Hiring a Dancer - Frequently Asked Questions
To save you some time, we've recorded answers to the questions we most often get about hiring a dancer. If the answer to your question isn't here, please feel free to ask.
Why don't you dance for all-male audiences?
Belly dance is an art, an ancient form of dance practiced for millenia by women for women. It is not a titillation for men. Despite certain male fantasies, belly dancers do not take their clothes off, parade their bodies for male view or behave in other sexualised ways.
How is the fee arrived at?
The hire fee is established by taking into account the actual time and costs of the dancer and the difficulty (and therefore experience) of the engagement. For example, teaching a group of ladies a few fun moves and a short routine for 45 minutes is more time but less work for most of our dancers than preparing a special dance for a short slot in a packed event programme. So the fee for these things is generally the same. Where events include a need to be really flexible with time (mendhis and weddings usually), we have to include an element of fee for the hanging around time and the fact that the dancer is unlikely to be able to do anything else with her time that day or evening.
Dancers' training, costumes and make up are time consuming and costly. For example, to obtain the best training, we often need to spend time in Cairo and Luxor; our costumes cost upwards of £300 each and it can take 30 mins to apply basic performance make up - more for photo and video work.
Why do you ask for payment before the performance?
This is for the convenience of the client as well as the dancer. It is generally much simpler and more professional for the client or the event co-ordinator to find the dancer before she performs rather than her having to find him/her after the performance when, for the right impression, she should simply take her leave. This is especially important for hen parties, mendhis, weddings etc where the dancer is there to get the party started. It is obviously much less of an issue for a party in someone's home which is much more informal.
I've seen films where audience members push tips into a dancer's costume - can we do that?
NO! Our dancers would really object to being touched in that way when performing and there are reasons for that. Not only is it disrespectful to treat a professional as though she is a beggar, or worse, by assuming that her performance is designed to gain tips from the audience, it can also be very dangerous. Money is slippery and can come loose from the costume and fall onto the floor where it becomes a hazard. Please do not allow any of your guests to throw things onto the dance floor during the performance. Also, by trying to get a dancer to stay still while you give her a tip means disturbing her concentration which can mean causing her to become unbalanced - especially if you are trying to hold her or her costume as well. The origin of giving money to dancers is in the travelling dancers in the Middle East who lived by their dance and other, less savoury, activities and would only earn what was given to them in tips. Thankfully we do not have to rely on this these days and do not need extra tips.
Can I request a piece of music for the dancer to dance too?
Yes, of course. We will always consider such requests and will try our best to perform to the music you have chosen whether it's Led Zep or the Birdy Song (I think we'd prefer Led Zep!)
I'd love to have a belly dancer for my Mendhi but I wonder whether my more conservative relatives might find it too much, what do you think?
We can tailor our Mendhi performances to suit all sorts of audiences including mixed groups. We wear tasteful costumes in any case and can easily adapt to ensure we are covered across the chest, the midriff and the legs as you need. We work with the audience in front of us so, if it's an all female event, it's almost always more relaxed so we might start off rather gentle and get the party going later! For mixed events we will take your lead.
If you would like to discuss a potential booking, please contact usvia our webform or call Katy C on 07780 708544
general terms for hiring a dancer.
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