Monday, August 31, 2009

Belly Dance Tips in a New City

The belly dance scene, in any city, is not always the easiest scene to locate, especially if you do not speak the language. Just a few tips that I've gleamed from trial and error:

-find out what "belly dance" is called in that city (ex: oriental, raqs sharqi, etc.)
-research your teachers/venues/schools ahead of time
-use a translation page ( to translate websites that are in a foreign language
-ask dancers you already know if they can recommend a teacher/venue/school
-use facebook, myspace, etc. to make connections quickly
-if you want to teach, check out fitness centers and dance schools, or try to collaborate with an instructor that is already established in the city
-audition for dance companies, productions, etc.! Doesn't hurt!
-ask around about what the going rate is for a class/show (you don't want to undercut the dancers who are already working in the city- that's a way to make enemies)
-go to performances (it's a great way to see if you can get a performance at the venue)
-go to classes (great way to meet fellow dancers)
-utilize craigslist (
-make business cards so you always have something to give someone when they want your contact information
-find a booker (they often act as a translator, too)
-work with local musicians (sometimes it's easier to get a show if you have a band backing you up)

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, but I think that's a pretty good list for starters!
Good luck.

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