We all know what a sultry facial expression looks like.
The eyes are relaxed, mouth is partially open – maybe there’s a slight smile in the mix, depending on what sort of attitude you want to portray.
There are thousands of artists drawing those alluring facial expressions – perhaps as we speak – and there’s a reason for it.
Your facial expression conveys emotion, intention, and direction.
There’s something alluring about the mysterious, sexy facial expressions of women and men alike that engages the audience wholly. Look at them the right way, and you’ll have their full attention.
Of course, it can be hard to put that face into practice, especially if you’ve never seen yourself from the outside when you’re putting your “game face” on.
There are other factors too; maybe you’re not 100% into the performance, or you’re feeling self-conscious. It happens to the best of us.
The “F* You” and the “F* Me” Face
There are two main faces that will get the best effects when you’re working an exotic performance. These are the faces that will knock your audiences’ socks off and have them wanting more: the “F* You” face and the “F* Me” face.
You don’t want to end up with an “Oops” face, or an “I’m in an open relationship with stress” face – that will distract your audience and maybe even lose them despite the tricks you’re busting out.
The F* You Face
This face is quick and dirty. You don’t care what your audience thinks. They’re below you; right now, you’re on stage, and that means you’re the queen. Everyone should be looking at you.
This is the face of your performing-self in action and powerful. You don’t take flack from anyone, and you’re not second-guessing anything.
The F* Me Face
This face is vulnerable and intimate. Undress the audience with your eyes and bat those lashes. Make the audience want to get out of their seat and come crawling to you.
This is the face of the performer who feels nothing but the raw emotion in their performance and exudes sensuality without a second guess.
Tips to Perfecting Your Exotic Facial Expression
Maintain Eye Contact
They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and as an exotic dancer, you want to gently caress their soul with your eyes.
If you’re practicing your F* You face, maybe you’re quite literally looking down on them, chin titled up – but you should still maintain eye contact for the full effect, otherwise you might end up just looking disinterested or shy.
If you’re practicing your F* Me face, make eye contact like you are about to tear their clothes off. They’re the only one for your eyes – and no, that’s definitely not the spotlights glaring off your mascara, don’t let anyone fool you.
That said, you don’t have to look at the audience 100% of the time, but it should take up a considerable part of where you look.
Many people, when they’re first learning routines and practicing to perform, they only look at the pole – not out at the audience. Once we break that habit, it can be hard to remember that eye contact should also be treated as a conversation, not a faceless mask to hide behind.
Look from the audience to a body part you are isolating. Don’t be afraid to look down at yourself, or up at the pole. These variations are normal and can give a routine a much more relaxed, natural feel to it – but should be sprinkled in with care, especially if you’re not used to looking out at an audience yet.
Perform for the Individual
This can seem hard, since in any given performance there are anywhere from 10 to 1,000 audience members depending on where you’re performing and who you’re performing for, but stage performers of every type have had to break this habit at some point.
Look at every individual in the audience that you can. Make eye contact and keep it there while you perform – it will make a world of difference to the audience member, even if you move onto someone else after a step around the pole, or another sort of transition.
People, in general, want to be noticed. By making eye contact for a few seconds at least, they’ll feel much more like they are a part of your performance, rather than a simple, invisible onlooker.
Don’t Forget to Experiment
Practice doesn’t end on the pole or floor! Experiment with new sexy faces in the mirror, to your camera, wherever you can – and they don’t have to all be smiles.
Take photographs of your favorite faces so you can practice and recreate them later – you’d be surprised how easily you can start training the muscles in your face to get into a certain facial expression.
You’ll also want to make sure you try these facial expressions with various exotic-style poses – you might be pleasantly surprised how much a simply arch of the back or pivot with the hips can completely change the emotion behind a facial expression!
Don’t Let the “Oops” Face Come Out
We all know this face.
This is the face of “Oh, sh*t, I just screwed up my whole routine. Where am I?”
Your facial expression is the first tell the audience would have if something went wrong in a routine. Nine times out of ten, they wouldn’t notice the mistake if not for your Oops face’s giveaway.
Perhaps that face just comes out when you’re feeling awkward or shy, but it’s an important habit to break. It breaks the performance and can leave you audience feeling like they’ve just been torn away from a really good television show or book.
If you need to, enlist the help of a friend! Whenever you’re practicing a routine, if you mess up, have them call you out on your Oops face!