Middle Eastern Dance
Basics of Balancing a Cane
Below you will find information on how to balance your cane on your head and other parts of your body.

Determining The Center Of Weight In Your Cane
Determining the center of weight in your cane can be difficult at first but with practice you will be able to find it
quickly and easily.  The first thing to remember is that the center of weight is not always the center of of the object. 
The center of weight in a cane is often closer to the handle (or curved part).  On some canes there may be an indicator
to tell you were your center of weight is.  Some dancers take small clear rubber binders and place them to either side
of their canes center to provide easy reference later so they do not have to spend as much time finding it while
dancing.  Other dancers may choose to make a mark on the cane such as an indent, scratch, or a small dot or line made
by permanent marker (you can find them in many colors so they need not be highly noticeable.  Where you balance
the cane will differ depending on were you put it as well.  Some people recommend wrapping clear tape around your
center but this can make the cane more slippery.  Different styles of canes will balance differently.  The best way to
figure out the center of weight is to play around with it and figure it out.

Learning To Balance Your Cane On Your Head
Balancing your cane on your head is the trickiest part of dancing with a cane.  Luckily we have a couple tricks up our
belts.  Now, for the purpose of showmanship we don't use headpieces that appear to help the cane stay on our heads, it
takes away from the ability of the dancer and the audience will not be as impressed.  So what do we do?  We use a
couple things to cause friction between the cane and our heads.  There are several things that you can use to do that. 
First, and probably the easiest thing is to use hairspray in your hair (Most of us already do that anyway, right?),
second is to put something on your cane to make it want to stick to the hairspray.  The two most common methods of
doing that are to put Liquid Latex (which comes in a variety of colors) or a grip cream.  Liquid Latex can be found all
over the place during Halloween or at any costume supply shop or on-line at any time.  I have used "Ben Nye Makeup
Liquid Latex" and had success with that but there are many other brands which will work too.  Now, the problem with
liquid latex is that some people are allergic to latex and also that it often takes a little more work to get off of the cane.
To put it on the cane, just wipe it on to the spot that you will balance on your head,  it usually comes in a bottle with a
brush (like nail polish).  I prefer to use grip creme such as "ProGrip by Columbia 300 Grip Creme Non-Slip"  Grip creme
can be obtained at any bowling supply store.  It goes on clear and comes off easily.  To apply it, you simply take a Q-
tip, Kleenex, application brush, or your finger and wipe it onto the desired area, let it dry for a minute or two and then
your ready to go.  To remove it you can just rub it off or use a damp cloth to wash it off.  Do not apply either the latex
or the grip creme directly to your hair (although they can be applied to the skin if you were planning to balance it
elsewhere).  These tips will help keep it on your head and from veining while on your head.

Balancing Your Cane On Other Parts Of Your Body
Balancing your cane on other parts of your body can be difficult but you may find help in using the same techniques
as above.  If your going to balance your cane somewhere specific you may want to spray a little hairspray on that
spot of your body, apply some liquid latex or rub on a little grip creme.  You may find that certain costumes provide a
little help too.  Experiment with different costumes to see how they help or make things worse.  On the moves page you
will find more about  balancing your cane on other parts of your body.
Balancing a cane on the hand
Danse du sabre by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). heliogravure. 1870