A few questions asked over the years..
Article Content Written/Owned By Kimara Lee ~March 20, 2015
Why are there additional fees for costume changes?
Professional show-worthy costumes are expensive, they can range from $300 and up. Performing in them cause wear and tear, and the more we must use a costume, the more frequently it needs to be replaced or repaired. Costume changes also require more preparation and time involved.
Why do pro bellydancers charge what they charge?
get to a level where one is skilled enough to be able to showcase many
steps, movements/isolations, and dance for long periods at a high pace,
not to mention the cultural knowledge required to perform for a variety
of cultural backgrounds, professional bellydancers have put in countless
hours of study and ongoing training and practices to maintain these
skills. Items frequently necessary to perform at such a level
satisfactory to a client and audience are professional costumes, music, professional dance shoes, and continuing education. Other
items that enhance the shows must be maintained or replaced such as
finger cymbals, silk veils, swords, (and fire props, fuel, and gear if
the performer also does fire). The average performer will spend 7 hours
of her day on one show, this would include preparing necessary music, preparing costumes, packing, getting ready, drive time to venue, wait time before the show,
show time, (time in between if two shows) and drive time home. As
well, maintaining websites and business promotional materials so event
planners can find these performers also are an expense.
When all the expense and time required to perform at a professional
level is added up, the average performing bellydancer makes about
$15.00 to $20 per hour. As with the hiring of any entertainment, the fee is
mostly for all the training, expense, preparation, and maintenance
involved to give you the best show. It is a labor of love.
Why do bellydancers have to show show their bellies?
Not all of them do, however most of the technical movements and isolations quintessential to the dance form (ie.. pops, locks, bellyrolls, twists etc...)involve the mid section, and if this area was covered, the audience might miss about 70% of what makes bellydance fascinating. There are, however, dancers who perform in full-length dresses and head-scarves when performing Egyptian folkloric. There are also some dancers who choose to wear midriff covers or form-fitting full dresses when performing. It all depends on the performer, her dance, the venue, her audience etc...
Do belly dancers take off clothes?
No. A dancer who removes clothes is a stripper, not a belly dancer. A stripper who starts out in a harem outfit is not a real bellydancer, any more than a stripper who starts out wearing a nurse's uniform is a real nurse.
Why won't bellydancers perform at bachelor parties?Typically those party-goers are expecting something different than a cultural family-friendly form of entertainment. Bellydancers don't jump out of cakes, sit on laps, or take anything off. One of our ongoing struggles is to validate to the general public that this art form is cultural and family-friendly and to frequent bachelor parties would jeopardize the reputation we are trying to promote. We will however perform for all-female crowds and many of us have regularly..... baby & bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and haflas. Bellydance historically was actually a social dance by women for women, and some historians believe it was an ancient form of lamaze. For more information on its history see the What is Bellydance page.
Blonde or red hair aren't authentic, are they?
It depends on one's definition of authentic. There are many blondes and redheads in the middle-east. There have been famous Egyptian bellydancers who have gone reddish blonde at one point... Raqia Hassan, Randa Kamel and Aziza of Cairo being three particular famous ones. There are many blondes and reds in Turkey and Greece as well.
Yes and no. There are different styles of bellydance, Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, folkoric, and modern Tribal styles. All these different styles house similar movements but the way they are showcased and executed can vary depending on the region. For example, classical Egyptian style (Raks Sharqi) tends to be a bit more ballet-influenced and the movements and isolations refined whereas Turkish style movements tend to be more robust and the dance steps are sometimes influenced by Gypsy dance. Many American bellydancers mix different styles together, pulling their favorite characteristics of each into their forte which has resulted in it's own classification called "American Cabaret Bellydance" or "fusion bellydance". Some American dancers do choose to focus on one discipline, whether Egyptian, Turkish etc.. and will focus on that particular style typical of that region. Each dancer has her own style.