in case of nervousness or Murphy’s Law, there are a couple tricks for making the sword less slippery. First of all, many dancers coat the edge that connects with their bodies with wax or bowler’s grip. Another tip is making sure the top of your head receives a generous coating of hairspray, regardless of your style.

Some dancers glue grains of sand or even sandpaper to the edge of the sword. Others cut a small notch to fit over their head. Neither of these is exactly advisable. Though they certainly improve the traction, they also shoot your credibility. You’d be surprised what eagle-eyed audience members can spot – and everyone will be looking to see if you really can balance the sword while dancing.

What tips or advice do you have for belly dancing with a sword?

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