On “Overnight Success” and the Road Less Traveled

In my 7 years of performing professionally, I’ve been called a lot of things. Wedding expert. Life of the Party. Camera Wh*re. Bellydance Police and Killer of Dreams.

“Overnight Success” is one I hear a lot lately.

If I had a penny for every question a dancer has asked me about my “overnight success” in the wedding industry, I’d have enough to get a clue and start teaching seminars on the topic.

That is, if I had anything to teach, other than a series of vague, Socratic questions and tutorials on how to take better selfies and pug pics.

The concept of overnight success has always felt like a bit of a cop-out to me. While I can appreciate this …

Sign on the Dotted Line: Your Guide to Contracts

So you’ve been planning your wedding over the last year, and you’re ready to book your entertainment.

You’ve decided on a 2-part show with a costume change, one set modern Egyptian and one traditional folkloric style. You’ve agreed on a price, reviewed musical requests, and are ready to call it a day and forget about it until – STOP!

I just want to make sure you got that all in writing.

If not, or if you’re wondering why you need to, this post is for you.

Contracts are one of those unsexy things like rates that I don’t really like to blog about – but, at the same time, they’re a fact of life in today’s society, and they’re totally …

Top 7 Myths and Misconceptions About Booking a Belly Dance Show

CT belly dancer Carrara NourCarrara entertains the crowd in Ansonia, CT

This post is a companion to my recent “how-to,” The Connoisseur’s Guide to Hiring a Belly Dancer. Unless you own a Moroccan restaurant or you actually were a belly dancer at one point in your life, hiring a belly dancer is probably new to you. That’s why I’m here to demystify your entertainment booking and make life a little bit easier for you! In The Connoisseur’s Guide, we focused on a few star qualities to look for in a belly dance performer – professionalism, experience, slick professional costuming, and a willingness to collaborate.

In this post, we’re going to shift our focus to dispelling some of the key myths and misconceptions …

The Connoisseur’s Guide to Hiring a Belly Dancer

Picture this. You’re having a Casablanca-themed Holiday celebration – and naturally, you want your big party to be the one that everybody raves about! You’ve arranged for a giant, extravagantly decorated tent. You’ve selected a caterer known for their exotic Mediterranean cuisine. You’ve spared no expenses on a photographer to preserve the memories. And, of course, no Mid-East celebration is complete without a belly dancer! But where do we begin?

When booking a special event, your entertainment is just as significant of an investment as your DJ, photographer, caterer or other major vendor. A belly dancer can dramatically set the tone of your wedding or party – for better OR for worse. There are a lot of professional belly …

The Ultimate, Universal Truth About Gigging, aka “Why I Refuse to Give My Work Away”

Norwalk, CT belly dancerCarrara performs in Norwalk, CT

Every creative freelancer has one of “those” weeks where the price shoppers, the undercutters and all other earthly manifestations of the Wal-Mart Mentality come out to haunt you. I’ll spare you all the editorial, but last week was definitely one of them.

Happily, I’ve cooled down and collected my thoughts since then. But in so doing, I have also discovered the dance equivalent to The Meaning of Life: that is, “never give away your work.” Just to clarify, “giving away” your work doesn’t necessarily mean dancing for free. It means throwing in the towel. Giving it only 50%. Settling for less. Lowering the bar. You get the picture.

How do I know when I’m giving …