Frequently Asked Questions
There are literally dozens of belly dancers in Orlando. What makes you unique?
Good belly dancers are not hard to find – especially here in Orlando, the entertainment capital of the USA. But it takes so much more than award-winning choreography and beautiful costumes to be a top-notch party entertainer. Personality is everything in this business! What sets me apart from other dancers is my core philosophy that each of my clients is my friend. While it’s become cliche to say that you care, I am truly crazy about each of my clients and their unique special occasions. This shines through in every facet of my business, from the way I customize my shows to the way I make my audiences feel when I start engaging the crowd. Some local dancers have picked up on what I’m doing and have started trying similar things, but my process is constantly evolving, my expertise is unmatched, and my passion for making people happy is real, authentic and totally bubbles over from within. Like the saying goes, “Often imitated, never duplicated!”
How long of a show do you usually perform?
It all depends on the size and type of your event. While you’ll see plenty of customizable options on my Booking page, the most popular choice is my Classic Show, a complete set usually 20 minutes in length. Most clients prefer this option because it’s long enough to keep everyone entertained, but fits in any schedule neatly so your guests can enjoy other activities. My job is to enhance your party, not to monopolize it!
Who should hire you?
My clients are a fun, sophisticated and totally diverse group of people from all corners of the globe, but they generally share one vision: to add glamor, culture and lots of interactive fun to their special events. We’ll work beautifully together if:
- You love the tasteful, tried-and-true elegance of a classic belly dance show with authentic Middle Eastern music, engaging improvisational dance, and tons of sparkling sequins, fringe and chiffon.
- You have creative ideas for your belly dance show, or you’re looking to tie my show into a fun theme, and you’re looking for a clever, resourceful entertainer who can help you make it happen.
- You love the idea of hiring a belly dancer, but you’re dead-set against hiring a cheesy, overzealous performer who will make your guests uncomfortable and make you look bad
- You want to hire a belly dancer who specializes in weddings; who’s been there, done that, and has a stellar wedding industry reputation to show for it.
- You just couldn’t picture your event without great entertainment, and you absolutely adore belly dance! I love working with clients who are just as excited about planning their show as I am.
Who should NOT hire you?
This is a tough question, because I want to make everyone happy! But realistically, no entertainer is a perfect fit for every event. That being said, you might consider another belly dancer for your party if:
- You enjoy the kitschy “Turn Uncle Bob Into a Sultan Shtick,” where the dancer puts a giant overstuffed turban on the Guest of Honor’s head, sits on his lap, and/or feeds him grapes
- You want an extreme circus-style fusion act with snake charming or fire eating
- You’ve called every belly dancer in Orlando and don’t really care which one you get, as long as you find a “body in a costume” to show up and shimmy at a bargain price
- You view entertainment as an extra, but not a priority; or you could take or leave the idea of having a belly dancer at your event
Do you do any sort of audience participation?
What fun is a party where nobody dances? Naturally, audience participation is one of my most popular requests, and I encourage every group to become a part of the show. Because every audience has a different energy, I’ve developed a knack for “reading the room” and tailoring my level of interactivity to the crowd’s, whether everybody’s getting silly or they’re a little bit shy. If you don’t think audience participation would go over well at your event, please discuss this with me at the time of booking so I can format my show accordingly.
Some of my guests are bringing their kids to the party. Is belly dance still an appropriate form of entertainment?
Absolutely! Belly dance comes from family-style Middle Eastern social dances that are done by people of all ages, including men and children. In fact, kids are some of my biggest fans and they love getting up to dance with me or simply admiring from afar.
Do you carry liability insurance?
I absolutely do. Did you know that many Florida wedding venues and hotels do not allow uninsured vendors on their property? While my act is incredibly low-risk, I am insured for up to $1,000,000 and can provide proof of insurance or special named certificates if you or your venue request it.
OK, I like what I see. How do I book you?
Thank you for choosing me! To book me, please call(203) 716-1479 or E-mail Me so we can discuss the details of your event. I’ll need to know the day and time, the location of your event, and how many guests you’re expecting, plus the theme of your event, if there is one. If I’m free, I’ll ask that you sign a performance agreement and send a non-refundable 50% retainer to hold the date. Once I get this from you, we’re all set!
How far in advance should I book you?
As soon as possible! Thanks to Orlando’s beautiful weather, I stay pretty busy entertaining year-round. Certain times of the year, including the Holidays and the spring and fall wedding seasons, my schedule fills up fast. To guarantee my availability, I strongly recommend that you book at least 2-3 weeks out. For weddings, my clients usually book 3-6 months out. Looking for last-minute entertainment? Don’t be afraid to call. While I can’t guarantee that I’ll be free, I have been known to work magic on as little as 24-48 hours notice!
How far will you travel for my event?
I primarily perform belly dance in Orlando and the surrounding areas, but frequently travel to Brevard County and the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area for gigs, as well. (A reasonable travel charge may apply).
We’re from Connecticut and we miss you! Why did you have to leave us? Will you come back home to dance at my party?
If you give me sufficient notice and are willing to help me buy a ticket from MCO to BDL, I would love to come back home and dance at your event. I miss my NY-style pizza and I’m sure my parents would love to see me, too! Just say the word and I’m there.
We’re from New Jersey and looking for a belly dancer for our wedding in Florida. Do you do destination weddings, too?
Orlando is the 2nd most popular destination for weddings in the USA. Naturally, I’m used to working with lots of out-of-town, out of state, and even international brides. It is possible to plan a long-distance wedding without sacrificing the personal touch! Want to find out more? Check out my blog post How to Book a Belly Dancer for Your Orlando Destination Wedding.
Are you the dancer who will perform at my event?
Of course! What you see is what you get. One thing that sets me apart from other belly dancers in Orlando is that I’m an independent solo act and I never contract out student or amateur performers. Your entertainment should be the last thing you worry about when planning an event, and my clients feel very comfortable knowing that one reliable pro is handling all the key details and providing personalized service from the first inquiry to the moment I leave their event.
We’re looking for a duet or trio performance. Can you provide additional dancers?
Absolutely! While I usually work as a solo artist, I occasionally get requests for a small ensemble and can pull together a really nice show with one or two additional dancers. (Think: structured improv in coordinating costumes). A multi-dancer show can be a great way to cover a large performance area or simply add visual impact. Please allow at least 3 weeks notice to prepare a duet or trio show.
What type of music do you dance to?
I always use traditional Middle Eastern belly dance music tailored to your audience’s ethnicity, age range and preferences. For Indian crowds, I’ll usually use popular Bollywood songs for the group dancing part of the show. No matter where your audience comes from, I’ll make sure my music is relevant, appropriate and most importantly, fun.
What type of costumes do you wear?
My wardrobe consists mostly of custom-made costumes from the top ateliers of Istanbul, and a few handmade vintage pieces. Though my rotation occasionally changes, I can accommodate virtually any request, from a more conservative look to specific color schemes for bridal parties. To see what’s in my current lineup, check out my Costume Gallery on Flickr.
Is tipping appropriate?
While tipping is not required, I always appreciate a “thank you” for a job well done! In fact, in many corners of the Middle East, tipping the belly dancer is part of the festivities and a way to symbolize good luck to the newlyweds. The most common way to tip a belly dancer is to throw bills over her head in a “money shower,” or to discretely tuck a folded bill into the dancer’s arm bands or the side of her belt. If this all sounds like too much excitement, you may simply hand me my tip or add it to the balance of my payment. For more tipping etiquette and traditions, check out my article Hot Tips on Tipping.
Is there any type of event you don’t do?
I don’t do bachelor parties, stags or any event of that nature. Period. Most belly dancers for hire in Orlando work hard to dispel stereotypes, and I avoid situations that give people the wrong idea about belly dance and the culture it comes from. And no, I don’t jump out of cakes, so don’t even ask!
Carrara Nour is one of those dancers that captivates the crowd with her moves and her energy. She shows true professionalism and heart in her dancing and the art of belly dance could not have a better representative than her. Her passion and love for her dancing shows with every performance and if you ever get the chance to catch her fire dance, it is a MUST SEE!
- DJ Zeus, fan
So I’m shopping around for Orlando wedding entertainment and belly dance prices are all over the place. Why should we pay more for you?
There are literally dozens of working bellydancers in Orlando. On average, you can expect to pay at least $200 for a professional show – and that’s a pretty conservative estimate. So why pay more? Let me ask you this. Why would you pick the best florist, cake designer and bridal salon in town when you could buy your cake, flowers and wedding dress at Costco? Technically, you’re getting the same thing. But a reputable wedding professional will command a higher rate due to their customer service, industry expertise, and overall creative vision.
Same principle applies with belly dancers. While it’s true that any dancer can show up to a wedding and shimmy, and while most dancers will customize their shows to some extent, a seasoned wedding entertainer’s skill lies in her ability to translate her dance into a fun and meaningful experience that’s exquisitely matched to the occasion, the couple and the crowd. The dance, like flowers or fondant, is simply a medium. It’s what the artist does with it, that often determines the price – and more importantly, the value. I have earned a stellar reputation in the Orlando wedding industry precisely because I can offer my couples unrivaled wedding entertainment expertise and a great show, and therefore, pure value.
If you’re just looking for nice costumes and beautiful dancing, I’m not the only belly dancer in Orlando who can give you what you want. If you’re looking for a seasoned wedding entertainer with a warm personality, creative ideas, wedding industry connections, and great working relationships with your wedding vendors, then I may be the right belly dancer for you. If you’re looking for a worldly entertainer who loves other cultures, treats the dance with dignity, and is conscientious about using appropriate music and costuming so even the more conservative members of your family can enjoy the show, then I may be the right belly dancer for you. If price is your only consideration, then you will probably be better served by a cheaper dancer. Just remember, you get what you pay for, for better and for worse! (And on that note, I encourage you to read my article “Would You Like to Hire a Free Belly Dancer?” for more on why belly dancers charge what we do).