on Mon, 13 Feb, 2017
First, I want to clarify, we don’t actually want to dance with sharp objects. It’s like running with scissors—an accident waiting to happen. We want our props as dull as possible which is why belly dancer don’t dance with battle ready swords. But we also want the illusion they are lethal and sharp to create a sense of power and danger as we dance. Dancing with a sword is so beautiful because of the contrast of grace and lithe beauty with a dangerous object.
Below are three very simple tricks you can do that will make your sword look lethal. None of these are actual techniques or belly dance moves; they are little steps to do before you even start dancing!
1.Handle the sword with care. This isn’t because it is really sharp. (Although, it does have a pointy end.) It is because you want it to look sharp to other people. When dancing, never touch the edge that would be sharp or it blows the illusion that the blade could be lethal. Touch the flat of the blade, the non-sharp side, and the pummel. I have seen dancers create tension and danger during a performance because they might hold the point of the blade somewhere vulnerable like an inch from the other hand as they move it. If they don’t touch the hand, there is this sense of danger that they might touch it. It is very effective.
2.Keep your sword in its case or sheath as much as possible. This isn’t just for your safety. It is so the sword doesn’t get scratches or fingerprints. If the sword looks dull in luster, has knicks or fingerprints everywhere, it doesn’t look as impressive.
3.Keep your sword clean. Every time you use your sword, your fingers leave oils on the metal that result in marks. It is important to wipe it down right away. I think I usually just use a dab of water on a towel or paper towel. I have used Windex, though I don’t know if that is bad for the metal or not. I have heard other people using WD-40. For heavy duty cleaning, use a metal cleaner like Brasso or Tarn-X depending on what it is made out of.
For other tips on sword use, see previous posts.