BOOKING INFO: Hire Professional Entertainers

CLASSES: Referrals to Belly Dance for Women!

WORKSHOPS: Middle Eastern Music and Dance

Favorite Links!

Yosifah's Youtube Channel - Arabic Music and more!

Yosifah Rose Productions

Middle Eastern-themed
Family Entertainment


Email Yosifah

Shop at Yosifah's Bazaar!
El Morocco Dancers' Nights, Pleasant Hill, CA
FIRST SUNDAY of every month,
with LIVE MUSIC by Al 'Azifoon!

Classical Arabic Music Ensemble: Al'Azifoon


Rules of Etiquette and Professional Conduct for Belly Dancers

These are rules well-accepted etiquette within the Belly Dance community at large. Yosifah Rose Productions has posted these rules for the benefit of students of Raqs Sharqi and others interested in belly dancing. If you are a student dancer, learn and uphold these rules out of respect for yourself, your sisters in dance, Belly Dancing as an Art, and the ancient and proud Middle Eastern cultures from which Raqs Sharqi (known to most Westerners as "belly dance") originated.



Please follow these links for good articles on the ethics of pricing: Morocco If Prices Are Up All Over, Why Are Oriental Dancers Getting Less?

Nanna Candelaria on the Gilded Serpent Calling All Professional Dancers! How Much Do You Charge?

Samira Shuruk has a page on her web site with standard rates from around the world.

1. Be on time for your classes and gigs;

2. Be professionally courteous and friendly to the owners and customers of the venue that has hired you;

3. For restaurant gigs, most owners like you to talk to the customers and encourage them to participate (head slides, hand movements, or even getting up to dance, if they are in to it) BUT don't push them and especially DON'T insist that conservatively dressed women (ie. with a head scarf) dance because that is a potential insult to their modesty!;

4. Be careful with floor work and be sure not to "panty flash" anyone! (Speaking of panties, be sure to wear them!!) DO NOT do floor work if the audience is very conservative! Don't do it if a venue is very small or the floor isn't really clean.

5. Don't EVER pick up tip money from the FLOOR!! Don't touch tip money during your performance. If money falls out of your costume, ask a trusted wait staff member or a predesignated friend in the audience to pick it up immediately after your performance and give it to you later.

6. Don't let over-exuberant customers stuff tips down the front of your bra! Yes, sometimes even tipsy female customers will sometimes try this! Fast spins are excellent get away moves in cases like this!

7. KNOW YOUR MUSIC!!!! In an Arab venue, play appropriate Arabic music. In a Greek venue, play Greek or Arab music (NO TURKISH). For an Armenian venue, play Armenian or Arab music (NO TURKISH AND ASK PERMISSION BEFORE DOING A SWORD DANCE.......). While I love Turkish music, I am careful to be sensitive to history, politics, and culture in my music choices..... If you don't know what I am alluding to, then do a little historical research.

8. When hired to dance a professional gig (party or restaurant), bring TWO PROFESSIONAL costumes and extra music sets (in case of music or costume failures)!!!! Always have safety pins and an emergency sewing kit in your dance bag!!

9. Be discreet, modest and professional. Wear a caftan or some kind of cover up over your costume at ALL times when you are not performing.

10. Wear shoes when you dance to protect your feet and to appear more polished and professional.

11. Do NOT chew gum during dance class or during any dance performance!!!

12. If given a performance time limit, please stick to it!

13. Record your music on high quality CDs and make sure that yours aren't scratched or dirty! Always bring a backup CD. If you are using an MP3 player, IPOD, or other such device, bring your own connection cable.

14. Arrive in plenty of time to change into your costume and be ready to dance when it is your turn.

15. Arrive IN MAKEUP! The Dressing Room is for dressing and touch-ups only!

16. Respect the other dancers and their things in the dressing room. Don't spray perfume or hairspray with other dancers standing nearby. Space is usually limited don't be a "prima donna" by hogging the mirror or spreading your things out all over the dressing room.

17. Costume for FAMILY audiences! Wear harem pants, bike shorts, or a dancers bodysuit if your skirt is slit way up to there. Remember that when you spin, your G-string or lack there-of can become visible to audience members, especially if you are dancing on an elevated stage or if the audience is sitting on floor cushions. While it's true that many Egyptian Stars are currently wearing very revealing costumes, we must remember to respect ourselves, our audiences and the family-friendly venues in which we perform.

18. Respect fellow artists on stage: Smile supportively and pay attention to the dancer(s) on-stage. Don't gossip, give a negative commentary, or get up and walk around during a performance. Remember the golden rule: Treat other dancers the way that YOU wish to be treated!

19. Again....keep your negative opinions to yourself: Resist the urge to comment or judge another dancer's performance out loud. For all you know, you may be sitting next to one of their friends or family members. REMEMBER, most performers are still learning and are striving to be the best they can be.

20. Don't plagiarize! If you didn't create the choreography, give credit to the original choreographer.

21. Don't focus on the men in the audience. In fact, you should pay extra special attention to the women and children of the audience! Women tend to be the real decision makers about which restaurant or venue to visit. If they love you, they will come back with their family, date, beau and see you again. So, don't alienate female audience members by shimmy up close to a man. Be careful if you decide to bend over and drape your veil around a man's neck because innocent moves on your part can easily be misinterpreted by the rest of the audience, especially jealous wives and girlfriends!

22. Plan your entrance and exit: Practice polished entrances and exits!!! Carefully plan where you will enter when your music starts. Plan your exit! Please don't bend over with your back to the audience to pick up your veil, fling it over your shoulder, and then walk off! Acknowledge your audience and leave gracefully and with the same professional dancer energy that you entered with!

23. During a student hafla or Dancers Night, do not go around for tips unless you are the featured professional dancer or teacher. Only the featured professional dancer is expected to get audience members up to dance and to accept tips during a restaurant hafla.

24. Do NOT belly dance in a performance while you are on drugs, drunk, or even tipsy!!!

25. ASK permission before you use lit candles or open flame during a performance, most venues do not allow them due to insurance restrictions.

26. FINALLY, and most important of all....don't undercut yourself and other professional dancers!!!! Find out and adhere to the current prevailing fees that professional belly dancers in your geographic area charge before booking yourself as a professional dancer! Don't undercut other dancers out of ignorance or in an effort to get yourself hired at restaurants or for private gigs. Remember that in the long run, undercutting hurts the whole dance community including you!! For party and corporate event bookings, pricing must reflect that professional belly dance artists are professional entertainers who spend large amounts of money on our professional development, costuming, and music.

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Shukran kathiran...thank you very much for reading and adhereing to these rules. All the best to you always. May you be blessed with many years of good health, happiness, dance, creativity, and prosperity.

Salām,

Yosifah Rose
http://www.yosifah.com
yosifah@yosifah.com