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(#47, Version 5.0)
"The dancing of the female before the male, that she be found pleasing and he be pleased, is one of the most profound lessons in all of human biology." (Dancer of Gor, p.193)
How do you simulate slave dancing online?
Dancing in real time requires different skills than dancing online. A good real time dancer might be a poor online dancer. Conversely, a good online dancer might be a poor real time dancer. Dancing real time is outside the scope of this scroll. Though this scroll may also apply in some areas to real time dancing, the primary function of it will be how to effectively dance online. As on Gor, dancers are a popular attraction online. I have witnessed a number of girls dance and have found that many do not dance as effectively as they could. There is much potential but it is not always utilized. They simply need more knowledge to help their skills.
One of the reasons the online dancers are not always effective comes from a lack of knowledge about slave dance in the books. Girls attempt to perform book dances but do not truly know the basics of the dances. They may not possess the books themselves and must rely on web sites that may not be accurate. My scroll, Slave Dancing, #46, attempts to fill that gap by presenting book accurate information on dance. As many men do not know the basics either, they cannot adequately judge slave dance and they simply accept what they viscerally like. They are not critical judges of dancing so they cannot tell the girls how to improve. They simply judge by their emotions.
Another reason why dancers are not always effective is from a misunderstanding over online dance and real life dance. There are major differences in how each is performed though many girls do not realize the differences. They do not understand the key skills for online dance and thus do not do as well as they could if they truly understood. They tell you what they are dancing. They tell you what you see. They do not adequately describe their movements and expressions so they must tell you everything instead of showing you. This scroll will hopefully clarify these matters.
A prime requisite for a good online dancer is creative writing skills, something for which a real time dancer has little need. In real time, you are able to show your dance visually. A real time dancer can simply imagine a dance in her mind and visualize what she desires to do. She then dances what she sees in her mind. Online, you must describe what you see in your mind in words, trying to be detailed and precise. Translating actual dance moves into words is not always simple. You must be a good writer to effectively get across the essence of your dance.
You can try to dance one of the dances from the books or you can create your very own dance. Either is acceptable and valid. If you perform a book dance, you should try at the very least to include the basic requisites into your dance. If you do not do the basics, then you are not really performing a book dance. You still possess much leeway in a book dance despite having to perform certain basics. A book dance basically needs to be recognizable to your audience as such. The information in my scroll Slave Dancing, #46, explains the basics of a number of book dances. Obviously if you wish to create your own dance, you have complete artistic freedom to design whatever you wish.
All online dances, book or otherwise, share common characteristics. The following suggestions are meant to apply to all online dances. What you will find is that most of this advice would also apply to many creative writing projects. Writing a short story and an online dance are very similar activities. They have their differences as well but many of the basics are the same and those basics are much of what I will disseminate here.
When you begin a dance, you need to set the stage for your audience. Do not simply begin dancing. You should first describe the setting of your dance. Are you in dancing sands, atop some furs, on red tiles or on a cold stone floor? Are you dancing by candlelight, torch-light or lantern? Next, you should also describe your self to your audience. If the information is not in your profile, you should describe your physical attributes and emphasize your best features. Remembers that Goreans found every part of a woman to be beautiful. Do not just describe your breasts and buttocks. Mention your hair, your legs, your hands, your ears. Then, you should describe any clothing or items that you are wearing. Are you naked, in silks, or wearing a ta-teera? Do you have any shiny bangles, bracelets or such? Are you wearing slave bells or holding zills? Paint a vivid picture of what your audience will first see when you appear before them.
Once you begin your dance, do not forget the initial picture you have given to your audience. Incorporate those items into your dance to enhance the vividness and reality of the dance. The surface you dance upon will affect how you can move. Dancing on sand is much different from dancing on tiles. Will your silks remain on you throughout the dance? Will they slowly be dropped during certain phases of the dance? Use the jewelry you are wearing to catch the light and sparkle at certain moments. If you have many bangles on, maybe the sound of their clanging will ring out. If you are wearing slavebells, they will definitely be making noise and you should describe those sounds, using them to stress certain movements. Use your zills to punctuate your dance at key moments. Do not forget the little details.
Another part of your setting would be music though online a dancer and her audience do not share a background of real music for the dance. A dancer's audience cannot hear the savage and sensuous rhythms of Gorean music. No flutes, no kalikas, no tabors. Instead, a girl must describe to her audience the type of music that would be present. She must tell them the instruments that are playing, the tempo and style of the melodies. A change in the music style is a good way to inform the audience that the dance is entering a new phase. The music is an important aspect of your dance. It helps create your atmosphere and depict the setting of your dance. Online, we are deaf so the dancer must be the ears of the audience and describe what would be heard during the dance.
When you begin your actual dance, you must describe it well, detailing your exact body movements and facial expressions. The more details you add, the better the dance will likely be. Let your movements and expressions depict the emotional state you are trying to portray such as your desire, your fear, your pride. These movements and expressions may change often in a dance, especially during each new phase of the dance. Mention your eyes, your mouth, your brow, your tongue, your nose. Describe what you are looking at, where your head is turned, the placement of your hair. Elaborate on the movement of your hands, fingers, hips and torso. Do not ignore any part of your body. Body language is a very instructive tool in understanding a person's emotions and feelings.
A major caveat is that there is a major difference between "telling" and "describing" an action or feeling. For example, maybe a girl is trying to depict her fear of pursuit by an unknown hunter. If you were just "telling" this to your audience, then your dance might read something like this: "She turns with a look of fear toward her pursuer." That does tell us what we are supposed to know but it does nothing to describe what the dancer is really doing at that moment. It fails to properly describe the dancer and her movements and expressions. Instead, it tells someone what they are supposed to surmise from the dance. It is not really dancing at all but is simply story telling.
A better way to present that would be something like this "She stops suddenly, her body freezing in place, each muscle tensed. She turns her head, her eyes wide and scanning the area frantically. She cocks an ears to listen behind herself as she chews her lower lip, her chin quivering." Obviously, the latter description would be preferable and shows the actual movements and expressions of the dancer. It is much more work to describe it in that detail but it is also more effective. Do not just make statements. Instead, describe what you are doing, how you are moving, what type of expression is on your face. Make the dance come alive with the details.
There are some inherent limitations though in the use of body movements and facial expressions. This is the same type of limitations inherent in sign language and even mime. Certain specific matters cannot be adequately depicted by only your movements and expressions. For example, if you were trying to portray being pursued by someone, you would not generally be able to depict much of a description of that man. You could not describe much of the physical attributes of this imaginary man. You might be able to show he is tall by looking upwards as if toward his face. You might be able to show his strength by how restricted you seem in his grasp. But, you probably could not describe that he has red hair or a mole.
Thus, remember the limitations you would have when dancing. Do not tell your audience information that they would not be able to know by your dance. Do not "tell" them that your pursuer has red hair unless your movements or expressions can actually show that. Certain dancers may be able to overcome some of their limitations. Certain cultures have accepted certain standard movements and expressions to express certain matters. For example, the dancers of Ianda use their hands and beads to express a variety of matters. They have a series of common expressions known to them. These expressions may not be comprehensible to someone outside of their culture. But, they may be able to depict items that normal dance movements and expressions may not.
A dancer must be flexible as the location and audience for her dance will vary and she must be able to adapt to these new situations. In general, a dancer should try to direct parts of her dance to each member of her audience. Make everyone feel special. You should not ignore anyone if possible. A girl is often permitted to show more attention or favored treatment to specific individuals she is seeking to impress. In a tavern setting, a girl may seek favor from the wealthiest man present. At a private dinner or function, she may have to impress an important guest. If free women are present, a dancer might have to be more modest in her moves.
When you create your own dance, you have numerous options. You can simply dance free form with no set agenda, moves, theme or choreography. The dance simply develops as it progresses. That can be satisfying to an audience especially if the dancing was impromptu. If you wish to create a more structured dance, there are a few things to consider. First, choose a basic dance type, such as a story dance, role dance, erotic dance or such. You may want to choose a certain theme for the dance. Then, decide on the basics of the dance, what is necessary for it to be the type of dance you wish. Most structured dances are broken down into a number of phases and you may wish to also do so. Remember that each phase often has different music and dance style. Decide how the dance will begin and how it will end. You also need to decide how the dance will progress from start to finish.
There is some controversy over whether a girl must compose her dance as she dances or whether she can "cut and paste." Online dancing is an exercise in creative writing. Being able to write impromptu dances is very difficult. Most girls can only do it well for dances they have practiced often and almost memorized. I feel that is an undue burden to force a girl to write and perform a dance off the top of her head. How many owners could write a good dance as they were performing it? Sure, it can be done but it would not be anywhere as compelling as a well written dance. Cut and pasting should be acceptable but such dances should also be viewed more critically. If you have the time to work out and write the dance beforehand, it should be very polished. It should be a final draft, not a rough draft.
A good dancer though does need to be capable of adjusting on the spot her "cut and paste" dance to her specific situation, location and audience. She may need to eliminate or add certain things to it. For instance, she may need to direct certain parts of the dance to certain people. She may be asked to perform in a way that differs from her prepared dance. Thus, even a cut and paste dance requires some extemporaneous thought. And if you can adapt it well, it will appear fresh and not canned. Even a cut and paste dance requires thought during the dance for it to be fully effective.
Men should understand slave dance as well as women. You can simply sit back and enjoy the dances. But, if you have more knowledge on dance, you will be able to better critique a dancer. A knowledgeable master will also be better able to help his dancer improve her dances. In addition, it will also help during those dances that require the participation of a master such as the chain or whip dance. Such dances may require a master to practice with his girl to get it down correctly. A knowledgeable master is a more effective master, and not just in slave dance.
Ultimately, your success as a dancer will be judged by those who observe you. Most will not be overly critical of your efforts. Most will not be judging your adherence to the basic rules of each dance. Their judgments will be more visceral, more emotional. You may be more closely scrutinized during dance contests, depending on the quality of the judges. Certain masters may also be more critical of your efforts than others. A dancer should always though seek constructive criticism of her dancing in an effort to improve. Seek the opinion of someone who is knowledgeable about slave dance and the books. Try to find someone who will not be biased in their opinions. Your own master may not always be the best one to critically critique your performance as he might tend to be a bit biased. Like anything else, practice will lead to improvement.
One more specific way to obtain some constructive criticism on your dancing, especially a new dance of your own creation, is to perform it for someone or a small group. Do not tell them anything about the dance, even its name. After the dance is over, ask the audience to tell you what the dance should be named, the type of dance it is, its theme, how many phases there were, etc. You could even create a checklist to give to your audience and have them mark their answers. That way, you will get a more objective idea of how others perceive your dance. They may see it totally different than you intended it to be. They may see it exactly as you planned. If their opinion varies from your ideas, ask them more specific questions about why they feel as they do. Find out what makes them think what they do. Such criticism will allow you to polish your dance and make it what you intend it to be.
"Any girl knows that an interesting body is a moving body." (Slave Girl of Gor, p.36)