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Thread: dance for free?

  1. #11
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alosha View Post
    what about dancing for free because you live in a culturally devoid town and its the only way you CAN dance in public...

    but i am now working to get some sort of a performance or culture night or something going on here.

    guess we could always do a dance recital! doesn't that bring back memories of childhood!
    Alosha, the only thing worse than performing paid gigs before you're ready is performing gigs that should be paid for free before you are ready. Doing it for free doesn't make it better, it makes it worse.

    A recital is exactly the appropriate venue for developing performance skills.

    I have some articles that might be helpful:
    Nile Breeze Dance Resources
    Specifically the "path to performing" article

    Sedonia

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    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alosha View Post
    so a couple girls in the troupe want to be paid to do performances. which i think would be really cool. but no one in town really knows us, we can't afford to advertise. personally, i would like to perform whether i get paid well or not. we need to get our name out there before we start charging what we deserve, right?

    so my question is: can we 'donate' performances for a while, then start charging? with no other troupes around, we have no cost-comparison. what do we charge?

    personally, i like performing and want others to learn this art and see it as much as possible, and would do it for gas money and some food. so do we do community gigs for free, then charge for private events?
    Are there open mic nights in your area? Maybe that would be a good venue. County and state fair talent competitions are possiblities, too. Obviously, the larger the audience, the better your performance needs to be.

    If you ultimately want to get paid, but no one really "does" bellydance in your area, you could set up some free shows for retirement homes or schools and such. If/when you set a free show up in a venue where you would like to be paid later, let the contact person know that you are doing a limited number of publicity performances, and that any further performances will be paid. Also indicate that you don't want anyone charged to see your performance, since you are doing it free of charge. Just drop that in off-hand, and move on with plans for your no-charge performance.

    But you want to be really, really sure that you're not undercutting anyone's business. It's entirely possible that the Red Hats or the local retirement home does hire professional dancers, so work your network (with your teacher's help) to be sure you're not stepping on anyone else's toes with free shows.

  3. #13
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    When I first started dancing in public, I performed at the local senior center, for various women's groups, nursing homes, and in the public schools. I loved dancing for and with the grade school kids and continue to do it occasionally even now.

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    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    Hi Alosha,i think you have a good spirit and it seems you love to dance money or no money...what about this ....why dont you put up a small videoclip,on youtube and then post it on the forum see what the members think ? people will comment how good or not good they think it is...then from that you will feel a little bit where you are at...you are a part now from this family so i geuss people will give their honest opinion what will be handy for you,before you go out into the big,,bad,, world...and then you can take your clip down from youtube if you dont want it to stay there,perhaps you are much better then you think!...beside that i wish you lots of luck in dancing you got the correct spirit dear...have a nice day

  5. #15
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alosha View Post
    thanks! i guess if i search, the others will follow? there's a tribal group in hood river that do a bunch of free events, so i'm sure i can find the same thing here. just not sure if i'll be stuck dancing alone...

    we walk in the parade, and do a performance for relay for life, and for a street-fest here, i'll look into getting something else started.

    wasn't sure if it was bad to dance for free...
    Alosha,

    You are not that far from Yakima WA which every year has a weekend long event with performance opportunities mini workshops, vendors (music, costumes accessories etc) and good fellowship. I have been a regular attendee for 10 years now.

    For 2009 the conference is May 15-17. contact nizana@att.net for more information or you could try thepowersofbellydance@yahoo.com

    this address never works for me but I think others use it.

    Now as to your real question. I don't have a market where I live for paid performances. I look for opportunities to dance at fundraisers, talent shows, or events in other locations. I rarely get paid, but I limit my performances to good causes or special BD events.

    Assisted living centers, nursing homes, senior centers, etc are always looking for fresh entertainment that is donated. The local tribal troupe here performs at a brew pub where most of them work. (not my favorite venue) so as you can see there are opportunities if you develop them, that do not involve advertising to the general public. Print up some business cards to have available at all times.

    Marya

  6. #16
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    How long do you think that dancers should have been dancing before they start giving out business cards? I don't feel ready after 2 and a quarter years

  7. #17
    V.I.P. alosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    Are there open mic nights in your area? Maybe that would be a good venue. County and state fair talent competitions are possiblities, too. Obviously, the larger the audience, the better your performance needs to be.

    If you ultimately want to get paid, but no one really "does" bellydance in your area, you could set up some free shows for retirement homes or schools and such. If/when you set a free show up in a venue where you would like to be paid later, let the contact person know that you are doing a limited number of publicity performances, and that any further performances will be paid. Also indicate that you don't want anyone charged to see your performance, since you are doing it free of charge. Just drop that in off-hand, and move on with plans for your no-charge performance.

    But you want to be really, really sure that you're not undercutting anyone's business. It's entirely possible that the Red Hats or the local retirement home does hire professional dancers, so work your network (with your teacher's help) to be sure you're not stepping on anyone else's toes with free shows.
    thanks to this thread, i'm working on getting an open mic night here. in talks with a couple venues...

    also gonna try the county fair, and there's this 'music in the park' program during the summer, gonna see if we can be intermission.....

  8. #18
    V.I.P. alosha's Avatar
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    i have video of our troupe routine, and i think i do well in it, but i'm not allowed to post it until after we compete...i guess they don't want anyone to see it before then...

    the only clip i have on my youtube right now is the spontaneous piece we did for the old-folks home, and i don't think it's bad for me only dancing for less than a year, and i'd only heard the music twice....

    i do have to say though, that two of the other girls have been dancing for like five or six years, and are definitely better.

    as far as asking my teacher, i don't really have one. the girls in the troupe are all former members of another troupe here in town, most of my learning has been from videos...gonna go try to get myself a mentor in portland though...meet with her on friday for a lesson...

    i have another clip, and i'm off to upload it right now...



  9. #19
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I have to agree that after 1-2 years very, very few people are ready to perform in public - paid or unpaid. After 18 months many students are ready for student/teacher shows (whatever they are called in your neck of the woods) - ie for family and friends; with a bit of experience with those then charity "entertainment" - such as old folks homes may be possible.

    To be ready as a "performer" you need a good grasp of technique and background; you need either a half a dozen choreographies - which you know very well and have the skill to adapt on the fly in terms of spatial layout or very good improvisational skills; you need professional level costumes (which means no wrap around hip scarves for a start); you need poise.

    Sorry, but someone has to tell you - the clip you posted showed a student going through a series of isolations - in time to the music certainly - but if I hired a dancer (even if I didn't have to actually pay anything) and that performance was what I got I'd be really pissed. And depending on the guest list rather embarrassed.

    You simply are not ready yet. Give it more time. If you are no longer with your original teacher - and assuming there are no other nearby choices around - can you do private lessons with another teacher a bit further out?

  10. #20
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alosha View Post
    as far as asking my teacher, i don't really have one. the girls in the troupe are all former members of another troupe here in town, most of my learning has been from videos...gonna go try to get myself a mentor in portland though...meet with her on friday for a lesson...
    There are lots of good teachers in the Portland Area. I personally am familiar with a few and Lilah Perry is a former student of Cassandra Shore and she is a wonderful dancer and with Cassandra as a model she will be a good teacher too. You might want to check out more than one if you are going to be having private lessons.

    Marya

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