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.
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-ups 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. Candles 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.