First Stage Experience by Jamila

I started Gypsy dance classes early 2016. Inspired by Esmeralda and Zemfira literary characters, I wanted to dance this style of dance ever since childhood. My dream came true with Saeeda’s class. From my first class in a mysterious studio with dim lights and scent of incense, I felt completely immersed in the dance and the mystical culture of Gypsy people. Saeeda was great at teaching not only the technicalities of the dance but its performance and delivery, intertwined deeply with Gypsy culture and history.

The first opportunity to perform with a group I got just a year later. It was on a stage of a large theatre, where we danced several choreographies, and our group was closing the show. Having never performed before, I thought this was my unique chance to try it. I was looking forward to giving my best, despite the nerves!

The experience was fantastic. Feeling how the energy gets transmitted from us, the dancers, to the audience, and feeling the response from the audience and their cheering was incredibly rewarding. According to the audience`s feedback, it was the best performance of the evening, and we left bright memories.

The performance was a really different experience to dancing in a studio. A dancer on stage gives 100% every moment, and you have to concentrate on the delivery and energy. This leaves no time for thinking about the steps and correcting small errors. I have learned that practice is key for performance until both the technical aspect and the delivery become part of you. Each later performance felt a little bit easier. Still, for me my first performance was unforgettable! And I thank Saeeda and our Gypsy dance group in London for this once-in-a-lifetime chance of being on stage.