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I have been blessed with the opportunity to do paid, restaurant dancing over the past year. I did bellyjams, haflas and ren-faires too. They were great experiences that increased my confidence and performance skills.
Sadly the restaurant is poorly managed. I had one situation after another when I would bring friends, family, clients in to see me perform and support me. The service they received was poor: over-charging the bill, forgetting/neglecting to serve main course the chix and not fixing bill, door broken to ladies room, etc. It has come to the point, I have to call it quits there.
Now the question I am asking is what now? Do I try to break into another restaurant? My teacher, is the main dancer at this restaurant. She recommended me and helped mentor me. There is another restaurant in my area but I know the restaurant’s website is not up to date with the dancers they are showing. I don’t know these dancers that well. Do I go to restaurant, try to meet with the dancer on that night, give her my card and say I am open for subbing for her or her fellow dancers there? Ask her their going rate so I don’t undercut anyone?
OR do I try another avenue say: corporate events, weddings, retirement homes. If so, I have no idea who to approach regarding gigs for corporate events and weddings?
Feel so lost. Advice?
Found a belly dance teacher a few years back but unfortunately by
the time I finally found her, I was up there in age. I totally fell in love w/ belly dance.
It became my obsession. I practiced constantly and devoured instructional dvds.
I will stay up in the evening watching performances instead regular shows on TV.
The whole time, in the back of my mind, is I am racing against time. I am old as
it is, I don't have much time. Not much time to learn, not much longer to dance.
Now I feel my body is letting me down. Despite hours of working out, have muffin top.
Preparing for restaurant, it's hard for this OLD brain to keep track of 9 songs.
What is easy for a young student to pick up has to be reinforced over and over for me.
Sometimes I get so terribly discouraged. I am 1 of the oldest in my class.
I look in the mirror and see this old, tired, muffin top women staring back, no graceful, dancer.
Tears just flow....
That Friday I still had to work my regular job during the day. Practiced a bit after work, then got ready in costume and makeup, off I went. Having my hyusband, son and some of dance buds there helped so much with confidence and keeping me calm :). Those guys are great!
Still there was 9 songs that I had to dance too, over a course of 3 sets. It’s quite daunting! While doing a song I would have to deviate to allow traffic going by the aisles of the restaurant or I would pause to try to get people up to dance (sometimes they would :) ). After doing this, I would occasionally lose my place in routine though . I would have to improvise rest of song. Sometimes it would be ok others times not as good :( because I would be so nervous (I am not used to performing in public before taking up bellydance). My veil, sword and "Poker face" songs went over VERY well, receive quite the applause on them, yeah!!! Sometimes would get a group of ladies up to dance. We would pose for people who wanted to take pictures. It was a lot of fun.
The whole evening was an experience I will cherish and not soon forget.
Both teach their students great in their own unique style. Our tribal teacher offers 4 different levels of ITS tribal! I don’t know any other that offers 4 levels of class.
This teacher is so fantastic, even in this economy, she is full.
Not only does she offer 4 levels of ITS tribal, but she also offers Skills and Drills which she mixes up. It can be soloing, sword, combos, fine tuning technique or tribal fusion.
On top of all this both teachers are young and in their prime. They are in much demand in restaurant performing. Vikki, my tribal, also occasionally will travel to do workshops or perform at other locations either solo or with her group, Hipnosis.
Both offer students opportunity to showcase what we learned. Lurainya, the cabaret teacher allows us to showcase what we learned in our once a year recital, which is produced really top notched with students in 1st half and pros in 2nd half, Filmed so students may have DVD of that performance, this is the one open to public (friends and family). She also offers smaller, casual students haflas (mainly for just students). These students can put together their own routines, can do group, duets or solos. We all bring something to eat/drink. We mingle and dance together after. Invaluable opportunity for students to spread their wings in preparation for let’s say restaurant performing.
The tribal teacher has about 3 belly jams a year, kind of like student recitals. These have the students, other belly dancers in area and pros. It’s very well produced. It’s also filmed. We each bring something to eat/drink. There are vendors present. 1 of the belly jams a year is mainly open to students not pros giving the students an opportunity to do their own thing whether it is solo, duet or group performance. I have seen some wonderful performances put together by my fellow students. Kudos to Vik for allowing us this opportunity to showcase our own style. She also gives us higher level students opportunities to perform at Rakkash East and our local Ren Faire.
I count my blessing for finding such talented, supportive teachers….
Finally, couldn't take it anymore. My hubby and I booked a long weekend getaway to Sedona, Arizona.
What an awe-inspiring and peaceful place. We hiked many trails, visited Cathedral Rock, Montezuma Castle, other Native American ruins, and Chapel of the Holy Cross. We went to a Wildlife Park. That was a lot of fun particularly the Tiger Splash. In the evenings we would dine out at the most romantic restaurants. The food was divine. The people in Sedona area are so friendly. We also drove up Oak Creek Canyon which had spectacular scenery. Hated to leave. Plan to return soon.
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