Well- it took a while…. After the 1st day when my nerves were shaken somewhat I have to admit, and I wondered why the heck I was out here putting myself through all this. Then I worked the Thursday night and felt so disappointed with my performance (despite the management being happy and getting good reports about it) that I ended up crying in the changing room. Was really considering packing it all in and heading home to Scotland. But, I guess though, if I wasn't so upset when I feel I dance less well than usual that I wouldn't be always trying to improve myself and I would have been content working in the DSS, dancing as a part time hobby rather than ending up here in Cairo as a bellydancer on the Nile! So, although I maybe make my life difficult with it…. Perfectionist is the only way to go for now!!!
Thankfully I even managed to impress the hardest critic, myself, on Friday night. Why? Who knows… but I felt good, actually, I felt amazing, the musicians were tight and strong behind me and the audience was open, welcoming and receptive. Even ignored the rules a little and ended up a whole number just dancing one to one with a girl with learning difficulties- me, her and her Barbie doll. Not really sure what the general audience made of it- but she had a whole lot of fun- and therefore so did I!!! One old Egyptian guy, sitting on his own sat and watched me intensely the whole set downstairs- but didn't smile or anything… so I wasn't sure what to make of it all- but then he followed me upstairs and sat outside on the 'sun' deck watching me repeat my set there- so I guess he must have thought I was worth watching. Families running after me at the end show to get a photo of me with their kids/husbands etc etc…….. can't be a bad sign either I guess…..
The hard bit I find- is the very 1st song……….. I spin on with my veil…. Smiling at all … and seeing and hearing all the disappointed looks from the Egyptians in the audience when they tell others on their table 'no, she's not Egyptian'. I can sense their disappointment before I even start, and know they are instantly lowering the bar- not expecting too much. So, when I get them to the point where they are totally with me, calling me 'adorable' etc it really makes me feel like I have surprised them and cracked it. Wish I could find the recipe to repeat that vibe every night, but with so many variables- the band, the audience, my mood, the stage etc, it is near impossible- and I really don’t want to go down the line of choreography- so 'winging it each night' and loving it a lot more than hating it that’s for sure!!!!