Whether you're looking to get your guests off their feet, or provide them with a show they can sit back and enjoy, a belly dancer can be a great addition to any event. Even though the art of belly dancing has been a tradition for centuries, these performers are more popular than ever. That's why we are here to give you the scoop on how to select one for your next shindig!

"Bellydance is a fun, professional, family-friendly form of entertainment" says Ashley of Ashley Belly Dance (Vancouver, BC). Some of GigMasters' own belly dancers have gotten to dance at some awesome events: Nathalie  (Glen Ellen, CA) performed for the Prince of Monaco, and Kamillah (Brooklyn, NY) put on a show at a celebrity birthday party for Mary J. Blige!We asked these entertainers, and many others, for some tips to help you with the process of finding and booking the perfect belly dancer.

Select Your Style
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking for a belly dancer is which style of dance will match the needs of your event. For instance, if you're having a traditional Turkish wedding, you'll want to make sure the dancer is familiar with traditional Turkish dance, music and costume. The style of the dancer is also important to fit with the tone of your event. Chances are you'll want a certain style for a corporate meeting or party with children present, versus a bachelorette party. If the celebration is upbeat and lively, find a dancer with a style to match. Because each performer is unique, Pragati  (Los Angeles, CA) advises that clients view videos of the dancer to make sure they'll fit the nature of the event.

Discuss the Details
Carrara Nour (Orlando, FL) tells us, "A great belly dancer will work with you to create a show that's fun, meaningful and visually stunning."To ensure that the performance is all of these things, there's some details that need to be discussed in advance. Firstly, you should fill the dancer in on your expectations for the event. Do you want the dancer to interact with guests? Is there a certain theme or color scheme the performer can try to integrate into their costume? "These little details can make an impact and make your event stand out among others," advises Lauren  (Boynton Beach, FL). If you would like to see the belly dancer incorporate props, like a sword or even (eek!) a snake, make sure these are things that can be accommodated. Lastly, if the event is a surprise, don't keep it a secret from the performer! Inform the belly dancer so they can make proper arrangements as to not spoil the fun for the guest of honor.

Be Vocal About the Venue
For a successful performance, any entertainer needs to know specifics about the venue where they will be performing. "Getting the logistics down before the event is very important," says Nyla Crystal (Redwood City, CA). One of the most crucial details about the venue is whether or not it contains a sound system. If not, the dancer or event host will need to be prepared to bring their own. Another important detail to acknowledge are the size and surface of the performance area. Dancers need to know if they'll be working on hard floor or grass, in case they need to modify their attire or routine. Also, be sure to let the dancer know if there will be a dressing area available, or if they should plan on arriving in costume.

Start Asking!
GigMasters' belly dancers recommend asking questions similar to these before hiring a belly dancer for your event:

  • How long have you been dancing?
  • What style of dance do you specialize in?
  • Do you have a video demo? "Always check the video and see the technique  of a dancer, its a key factor in belly dance!"- Anastasia (New York, NY)
  • Are you the dancer who will perform at my event, or do you contract out other performers?
  • Can you make the performance interactive?
  • Do you use any props? "I personally started performing in 09', but the snake was added in about two and a half years ago!" -Mundi  of Mesmerizing Arts (Raleigh, NC)
  • How much prep time do you need?
  • Do you have your own sound system/what kind do you require?
  • Is the dancing family friendly?
  • Why do you perform? I love making people happy, and bringing joy and energy to any special event! - Lola (Warwick, R.I.)

- If you need help finding a belly dancer, contact our Account Specialists by calling 866-342-9794 or emailing info@gigmasters.com. Are you a belly dancer looking to book more gigs? Sign up with GigMasters today!