Ansteorra has had a royal middle eastern dancer since 2003. The champion is tasked with dancing for audiences by royal request and promoting the artform around the kingdom in concert with the Middle Eastern and Islamic Cultures deputy.
Dancers will typically perform 2 pieces. Each piece is limited to 5 minutes. Each dancer will be judged on two criteria, their knowledge of middle eastern dance as it may have been performed in period (first piece) and their ability to perform for an audience (second piece). This competition has its own judging sheet under the mentoring section of the college of scholars.
Cultural Dance – The first piece should be based on period dance traditions as we understand them. Documentation is preferred but not required. Keeping the style based in a single culture is desired. For more information please see the rules on using oral traditions. This can be choreographed or improvisational, dancers choice. Dancers may perform to live music or recorded music. Recorded Music must be appropriate for the period style piece that is being performed. Please make an effort to choose a piece of music that is cultural in nature and not a known modern piece.
Entertaining Dance – The second piece is an improvisational piece, preformed with the “house band” and will lean towards creativity and movement. The reason for this piece is the Royal Middle Eastern Dance Champion must be able to perform at the need of the Crown. You will be able to ask for a specific rhythm if it is common in the SCA drumming vocabulary. Iqa that are not common need to be sent to the ME and Islamic Cultures Deputy 2 weeks before so it can be taught.
Preliminary Round and Additional Rounds – Depending on number of dancers, there may be a preliminary competition round prior to the final competition/performance. The crown can choose to add rounds as desired and may choose to separate the cultural dance from their choice criteria and may add any other rules they desire for their championship.