Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Look Like a Belly Dancer

Anyone watch Mad TV? Reminder Ms. Swan's most famous quote: He looka like-a man. Borrowing that idea, I think you should looka like-a belly dancer.

This post was inspired from a call I received from a gentleman about a week ago who lived in another state and he was looking on line for a belly dancer for his sister's party. He told me he found a website with dancers in his area, however, he didn't like the pictures of the dancers because they didn't look like belly dancers. And he wanted the style and look of a belly dancer. He told me they were wearing boots and in other pictures pants. I think you get the picture.

Whether we like it or not, the general public still see a belly dancer looking like what we call an American Cabaret belly dancer. And that's not likely going to change. Full skirt, bar and belt, a veil and maybe playing finger cymbals.

So here's my advice if you are actively looking for dance gigs. And this goes for no matter what style you are into. Have at least a couple of photos of yourself in a traditional cabaret costume on your website. If you perform more than 1 type of bellydance list types that you perform. This way you won't miss out on opportunities to be hired.

Suzy Evans - Producers of the Best Belly Dance Videos in the World!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pictures - Its All About Pictures

If you are at the level where you are now getting belly dance gigs whether its a party, restaurant, wedding or a stage performance, you need great photos of yourself.

Photos are just one part of a professional dancers promotional package.

My best suggestion is to book a photo shoot at least twice a year. Put it on your calendar and make it happen! Promoters and anyone that would consider hiring you like to look at fresh pictures.

If you can't afford a professional shoot, find a friend with a camera, set up a backdrop with some good lighting and go for it. Post an ad at the local college for a photography student to take your photos. They will usually do it for free because they need it for their portfolio.

The best backdrop to use is white with no texture. It's a lot easier to punch your photo out of the background in photoshop. If you are wearing a white costume use a medium color backdrop. No texture is best for all photos. If you don't have a white backdrop, at least use a light color.

Do a photo shoot party with some of your belly dancer friends in your city. Invite some dancers you don't know very well. Great way to make new friends and its a lot of fun.

Don't forget your complete belly dancer look: hair, makeup, costume and maybe some jewelry.

This also reminds me of a funny story. One of my friends and I came up with the 30 Year/ 30 Pound Rule. Sometimes you'll see what is obviously an older picture of a belly dancer in a magazine ad or elsewhere and one of us will say: They're in violation of the 30 year/30 pound rule! Write 'em a ticket!

Don't get me wrong, we love the classic photos, BUT we would love to see new, hot photos of you! Everyone ages and some of us get a little chunkier - please don't let this stop you from taking new promo photos. You won't regret it.

I look forward to seeing your new photos.

Suzy Evans

PS - Remember,,, every six months. Just book it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wishing You a Happy Dance-able Summer

The start of summer is just days away and many of us will be going on vacation. I'll be making short trips to Phoenix, Nashville, and Evansville, Indiana. (What an interesting combination!) BTW - Evansville was named after me. I'll also be attending my high school reunion in September. I'm not sharing how many years its been. :) And I will be attending concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.

I know that most of us are very busy during the summer months even if we are not going away. Please keep your belly dance practice and routine in place as much as possible during the summer. Attend whatever belly dance workshops, classes, and events that you can. I'd like to see you in the fall at your new next level up in your belly dancing career.

Have a great belly dance summer!

Suzy Evans