Being professional belly dancer and even non professional, always put me in certain kind of troubles while working with recorded music.
You see; normally I perform with live band, so for me it's amazing the idea of go inside the stage and change the course of the show as I check how the audience response to the music I'm choosing in the very same time, I guess, I'm use to work with whatever comes that night, "power of improvisation" is the key for a succesful show in middle east.
Now... when you must perform with recorded music is a totally different story! There's no space or
few space for improvisation, mostly it's planned step by step ( know some girls even the smiles, are planned as well). I do enjoy both for different reasons...certain style of music it's very hard for an oriental band to play, but some songs that are amazing live, in cd are just lame.
I don't know if you ever feel this but sometimes, when I choose the music I will use for a show in CD
I have problems choosing the "right" ones, even at the end when CD is done and I'm on my way to
work I still have my doubts.Then the other part, you have an idea of what you want to do with that music and if you have some crazy stuff to introduce into the rutine,. you spect to have a positive response from the audiences but how to be sure... it is as sure as to "flip a coin" and hope it come heads.
Of course there are some "tips" that can help you, but even that's not warranty of success.
*To know the place where you will perform.
*To know the nationality of the public, good to choose type of music.
* What they spect from you.
*The "surprise element"
Sometimes comes bad, but other days you just rock it! and I live for those days!! We all live for those days, to practice and practice and hope at the end people identify with your performance!!!!