Monday, December 17, 2007

I wanna be a rockstar....

I've performed at a lot of parties throughout my professional dance career. I've met a lot of people and experienced many different situations. Over the years, I've experience two huge extremes in the types of parties I perform at, and I've labeled them appropriately....the "plague parties" and the "rockstar parties."

A "plague party" is one in which the guests treat me like I have the plague - I spend half of my time trying to pull people up to dance with me, and rather than being willing participants in the show, the guests shriek and recoil in horror and will not budge. That would be bad enough on its own, but another common characteristic of a plague party is the "point at your friend" game that the guests inevitably play. As I make my way around the room, every table will have at least one person pointing at someone else at their table and mouthing "pick him, pick him." So, I will go over to the unsuspecting guest and attempt to dance with them, which will always end with yet another shriek and recoil, at which point I move to the next table and start the process all over.

Plague parties really stink, because I can never get into the groove of the performance. I spend most of the set just traveling around to the guests trying to get them involved, and by the time I realize that absolutely no one wants to get up and dance (despite the fact that half of the guests are still furiously pointing at their friends and trying to get my attention so that I will dance with their friends, and their friends are now hiding under the table to avoid me), it's almost time for me to make my exit. Plague parties can be very trying and boring, and it's so hard to keep your energy up during your performance when the audience gives nothing back.

A "rockstar party", on the other hand, is the complete opposite of a plague party. Rockstar parties are just like they sound - I am a rockstar. Everyone wants to get up and dance with me because, well, who wouldn't want to dance with the rockstar? The audience is so into the show, cheering and clapping and encouraging. No one points at their friend in an attempt to embarrass them because (1) no one thinks it's embarrassing to dance with the bellydancer and (2) everyone wants to dance with me themselves!

Although it may not be noticeable to the guests at either of these parties, I feel like my performance is so much better at a rockstar party, because I feed off the energy of the audience and I am truly enjoying myself while I'm out there. I love rockstar parties - I wish they were all like that!


kara :) said...

A “plague party” seems like it would be not only a difficult crowd to perform to but leaves me thinking…why bother hiring an entertainer if you are not going to participate in making the experience enjoyable. I have seen Daniela perform at both types of parties. The energy and excitement level is unbelievable at a so called “rockstar party”. It seems more pleasurable for both the entertainer and the guests, which means the guests will receive a great performance.

domesticdiva121 said...

I recently had the "pleasure" of performing at my first "plague" party with Daniella. I have to tell you I was exhausted afterwards! The 20-30 minute constant search for a smiling face to dance with or an approving face that sorta says "hey kid you're doing great" can take it toll! I felt some sort of empty-ness afterwards and I couldn't figure out what it was until Daniela described the concept of a plague party to me. And then it hit me...the few other times I've performed the crowd was into it and we feed off that as performers! It gives you an adrenaline rush, but when the crowd is not into it you have to provide your own andreline and that's just not as fun. I did feel better when I looked at our pics of the event and saw our smiles in spite of the plaguers.

Bring on the rockstars I say!

KeeraVivian said...

It's true it can be draining to dance at a "plague party" because you feel like you're dancing for chairs. I've had that problem too where people will point at their friend and then the friend is like "oh no!" But it's usually a game they play, they actually really want to go up and dance. So I usually just grab their hand and they go up and dance with me. For some people it's a weird rule, you say no first but then the second time around they give in!