Scared, petrified and uncomfortable was how I felt at my first hafla. My costume constructed with personal hand stitches to my bra, harem pants & veil. My color combination was of purple & gold. Purple is a color of royalty, so why the involuntary shimmies? Previously, I've attended many hafla's (belly dance recital). To perform for the very first time is exciting! I still have butterflies today as I prepare to go on stage. It's never changes for some, for others it begins to be old hat. I did get through my performance, I did a veil dance. I forgot most of the choreography, but quickly recovered. I was pleasantly surprised the crowd clapped. It's always nice to encourage a new student dancer. As time goes on; you strive to improve your technique. I have had the pleasure of witnessing others starting off as students, and achieving status of the accomplished belly dancer.
As a student,be prepared to do your best. This is all you can do.
Listen to your music over and over again. Never solo on music you don't love. When performing with a troupe, know the cues, attend rehearsals, practice at home!
Hafla's are fun events, costume shopping, dining, if provided, taking picture & being entertained by other local performers. This is a great time to seeing various styles of belly dance, skill levels and costumes. Sometimes you will also see alternative styles of dance, related or not to belly dance. This is a treat. Some performers will put on a mini show with in their performance.
It's a good idea to take a camera with you, this gives the opportunity to capture pictures of local dancers. Make it a point to meet someone new, try out the cuisine.
If you are performing be sure to wear a cover-up before and after your performance; this is part of belly dance etiquette. Set back & enjoy the entertainment.
Hafla's are a great learn experience for all dancers no matter what skill level you have reached. Invite a friend, introduce someone else to the art of "belly dancing"!