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Frequenty Asked Questions when Hiring a Bellydancer
Q. What kind of music is used?
A. Depending on your preference, music can range from classical Arabic to modern pop. Sandra's music collection also includes Bollywood hits and contemporary Turkish and Persian favorites - even some Klezmer belllydance music.
Q. Is it appropriate for children?
A. Yes, the belly dance show is family friendly. Children often love to dance, too!
Q. How long is the show?
A A typical show is between 25 - 40 minutes. The dancer may use finger cymbals, swords, veils, and candles. When appropriate, the show may include audience participation, for example, the guest of honor may be asked to belly dance!
Q. Is tipping appropriate?
A. Yes. Unless the host has requested otherwise, the dancer will gladly accept tips. Tips may be tucked into the dancer's belt, or thrown above her head as a "money shower".
Q. How far in advance should I make the booking?
A. It is always better to book the show sooner than later. If you are flexible about the time that the show begins, last minute shows can often be worked in. However, Saturday nights during the holidays and during wedding season (May - September) tend to book out completely.
Q. Who provides the music?
A. People often ask if i can dance to their favorite songs or to their music choices. While I'm happy to incorporate some selections for any specific event, the performance goes smoother and is more engaging for the audience if the dancer knows the performance music well. If the dancer knows the music less well than the audience, it doesn't bring much excitment to the show. That is just my reccomendation. The belly dancer provides an Arabic music CD and the venue should provide the sound system (louder is better). Usually the dancer will stay out of sight until the CD has begun playing. Live Persian or Arabic musicians can be arranged upon request.
Q. My Husband doesn't know and I want this to be a surprise.... Can you help?
A. Since this is such a common situation i always assume at least SOMEONE doesn't know about the bellydancer. I never leave any details to give anythign away on voicemail messages and i'm happy to wait outside the venue and have someone sneak me inside through the garage or service entrance.
Q. Why is it so expensive?!
A. Your not really paying for the 20 to 45 minutes that I'll be dancing at your event. You're paying for the 20 years of practice and experience that I'll be bringing with me. Decades of dance classes, costumes, workouts and competitions all help to build a great performance artist, but they can also be very expensive. Iif an artist can afford to work full time in their field instead of needing a second job, the quality of art presented increases dramaticly. Don't think of it as paying me by the minute. Think of it as supporting the arts in your community.
Q. What about out of town and international shows?
A. Sandra lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shows outside of Northern California will need to be booked in advance but can easiy be accommodated. The client pays the nightly booking fee, plus travel and lodging expenses.
Q. Can I get a sample DVD?
A. Performance DVD's are available for agents and overseas venues considering entering into a performance contract.
Q. I think it would be fun if my wife and her friends dressed up in your costumes?
A. I am happy to reccommend local retailers where you can put together a wonderful classic bellydance outfit for an affordable price. But my professional costumes are designed for me by a designer in Istanbul who makes each one to my specifications. Each costume is hand beaded and designed and is unique and never to be duplicated. Lending the costumes out feels similar to cutting my limbs off and letting other people use them. It isn't very comfortable for me.
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