Organizing a hafla


New member
And note that I finally started spelling it hafla, instead of halfa. :)

I think one of my main problems in garnering interest in my area and surrounding areas is that no one understands exactly what belly dance is. There are perhaps a total of five to seven girls and women who have listened to me talk about it and stayed interested. Many of them dropped interest when they found out they had to actually pay for the classes. Some women claimed to be interested, then would go to their friends (who are, coincidentally, one or two of the few who are truly interested) and claimed I tried to get them to "bellydance" and that they simply had too much "pride for that kind of dancing". Others have asked if they had to bring their own stripper pole, as I mentioned before.

I think perhaps a hafla held in the nearest city might be a good idea. Since I am in Southern WV, I could find dancers and instructors from both the Huntington/Charleston area, the Beckley area, as well as some from Va... like Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Galax and so on. If the event was free (to enter) and open to the public, with speaking events on ME Dance as well as the branch offs, such as tribal etc, performances from various dancers in different styles, vendors and etc.

I want people to understand that belly dance isn't something whores do. A belly dancer has more pride in her pinkie finger than most haughty women of refinement do in their entire manicured, pedicured, hair perfect, makeup tattooed on every morning and butt lifted body.

I can't get this going on my own. I've tried and tried every way I can think of to get members enough to make a class worthy of a teacher to travel.

Every announcement and poster I've made gets taken down.

Or defaced in unspeakable ways to the point they are illegible.

I think the seeing is believing thing is what I'm going do to make this start in my area. I think the people of this area need to see this dance that they don't understand to fully grasp that it isn't what they see in music videos by rappers, or in movies like "Kama Sutra".

But I have no effing clue how to hold a hafla.

Any advice? I'm really starting to lose hope.


Oriental dance is a niche market. The people who attend Oriental dance and music events are almost all involved in the form in one way OR are a family member/friend of someone who is involved. I think if the reception you are getting is any indicator you would have a very difficult time drawing in general public to a hafla. If I understand your want correctly it is to have an opportunity of demonstration to non dancers in your community. In this case performing in an event that is aimed at the general public would better serve. Something like a holiday market maybe? Those happen all over my area and there are always bands and dancers and entertainment going on. Some other community event/ showcase etc. in which your community attends and you could participate and share the beauty of the art form…


New member
I agree with Salome. If you can't get people to classes in the first place, the likelihood of getting them to a hafla is greatly diminished. I think you need to work on performing in places and getting seen. Art festivals would be a good start. Once people see what you do, it would be easier to build classes, haflas, and community.


Holding a hafla seems to be kind of difficult at this point in your community.

How about organizing a charity event raising funds for some good sake where you gather people from various art forms (including some of the popular ones in your area, whatever they may be, and remember to get some kids in the show as well as they usually generate audience from parents and grandparents etc) and where you include a few bellydancers as well.
Apart from whatever funds you'll be able to raise, you'll get some experience with organizing an event and you'll probably get a larger audience than for bellydancing alone. And, if the audience like what they see (i.e. for the bellydance part), you may be lucky to generate more interest as well.


New member
See, this is why I ask these questions. :) I tend to get my cart before the horses quite a bit.

These are all fantastic ideas and I think I know a few places I could start looking into. And holding a charity event myself is definitely something I can do. I helped my mother with tons of fundraiser type deals growing up.

Thank you much lovelies.