September’s Question of the Month: What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?

written by Andalee on November 4, 2013 in Question of the month with no comments

Pamper yourself after a belly dance showI apparently lost track of months and so this question will have to serve for both September and October! Sorry about that! Anyway, this question is all about pampering. As belly dancers, we love to get glam, but we also like to work hard. As a result, we all need to take care of ourselves and either prep and focus for an upcoming event or relax and recharge after an event. So, the question was:

What is your favorite way to pamper yourself either before or after a belly dance show, class or workshop?

I don’t do a whole lot before shows or workshops to prep, other than to make sure I have a bottle of water and a snack before walking out of the house. Like one of our reader’s my husband usually makes me a sandwich or some other light meal if I am rushing around trying to get ready and I don’t have time to eat.

There are two things that I really like to do before a show: 1) paint my nails and 2) moisturize. I am usually painting my nails (fingers and toes) at the last minute and so I am apt to smear it everywhere. I’ve found a solution though! I love to do at home gel nail polish. It sets hard and lasts longer than a regular polish (but not as long as a salon gel-polish). It takes a little longer than regular polish, but it is well worth the time. All I need to do is put on a cheesy, girly television show and I’m good to go!

Moisturizing is a no-brainer, but sometimes I do forget. You have to be careful to pick a moisturizer that isn’t too greasy because it can stain costumes. I really like Aveeno and Kiss My Face brands. And if you buy scented lotion, you can skip the perfume!

Woman Soaking Her FeetI don’t have much of a pampering ritual after belly dance shows, but I do if it is after a big workshop. I have plantar fasciitis, so I have to stretch my feet. I use Foot Rubz to massage my feet. If my neck and back are bothering me, then I will give myself a self-massage by using a tennis ball and standing against a wall. I roll the tennis ball up and down my neck and back paying close attention to the knots. It feels wonderful–and it’s best after a nice hot shower or bath. I’m not much of bath person (or I would be if I had a bigger tub!), but a long, hot shower with my lavender-scented castille soap is like heaven on earth. Then, at the end of the day, I use my heating pad on my neck and my shoulders right before bed. It’s not always the cure all for all of the aches and pains after a big workshop, but it makes me feel better and that’s all that really counts when it comes to pampering!

Now, let’s find out what some readers have to say about how they like pamper themselves:

“Before – in a perfect world… almost hot shower, pedicure and a power nap in a dim quiet space. After – food, breakfast or burgers – protein! and have dessert first! I don’t /can’t eat much before I dance 🙂 so I’m always hungry when I’m done!” ~ Sharifa Asmar

“Before dancing at a hafla I like to take the time and have both my finger and toe nails painted properly. Nothing worse than chipping nail polish for the public to notice. I also take extra care with my make-up. Especially my eye make-up.” ~ Solame

“Before a show, I always like to give myself a proper pedicure (my audience doesn’t need to see my gross dancer-feet in their natural state!) and paint my nails – which also has the advantage of being very soothing for the nerves, at least for me. After a long day of workshops, I like to take a nice hot bath or shower and let my muscles relax. A good long swim the next day, too, if I can squeeze it in!” ~ Jennifer

“The day of the show my husband fixes me a nice light lunch, usually a salad. I take a bubble bath and Mike has me lay down and take a nap for an hour or so. Then I start slowly getting ready for the show. I usually start with the make-up and get dressed as much as I have to for the venue we have. I usually get totally dressed except for the hip scarf or hip belt because the place we dance has only a small public bathroom and I want to make sure that I am not tying it up.” ~ Pat Paiz

“A glass of something champagne-like. But if I have time, nothing beats a long perfumed bath…” ~ Zumarrad

“I have a foot with lots of scar tissue on the bottom, and it HURTS to stand, walk, or especially to dance. But I’m not going to just not dance, am I?! So my favorite thing to do after I’ve abused my feet is to take them out for toe treats after each 8-week class block. I love a nice pedicure. This past class block, which ended last week, I also took my teacher with me, who has more than earned a toe treat of her own.” ~ Judith

“When I am going to have a show I get my hair nails and feet done. Also I get a massage when possible. I also fine reading a good book helps me feel pampered before and after shows.” ~ Kristin

“After a show I have a couple of pieces of chocolate in my bag to reward myself, just for having the courage to get up on that stage and doing my best.” ~ Fairuza

“If I’m staying away from home, I like to take a long hot bath, preferably with a book and a glass of wine, to relax my muscles after a hard day. I find that it actually really helps to reduce soreness and stiffness the next day, and is also just lovely and relaxing. Failing that, a warm shower will have to do…” ~ Rasha Nour

“Do not get between me and a jacuzzi!” ~ Tracy

“A nice soak in a hot bath!” ~ Nicole

So what about you? What is your favorite way to pamper yourself either before or after a belly dance show, class or workshop?

Now, for November’s Question of the Month: What is your favorite belly dance holiday tradition? Answer here.

About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.