We are HONOURED at Zara's Zouk to have an exclusive Newsletter interview with none other than Delia Lewis - Delilah - Miss Bellydance UK (2010). She tells us her story of how she went from being an unnatural performer, dancing in a bathroom mirror, to winning one of the UK's biggest dance competitions and writing one of the most inspirational and useful bellydance books on the market!
Hey Delilah, thank you for agreeing to this interview!
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a dancer.
Hey Zara, thank you for inviting me. Well, I spent the first decade of my dance journey learning predominantly through video tapes (before YouTube came out I might add) and standing on a chair in the bathroom as it was the only mirror in the house. I was addicted to bellydance and a lack of money or a full length mirror wasn't going to stop me!
"EVERYONE can develop stage presence"
As a teacher I strongly believe that everyone can develop stage presence once they understand the principles of performance. My teaching style is informative yet accessible. I like to take one subject and look at it in detail, rather than to give information overload. As a dancer my aim is to put a smile on the audiences' faces. If I can achieve that, I am happy. I won Miss Bellydance UK back in 2010 and now I teach and perform internationally.
What inspired you to write the book?
I am not a natural dancer and was not a natural on stage. I had to learn everything from scratch, including performance.
"I am not a natural dancer and was not a natural on stage"
Most tutors of dance are experts at teaching technique and some dancers have great stage presence without knowing how to teach it.
When I entered Miss BellyDance UK (which I went on to win) I found myself planning how I wanted to be perceived in a Starbuck's (as you do) using the very principles and methods you'll find in the book.
As a method it helped me in my dance career and I was sure it could help others as well.
What can the book give to those who read it ?
A lot of tools considering the size of the book! There is enough in the book to keep you busy for months, if not years, as one reviewer noted. There is something within the book for you whether you are a new starter or a professional dancer
The book provides a foundation for understanding what performance and stage presence is. A few of my reviewers were curious as to whether this could be done and have been pleased with the result. It also provides methods to develop your performance from different angles which include stage presence, stage persona, expression, musicality and audience interaction.
"Develop your.... stage presence, persona, expression, musicality and audience interaction"
One thing I wanted to give you, the dancer was the ability to develop your stage presence their your OWN way. I feel Performance Mastery provides the tools to do that. It can be used alongside learning technique in your regular class and you can use the methods with the help of tutor, mentor or coach or on your own. The choice is yours.
You give lots of performance tips in the book, which one is your favourite and that you use the most?
My favourite tip : Whatever you are trying to project always think from the perspective of the audience. The audience is key to your stage presence!
Animal Totem is the one I use the most (channelling the sassy panther!)
Thank you Delilah for your time.
If you would like to find out even more about Delilah and read reviews about her book check out her website:
BUY DELILAH'S BOOK: PERFORMANCE MASTERY FOR
ONLY £8.92 with promotion code CRAZY13