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Thread: Have you ever...




  1. #1
    Official BHUZzer hennayahenna's Avatar
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    Have you ever...

    created a choreography for a stripper?

    Before you start flinging zills at my face, let me explain. I received a phone call from a guy recently asking how much I charge for private lessons. So I told him my rate and he asked if that included a choreography. I said no, that I'd have to think about it and get back to him. I've made choreography for dancers before, but I didn't know about the whole charge by the minute thing, which would have been VERY helpful at the time. Anyway, he went on to ask if it's okay that he's a guy, and have I ever taught men before (yes) and would I be comfortable if wanted to incorporate moves for a male revue show. I immediately thought this was a prank and/or obscene phone call and had to stifle the laughter until he told me that a bellydancer choreographed 5 songs for him and he paid her $250 per minute of choreography. Naturally, my little ears perked up at this number considering he needed another 5 songs at 4 minutes each. He told me that she came up with everything, including the stripping parts! I asked him to send me a video of him dancing so that I can see exactly how on earth someone made bellydance moves appealing on a male dancer and MAYBE I could pull it off. I haven't heard from him, but I'm still wondering...what does that look like!?

    Sooooooo, anyone? Done it or seen it done? Enlighten me, please.


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Quote Originally Posted by hennayahenna View Post
    created a choreography for a stripper?
    Can't say that I have. One of my teachers had a female stripper coming to her weekly classes for a while, though.

    Anyway, he went on to ask if it's okay that he's a guy, and have I ever taught men before (yes) and would I be comfortable if wanted to incorporate moves for a male revue show. I immediately thought this was a prank and/or obscene phone call and had to stifle the laughter until he told me that a bellydancer choreographed 5 songs for him and he paid her $250 per minute of choreography.
    Why isn't he continuing to work with that dancer? Is he looking for a cheaper rate? Did she decide she didn't want to continue the endeavor with him?

    Naturally, my little ears perked up at this number considering he needed another 5 songs at 4 minutes each.
    I think I would be tempted to explain that this is a legitimate dance, not a vending machine for other performers' stagework. If he wants to do this kind of performing in his act, he should invest in standard training for it, and then he can get to a place where he either comes up with his own routines or he can spend less developing them with your help. I assume in terms of choreography, a stripping revue is more like what we do than what ballet does, in the sense that there are some people who choreograph for others, but the majority of performers prepare their own pieces. This sounds like quite the cash cow on your end, but on his end, I would wonder if he wouldn't come out of the experience thinking, "Okay, I'm a lot poorer, but I get the idea, hip circle, hip circle, snake arms, blah, blah, blah. I can do this on my own now." In that case, steering him toward a year of weekly classes is less money from him and better for everybody...especially since it gives you a less conspicuous way to guide him toward the idea that the dance community as a whole would really prefer he not mix the two things. Personally, I don't feel I could encourage a student to combine stripping and dancing, but even if you don't consider that to be a problem, I think most of us would agree that if you're going to promote yourself as doing that, at least make an attempt to learn the belly-dance part properly, not some choreography-only crash course.
    Last edited by Tourbeau; 07-11-2011 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Misread the numbers in the original post.


  3. #3
    Official BHUZzer hennayahenna's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Well, I seriously doubt it would end up looking anything like traditional bellydance, which is exactly why I asked for some video to see how much bellydance was in his routine and how much was other dance forms/striptease. He said he was in town doing a show and had been traveling a lot since he had those choreos made. I don't have any problem with strippers male or female, but I think I'd be much more hesitant if the same offer were posed be a female stripper, simply because the movements would look more like bellydance on her body and have more potential to send the kind of messages we are always fighting against as bellydancers. And you're right, there's no way he could learn the movement in one or two sessions teaching the choreography anyway.


  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    I don't see any reason why you can't take this gig as a dance choreographer. It doesn't have to have anything to do with bellydance, does it? He must have a variety of character acts, if he is a true pro.
    Last edited by sabrinabellydancer; 07-10-2011 at 08:02 PM.
    Houdah likes this.
    Sabrina Bellydancer, San Diego, California. Available worldwide. Workshops. Shows.


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer Hala Jamal's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Let's remember, ladies, that there is actually a very fine line between strippers dancing and bellydancers dancing. Both celebrate feminitity and fertility but in slightly different ways. And those sublte differences make a world of difference. Think about it:

    Do a pelvic circle, Oriental style. Knees together, energy pulling in and with poise.

    Now do the same movement with your knees more open, energy pushing out and with that look on your face.

    So similar but soooooo different. The messages are completely opposite.

    I think it wouldn't be too hard to choreograph for this guy. Choose one of those tribal fusion, arabic groove lounge pieces of music that aren't appropriate for Oriental Dance performances but have the Middle East inspiration. Or a Lady Gaga song. Whatever.

    Add your BD moves but with those stripper differences and voila!
    Ndi-mi likes this.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Without knowing more about the context, it's difficult to tell how belly-dancer-y his performances read. All I know is that a lot of belly dance students who've been studying for a couple of years can't say they've performed a repertoire of ten separate belly dance choreographies on stage. And considering how elementary many beginner choreographies are, he may be doing more "belly dancing" than a lot of students are, obvious issues of clothing removal aside.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable to say to him, "Look, dude, if you're so interest in belly dancing that you want to spend this much money on choreography and this much time rehearsing to perform, why don't you just break down and learn the regular way? Obviously something about this resonates with you--you must enjoy it on some level or you wouldn't keep coming back--and we deserve better than just being your 'stripper shtick.' There are lots of dancers willing to teach you, even if that means setting up a network of classes if you travel a lot. We can help you more than taking your money to walk you through canned routines."


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer LiesaB.'s Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    5 dances 4 min ea x $250 per minute = $5000.00. Such a large sum of money thrown around sounds fishy. Stripping? Private lessons? A man? My spidey sense says someone looking for 'kicks' not lessons.
    Do you know the bellydance who chor for him? Are you in a big city?
    Keep us posted tho; I would be interested to see if he is legit.


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Admittedly it is very weird, but it might be on the level. I'm wondering if maybe he's a drag performer?


  9. #9
    Official BHUZzer inaradances's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Oh wow. I'm usually a lurker on Bhuz, reading but not commenting much, but I had to respond to this one - I had almost the exact same call. Seriously. So much so that I could almost say it could be the same guy.

    I live in SW Florida and a guy called me and said he was visiting the area and would I teach private lessons while he is here. Eventually he said he was a stripper, and wanted some variety in his routine. Also claimed to have paid another dancer up north a lot of money to choreograph for him. I kept pressing him for info and it got more and more off-putting...not quite skeevy in his actual demeanor (very polite and matter-of-fact) but eventually said he wanted to practice in his g-string...in his hotel room (and was that ok with me). Still in this attitude of 'why does this seem strange' without saying as much outright. Oh yeah, and his number showed up "restricted" on caller ID.

    So....I of course didn't do it, but wonder if there is any way it could be the same person. His demeanor was so effortless and casual-sounding that I kept second-guessing myself, maybe it's legit, but thinking back...uh....no. Right choice for me.

    Just my 2 cents from a similar experience...just a few months ago, I think.


  10. #10
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Posted by inaradances:

    Oh wow. I'm usually a lurker on Bhuz, reading but not commenting much, but I had to respond to this one - I had almost the exact same call. Seriously. So much so that I could almost say it could be the same guy.

    <snip>

    So....I of course didn't do it, but wonder if there is any way it could be the same person. His demeanor was so effortless and casual-sounding that I kept second-guessing myself, maybe it's legit, but thinking back...uh....no. Right choice for me.
    This sounds suspiciously like the "I wanna wear a skirt to class" guy that used to call belly dancers to say he was going to be visiting the area and wanted to drop in on a class while there. Oh, and he wanted to wear a skirt to class, would that be okay? And what would the other students think if he showed up wearing a skirt? And maybe the teacher could spend an hour teaching him how to apply makeup before class starts? That one called me twice, once while I lived in California and a year or so later after I moved to Iowa.

    Here's a thread on tribe.net about him: The "I wanna wear a skirt to class" guy - Belly Dancing - the Shira.net Tribe - tribe.net

    And here's an old bhuz thread which mentioned him, though I don't think the original post that started the thread was referring to him: Where are those bi-gender student threads?


  11. #11
    Established BHUZzer gretchendances's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Girl... I live in portland and there isn't a male revue show in the area that hires choreographers for that much money. BE CAREFUL!


  12. #12
    Official BHUZzer hennayahenna's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Well, after asking him to email me video, I never heard from him again. It sounded fishy to me too and even if it was legit, I doubt I'D be able to pull it off. My dancing is just VERY American belly dance with little else. When he said, "Do we need a chaperone? My girlfriend could come." that's when I asked, "What exactly are you asking me to do?" And he went on about the stripping thing. I had a call like this once in Tokyo where I swear the guy was lying in bed watching porn at the same time.

    But yeah, I'm more interested in hearing what you guys think about this whole bellydance / strip fusion idea than about him, really. Would you do it? Have you done it for men or women or drag shows? I'm always kind of fascinated with where we draw the line. What is or isn't art?


  13. #13
    Official BHUZzer hennayahenna's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Quote Originally Posted by gretchendances View Post
    Girl... I live in portland and there isn't a male revue show in the area that hires choreographers for that much money. BE CAREFUL!
    Hey Gretchen, I think we met at the La Dance Orientale competition, right? You are still in town, I take it!


  14. #14
    Master BHUZzer danielabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    This sounds suspiciously like the "I wanna wear a skirt to class" guy that used to call belly dancers to say he was going to be visiting the area and wanted to drop in on a class while there. Oh, and he wanted to wear a skirt to class, would that be okay? And what would the other students think if he showed up wearing a skirt? And maybe the teacher could spend an hour teaching him how to apply makeup before class starts? That one called me twice, once while I lived in California and a year or so later after I moved to Iowa.

    Here's a thread on tribe.net about him: The "I wanna wear a skirt to class" guy - Belly Dancing - the Shira.net Tribe - tribe.net

    And here's an old bhuz thread which mentioned him, though I don't think the original post that started the thread was referring to him: Where are those bi-gender student threads?
    That's exactly who I thought of too. Skirt guy used to call me and the dance studios I teach in all the time. Ugh, gross.


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