Middle Eastern Dance
Tray Moves
Below you will find tips for using a tray and several movement descriptions for special movements used specifically for tray dances.

Isolations while balancing
You can do any of the isolations normally done in Middle Eastern Dance while balancing a tray.  For more traditional
seneeya you will want to use isolations typical of Moroocan Shikkhat which would feature large, earthy, exaggerated
hiprotations and movements, shoulder shimmies, and torso isolations.  Isolations are typically done in a variety of
positions that demonstrate the performers strength and flexibility.

Athletic Displays
The Lean Back
This is a common way to get down to the floor when performing Seneeya.  You perform a slow, controlled
backbend keeping the chin tucked to balance the tray until you can gently drop down to your knees.  For more
detailed descriptions of the execution of this be sure to read through the floorwork section of the movements
pages here on this website.
Push-up are especially common when performed by men and usually are done as part of a series of movements
spaced between rolling the body around to a new position.  Push-ups show gerat strength and even if done by a
woman should be military style.  The added tricks of doing it one handed can add interest to the performance.
Balanced Leg Lifts
In more traditional versions of Seneeya with actual floorwork the balnced leg lifts are an essential part of
demonstrating the skill of the preformer.  One canbring both feet in towards their bottom grab the ankles, one in
each hand, and then extend the legs up and out to both sides or cross the ankles and grab hold with one hand
extending the legs out  and up in front of you.  the other arm then extends out to help maintain balance.  The one
other type of leg lift is done from the position of lying on the stomach.  It is what is often refered to as the bow
pose in Yoga and involves grabbing the ankles and lifting the body from the floor so that you are balanced
touching only the abdomen to the floor.
Rolling Turns, Knee Spins and Seated Large Hip Circle
There are several ways to turn around while balancing the tray.  One is to use slower knee spins done at about half
speed.  The second is the large hip circle turn used in floor work which involves sitting to one side bringing your
knees over to the opposite side then coming back up to keeling again repeating the series at least 4 times.  The
final and popular choice in Seneeya is to roll the entire body from a side lying position you can roll forwardonto
the stomach where pushups or cutsie little kicks can be done.  You could also roll backwards where you can come
up to supporting yourself in a lifted position with the whole body off the floor or you can support the body on the
elbows and then of course you can transition by rolling to the other side
Lifted Side Lying Isolations
Supporting the body with one arm in a lifted position to the side common movements are pelvic rotations (hip
circles), undulations, and combinations of the two (like the Cleopatra).  One arm supporting you and the tray is
seen as a feat of strength or athletic display.
Movements Done Kneeling  and Leaning Back
While kneeling lean back and support yourself with one or both arms.  In this position you perform commonly
used pelvic rotations or undulations.  You can perform any number of hip isolations in this position.

Traditional Tea Style
Traditionally the teapot actually has tea in it while being balanced and the tea is poured out after the dance and
served to the guests.  If your performance will actually include tea in the pot  it could be helpful to have a "set-up"
in which the audience members actually see the tea being made and know that's what is in your pot before you
even start balancing.  If you don't have time for this set-up pouring out some tea into one of the cups and taking a
quick drink could also show that the pot is not just an empty prop.  If you want the illusion of a full pot but not
actually a full pot you can plug the spout towards the base (a wad of tightly packed plastic wrap can work well). 
Then fill just the spout with some liquid (water, tea, whatever).  When you pick up the pot make sure to pretend it
has more weight implying it's full of liquid.  When a teapot is full you only have ot tip it a little way in order for the
contents to start coming out, since your spout is full you wont have to tip it far, adding to the illusion.  Make sure
to pour it fast into your cup so the audience doesn't notice that the teapot's contents stop or slow to a trickle. 
Dancers like John Compton often use something more like a decanter or a vase.  They pretend to drink from it and
sometimes toss the container around juggling it.
Like any performance involving the use of fire part of the act is to imply a sense of danger that makes your skill at
handling it even more impressive.  Taking your time with balancing the tray implies you understand the danger
and are therefore taking your time to make sure your have the fire safe and secure.  Once balanced be sure to
have an air of confidence though.   
Hanna Romanza in one the more athletic poses of Seneeya.  Photo by Juan Carlos Pometta-Betancourt.
Sword Dance at Jericho