We’re excited about the great shows coming up this weekend at Essence of Bellydance. We try to go to as many conferences and bellydance shows near and far as possible. This year’s program features Egyptian icons like Mohamed Shahin! Also taking the stage and teaching workshops is Andrus Ramir of Miami! Suhaila Salimpour will be in town as will Colleen Shakti and dance greats from around the globe.
Each night are big shows and gala events that warrant a fancy dress or two. We’ve got some fun things you can wear for your night on the town at Essence of Bellydance. Sorraiah’s Star and Lycra Pants Set.
Tickets are still available if you want to grab a few for you and your friends! Click here or show up at the Twelve Atlantic Station starting the 15th to get your tickets in person. Downtown and Midtown Atlanta are quite cool and comfortable at this time of year! We look forward to seeing you there!
This week we’re excited about Suhaila Salimpour’s return to the studio hosted by Atlanta Fusion Bellydance. AFBD manages our 2,000 sq ft space adjacent to our large bellydance warehouse. AFBD are not just friends, but our family and we work together to promote top talent around the world in our raqs and bellydance industry. This year the calendar is already filled with many amazing shows and dance learning opportunities. We invite you to reach out and put Atlanta Fusion Bellydance events on your calendar. This week while you shop, sign up for one of the many classes Suhaila Salimpour is teaching. We love it when she’s in town!
MissBellydance.com is right up front awaiting to welcome you with open arms as you enter the amazing studio space that AFBD have transformed into a raqs wonderland. Here are some things to expect this year.
February 4 Sassy Jazz Fusion Belly Dance with Babette & Leyla Soleil @ AFBD
February 25 Flamenco Arabe Workshops sponsored by Diane Adams featuring Najmah Nour @ AFBD. Register now!
March 11 BollyX Instructor training @ AFBD
March 19 Atlanta’s Got Talent hosted by Faaridah of AFBD & Jenny of World Belly Dance Alliance. Performer registration opens January 5
April 28-30 Michelle Sorensen worksh ops @ AFBD. We’re excited to host this fusion belly dance star! One of our faves! Registration opens January 16 !!
April 30 AFBD Spring Showcase featurin g Michelle Sorensen
June 10-11 AFBD’s 8th Anniversary Weekend. Join us for our biggest celebration to date, featuring a huge stage production with world-renowned guest artists! Stay tuned for more!
Eshta Amar’s course was offered online during Bellydance Fashion Week. We’re grateful the team made that available.
“We don’t have a budget, but you’ll get lots of exposure!” Many have heard this at some point in their performance career. While it’s certainly not happening to all, it’s happening to enough for it to be a major topic in the raqs world.
Our volunteer raqs archivist said the same… “It’s odd to learn that a dance troupe is performing in exchange for exposure to a room full of paid ticket holders at an event. Dancing for fun, dancing as part of attending a conference as a trainee, participating in a holiday event, dancing to help a cause and bartering are different things. But actually expecting a dancer who just paid x amount for her costume, hair, nails, toes, you name it….gas – shall I go on? – to dance for free is flat out disrespectful. I’ve even learned of some cases where the host says things like, “It just wasn’t in the budget.” But at the end of the night when money is being counted, it sure looks like it could be in the profits! We may really need to examine how we approach or accept this idea of “exposure” as a form of payment.”
We feel dancers (and musicians) in this art as well as other performance industries deserve to be paid. Good or bad, amateur or professional, if that person has taken time out of their day to get dressed up and travel to the event destination and entertain guests then that’s time they could be using for other things. Paying someone for their performance is a form of respect. This is not a reference to tucking bills into belts either, but a legitimate check with the troupe’s name on it or an envelope of agreed upon cash.
While getting involved in booking entertainment, musicians and cultural dance leaders, troupes and others we hold dear in our industry has a learning curve, we know that expecting a full show in exchange for exposure doesn’t cover the cost of training, costumes and so much more. Everyone enjoys exposure and can get it in many ways but exposure shouldn’t be the only form of payment. To expect a raissa to accept that as their only currency can be terribly insulting. Honouring a dancers’ rates or negotiating an agreed barter or price is all a part of respecting the art.