As a follow up to my blog post about what happens when bellydance goes wrong, last week, I wanted to provide some additional help for those who might be thinking of hiring a dancer. I am going to include questions for everything so that no matter what type of dancer you are looking for, you will get the one that you want. Some of these may seem a bit blunt but I think it is best to be straightforward in your communication with your entertainment.

  1. Do you know folkloric dances? It may be assumed that a dancer knows a folkloric dance and they do not. If you’re expecting it then you need to make sure to ask for it and also to ask which ones they know.
  2. I saw a video of A,B and C, do you do A, B and C? Not all bellydancers are the same or do the same things. If you have something specific in mind, then you need to ask for it.
  3. Do you remove clothes? If you are looking for a stripper in a bellydance costume then do not search bellydancer. So just in case, if you are looking for someone who removes clothing, ask first. It will help avoid a lot of embarrassment later.
  4. Do you use Lebanese music? – or insert type of music that you want. Similar to the folkloric dances, if you want something specific ask for it. If you only want one genre of music ask for it, make suggestions. Our goal as dancers is to make our audience happy and if the right music does that then we are all for it.
  5. Do you have costumes that cover the belly? Or has no slits? Dancers totally understand that some audiences are more conservative than others. We will do everything in our power to accommodate these requests. If we don’t have something and we won’t be able to acquire it in time, then we will let you know.
  6. Are your performances family friendly? This one may seem redundant but it’s another way to figure out what type of show the dancer offers. It’s a little bit less blunt but should be able to ensure that you won’t have to rush out and stop the show.
  7. Do you bring a sound system? Not all bellydancers travel with a speaker or with a DJ for that matter. Do not assume that they will have it with them and be sure that if they do that it will accommodate the space that you have designated for the show.
  8. Do you bring musicians with you? Not all dancers bring a live drummer. If you would like musicians along with your dancer, make sure to ask them in advance so they can book them for you. And also know that this will be at an additional cost to you.
baltimore bellydancer, baltimore belly dancer, bellydance by amartia

These are just a few of the questions that will help you figure out what you want from your performer and what they offer. There are of course many more depending on what you are looking for out of your dancer. If you have any that you think are pretty standard that I have missed, please feel free to add them in the comments section below!