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  1. #1
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Oops, I did it again! I derailed another thread.

    But I want to explore the cultural intricacies of tipping. Arab audiences, in my experience, seem to go for money showers. Body tipping seems more popular among Turks, and I recently learned that this is an Albanian custom, as well. And Americans....well....Americans sometimes don't even realize that tipping is an option!

    How you accept tips is a personal choice, but I thought it might be interesting and helpful to break down tipping methods by culture.

    What have you observed?


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer JasmineRose's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    The Arabs that have tipped me almost always do the money shower, except for this granny who stuffed it right in the bra strap and found it hilarious. Actually I can't lie I did too....

    Most American men I have encountered either look embarrassed and hand it to me or tip me in my belt. Haven't had a lot of issues with them being touchy feely or lewd.

    I had 2 guys from South Africa come in and hand me a dollar and ask if they could "touch a little bit." Grabbed the dollar gave the look of death and didn't dance again till they left the restaurant-doubt this is cultural though.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer JasmineRose's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    I have found that as far as tipping respectfully, it always the Middle Easterners (un PC?) who are the most respectful.


  4. #4
    I could get used to this! Sahari's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    I'm not sure if Tipping has a tradition by culture...or is it just a personal one? Personal choice doesn’t only apply as to how one accepts a tip but also how one gives it. Not everyone in a culture is going to see it the same way...some things are not set on stone... However, we know there are always exceptions to the rule and that there is obviously a “standard”….It would be great to have people from a particular culture give their opinion on how it is truly view in their country…and since I’m a Latina I can talk about how tipping is “mainly” viewed in mine…
    Latino’s are known for their music and love to dance….most of us are born dancing…rhythms such as Merengue, Bachata and Salsa to name a few have always been an eminent part of my life… also, growing up in NYC gave me the chance to learn about other cultures as well…and have friends from all over the world…but never had I seen dancers in the professional or social scene getting “tipped”( even less “body tipped”)…until I came across bellydance…I have to admit at first I was very confused by it and took me a while to learn how and why this came to be in our art form. In my culture tipping a dancer, particularly in the body is not common at all and if it is…it is only in a “Cabaret” (the Strip club) if you know what I mean…he he...

    This also made me wonder - What other kind of dance allows body tipping? I’ve personally never seeing a Flamenco, Indian, Tango, Latin, Ballet, Jazz, Ballroom or Modern dancer being tipped…and to be honest the only time I did see it, the dancer was using a basket that was placed near the stage…it was a Flamenco couple dancer in Orlando, FL...which I thought was really an exception ;)
    Last edited by Sahari; 10-28-2009 at 01:18 PM.


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    My guess is that tipping is less common in ballet, modern, etc. because those are often staged dances. I'm sure opera singers and concert pianists don't get tipped, either. The physical distance of the stage would make tipping (as we know it) awkward, if not impossible.

    I'm not sure what the historical origins of tipping are (jeez, I'm on a roll - that would be a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff!), but belly dancers are in a unique situation because our dance is often performed at social functions and in tight quarters. Audience interaction becomes a central focus when you're dancing in the same space where your spectators are eating, mingling and partying!

    I think I remember an Indian dancer saying in a previous thread that her tips were given to her in a check after she performed? But you can absolutely correct me if I'm making that up


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Ah, here it is:

    http://www.bhuz.com/forum/belly-danc...y-tipping.html

    Some thoughts on the history of body tipping


  7. #7
    I could get used to this! Sahari's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    My guess is that tipping is less common in ballet, modern, etc. because those are often staged dances. I'm sure opera singers and concert pianists don't get tipped, either. The physical distance of the stage would make tipping (as we know it) awkward, if not impossible.

    I'm not sure what the historical origins of tipping are (jeez, I'm on a roll - that would be a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff!), but belly dancers are in a unique situation because our dance is often performed at social functions and in tight quarters. Audience interaction becomes a central focus when you're dancing in the same space where your spectators are eating, mingling and partying!

    I think I remember an Indian dancer saying in a previous thread that her tips were given to her in a check after she performed? But you can absolutely correct me if I'm making that up

    Yes, that may apply to those dances, but what about those consider more of a "cultural" dance...like Latin (Merengue, Salsa, Tango, Cumbia, Etc...), Flamenco, or African?...these dances are social dances as well...and I don't see much tipping happening there...
    She might be another expection...I've never seen an Indian Dancer (Classical or "Bollywood" style) being tipped...now, adding it to the check is totally another level...thought we were focusing on the more personal way of tipping such as a basket/jar or body tipping ..c::


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer badriya_al_ahmar's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post

    I'm not sure what the historical origins of tipping are (jeez, I'm on a roll - that would be a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff!), but belly dancers are in a unique situation because our dance is often performed at social functions and in tight quarters.
    That's a key point not just because of the close quarters but also because the tippers are making a statement about themselves to the other people at the event--it's not just about showing the dancer that you appreciate her, it's also showing off to everybody else how wealthy and generous you are.

    I've seen body-tipping in Greek places, too. I have heard that in ye olden days that Greek audience members would lick dollar bills and stick them to the dancer's forehead or upper chest


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by badriya_al_ahmar View Post
    That's a key point not just because of the close quarters but also because the tippers are making a statement about themselves to the other people at the event--it's not just about showing the dancer that you appreciate her, it's also showing off to everybody else how wealthy and generous you are.
    Yes. That's why it's always struck me as sorta rude to decline a tip. I did this once as a baby-dancer and my teacher scolded me. Her reasoning was that the guy was trying to show generosity and appreciation, and I had just made myself appear arrogant. Now, in hindsight, I can clearly see where my refusing a tip could have been perceived as an insult.

    Happily, I've never had a sticky bill stuck to my forehead. Now THAT would freak me out. Ewwww!


  10. #10
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahari View Post
    Yes, that may apply to those dances, but what about those consider more of a "cultural" dance...like Latin (Merengue, Salsa, Tango, Cumbia, Etc...), Flamenco, or African?...these dances are social dances as well...and I don't see much tipping happening there...
    But none of those dances come from Arab or Mediterranean cultures. It's not as simple as lumping everything that's "non-Western" into the category of "cultural" or "ethnic" dance forms. The Middle East has different ideals about generosity, appreciation and prestige than Latino, Spanish, Polynesian or African culture. Heck, even within the Middle East, there are tons of regional variations! That's why I thought it would be cool to start this thread and explore the differences from country to country, along with the social implications.


  11. #11
    I could get used to this! Sahari's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    I thought we were talking about Cultures in general…not being specific to Arab/Mediterranean...just on how tipping dancers in general is perceived in different places around the world...uhmmm, not sure on how their ideals differ, just because they don't tip doesn't mean there is much or less appreciation for a dance...and also within Latin America there are tons of variations, but there are still some things that are "standard"...I don’t think is as simple as: middle eastern + tipping= generosity/appreciation ;)


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    All I wanted was to see which tipping methods are favored, culture by culture, vis-a-vis our own dance form. So, in other words, I thought it might be helpful to know what one might expect when dancing for a Greek crowd, vs. a Syrian audience, vs. Israelis. Granted, there's no such thing as a quick-and-dirty breakdown, but there are general trends.

    As for whether or not other dance forms accept tips, I kinda wanted to keep this discussion primarily relevant to Middle Eastern dance, lest we stray wayyyyyy off topic! But it's not like threads don't take on a life of their own around here!
    Last edited by SatinWorship19; 10-28-2009 at 03:03 PM.


  13. #13
    I could get used to this! Sahari's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    All I wanted was to see which tipping methods are favored, culture by culture, vis-a-vis our own dance form. So, in other words, I thought it might be helpful to know what one might expect when dancing for a Greek crowd, vs. a Syrian audience, vs. Israelis. Granted, there's no such thing as a quick-and-dirty breakdown, but there are general trends.

    As for whether or not other dance forms accept tips, I kinda wanted to keep this discussion primarily relevant to Middle Eastern dance, lest we stray wayyyyyy off topic! But it's not like threads don't take on a life of their own around here!
    I guess I should have derailed the derailed thread ..l;,..l;,

    Back to real life now...work! It's almost time


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Who knows, maybe it might be fun to derail it even more. I've generated spinoffs that are 3 topics removed from one conversation, all in one day. It might be interesting to see what goes on in other dance forms


  15. #15
    Advanced BHUZzer toria_dances's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    [QUOTE=Sahari;535485]Yes, that may apply to those dances, but what about those consider more of a "cultural" dance...like Latin (Merengue, Salsa, Tango, Cumbia, Etc...), Flamenco, or African?...these dances are social dances as well...and I don't see much tipping happening there...
    QUOTE]

    have you ever seen African dance done in a social setting? I have seen a lot of money shower tipping done in African dance. I think the money shower thing is just an African tradition.


  16. #16
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by toria_dances View Post
    have you ever seen African dance done in a social setting? I have seen a lot of money shower tipping done in African dance. I think the money shower thing is just an African tradition.
    Wow, I've never seen this before!


  17. #17
    Advanced BHUZzer toria_dances's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    Wow, I've never seen this before!
    will i guess you have to ask you self if you have ever seen African dance in a social setting, like at a wedding,funeral or party?


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by toria_dances View Post
    will i guess you have to ask you self if you have ever seen African dance in a social setting, like at a wedding,funeral or party?
    I actually never have! I have to admit, I'm pretty ignorant in that area.


  19. #19
    Advanced BHUZzer toria_dances's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR-2d_gb6lM]YouTube - African Wedding Dance[/ame]
    around 3:15

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AmqgN7skcg&feature=fvw]YouTube - Uche & Soyingbe Surprise Nigerian Wedding dance[/ame]
    2:34

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYWVzcUtjJQ&feature=related]YouTube - African Dance - Yoruba Bata freestyle at Nigerian Wedding[/ame]
    in this clip you can see the guy in blue go up and stick the money on her back, I have been told that it is to stick the money to you sweat,

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qO_zWKk4pM&feature=related]YouTube - Igbo Wedding Reception[/ame]

    .59 money shower

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbVODTWgsSo&feature=related]YouTube - Okey and Onyi Anyanwu's wedding in MN[/ame]

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FULVSi6PUvM]YouTube - Nigerian's Spraying Money[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzmt2MUkOfw"]YouTube - Nigerian-American Wedding Reception Native(Nigerian)Dance[/ame]
    women tiping aroung 2:00

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfCtVFOKfE4&feature=related"]YouTube - Adejimi & Chante's Wedding Day Highlights[/ame]
    4:13

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8JqDo2c1xE"]YouTube - Bamako drummers and dancers, wedding party 2[/ame]
    (I think I see money on the ground, but at 1:02 -1:55 does that remind you of the whirling drivish and kahleegy? watch the lady at 2:27 wow!
    Last edited by toria_dances; 10-28-2009 at 06:00 PM.


  20. #20
    Mega BHUZzer SamarDahab's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    I was recently with some Arab friends (Egyptian, Lebanese and Iraqi) seeing a dancer perform. No one tipped her. So when I went to tip her, the Egyptian said that I shouldn't because she's not a stripper. I found this amusing since he knows I'm a dancer too so clearly I know she's not a stripper.


  21. #21
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahari View Post
    ...I've never seen an Indian Dancer (Classical or "Bollywood" style) being tipped...now, adding it to the check is totally another level...
    In Indian and Pakistani parties (with Indian dance - Bollywood Mujra style) tipping seems to be either really fantastic or non-existent. When they DO tip during the show however, it's almost ALWAYS money shower, often with a little "circle over the dancer's head with the money" before dropping it.
    I've had some clients even say that tipping is part of their "good luck" in the event- so if it's a first birthday or a wedding anniversary- tipping big is "good luck" for many more years. ..g.:
    With Indians and belly dance, tipping during the show is not quite as common in my experience but it happens. Money showers, costume tipping (rarely) and even a money necklace. People also often tip after just by handing money or paying extra at the end. Sometimes they are very generous.
    Arabs most often do money showers, but sometimes costume tip. All but once (in literally hundreds of shows) very respectful with the costume tipping...I handled it appropriately that one time. The guy felt awful and came up and apologized afterward (and handed me the $20). Remember too- each Arab country is different; different even from village to village in some areas...AND those raised mostly in America will see things different from those FOB. Some never even SAW a live belly dance show until they came here! They've seen it in movies and seen social dancing, but many have never seen a show live.
    Turks and Greeks costume tipping and showers. Turks also on the forehead. LOL. Persians- costume tipping most often in my experience.
    Americans will follow whatever example they see if it happens. This is why table tents or cards explaining can be so helpful. Americans frequently tip with payment as well as long as they know it's ok.
    What it boils down to- it while there will be some "typical" things in each culture- "they" are also all individuals- and will see things differently. What one Arab says will be different from another- and we need to understand the differences and similarities, be able to read people on the spot AND carry ourselves with dignity, no matter how we choose to accept tips.
    Last edited by SamiraShuruk; 10-28-2009 at 06:02 PM.


  22. #22
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by SamiraShuruk View Post
    and we need to understand the differences and similarities, be able to read people on the spot AND carry ourselves with dignity, no matter how we choose to accept tips.
    SO true.

    And Toria, those African clips were such a pleasure to watch! Thanks for sharing!


  23. #23
    Mega BHUZzer kashmir's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    New Zealand has a non-tipping culture full stop (if you are employed the assumption is you are being paid - a living wage - and that cost included in the goods and services being sold). Therefore we have no tipping for entertainers either.


  24. #24
    Master BHUZzer ozma's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Tipping isn’t part of Japanese culture. In the service industries here, the idea that someone should be rewarded for providing good, efficient service is considered somewhat in bad taste. Providing good, efficient, polite service is just what one is expected to do to keep the general level of civility on a daily basis. I’ve never seen any tipping in any of the performance or dance arts here.

    The exception is that street musicians and street performers do get tipped and it’s an orderly well organized scene. Japanese zoning laws seem notexistant, but there’s rules for who can perform where and when…and you probably have to give a cut to the yakuza. I have an ex who was beaten with metal pipes for playing dumb and not sharing his cut.

    Although it isn’t about tipping, I think this is related: active begging is rare, and it’s not that we don’t have homeless. Occasionally there is a place to put money, but even that is rarel. Only once in my time in Japan has anyone ever approached me for money.. He was a bi-lingual homeless man (so I think he was influenced by non-Japanese culture on this point) and he had a small booklet of haikus in Japanese and English he’d made so it would feel like more of an exchange than asking for money.

    The general public seems to assume that if I am working in a restaurant I am getting paid the sort of money that assumes I won’t need supplementing with tips (remember, you’re not tipping any one here, not even wait staff or taxis, except the street performers who obviously aren’t being paid to do what they are doing). Japanese friends are sometimes mildly surprised at how much I am paid, but they never assume the restaurant work is low paying or free.

    With belly dance in restaurants here a small section of the GP knows that there is sometime sort of tipping involved in the “exotic spectacle” they are watching. Me getting tipped requires someone to share the information with the class explicitly or implicitly. If I am body tipped in a polite way, others will usually follow, assuming it what one does. If whoever is tipping me is in the least bit obnoxious about it, other table tips won’t follow (perhaps because it is assumed that I am tolerating bad behavior to keep the general level of civility)…if I am tipped it is usually by: Turks, mixed groups of foreigners, parties of salarymen where one of the members has seen a belly dancer and has informed the others that this is what is done, eccentric older Japanese women who have traveled or taken some culture classes, or eccentric Japanese men who love bellydance and sometimes come alone to restaurants or bring a friend to share it with.

    The smallest bill here is 1,000 yen (about 10 USD nowadays).


  25. #25
    Master BHUZzer ozma's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    I never expect to be tipped but am happy when it happens.


    Recently if the customers are all Japanese, I’ve been getting tipped after I get changed…so it’s hard to know, even at the finale, if I’ve made tips. At the family place I dance in Saitama, Japanese customers have been asking the staff, while I get changed, if they can tip me. Sometimes they give the tip money when they pay their bill and ask the staff to give it to me.

    Last Saturday was slow. I danced for six older Japanese customers (five women and one shy man) I had no clue how much they were enjoying it (because audience response is alsocultural thing) but all the women were very happy to get up to dance with me towards the end…but when I came back through after getting changed they waved me over, one (in crazy Japanese lady wear…including a fuzzy red beret with a pompom) announced that she’d taken lessons once and knew about bellydance, they then shoved 5,000 yen at me and told me I was cute and that they’d be back.

    Tipping is rare but engaged in if people think it’s part of the “other” cultural experience they’ve been part of…and it’s random.


  26. #26
    Advanced BHUZzer Marianna's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Ozma, it is always very interesting to hear about the details of your life in Japan. I was always fascinated by the Japanese culture - it is so different, but I love it!


  27. #27
    Master BHUZzer ozma's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Marianna View Post
    Ozma, it is always very interesting to hear about the details of your life in Japan. I was always fascinated by the Japanese culture - it is so different, but I love it!
    Thanks. I don't often have a good gauge if what I am talking about is relevant or if I'm the "blah blah blah Japan blah blah Japan" girl at a party that everyone learns to avoid.

    After 8+ years here my first reaction is "It isn't so different" and then I have to remember how much reverse culture shock I get going home.

    So much of the scene Bhuz talks about is America based but yet foriegn to me. Usually home trips now involve seeing American dancers doing restaurant shows in restaurants with SPACE! (last year this involved three venues in Portland and I'm not sure how many in Seattle)...so I can experience what I've read about. Last year I got to share it with another currentlyTokyo based friend (Henna from Portland Oregon) as we both watched Jewels and thoughts "Lovely...and she can actually use traveling moves in the space given. Oooh, veil without worry! ooooooh!"

    Customers are usualy surprised to hear that I started bellydancing in Japan...but after you've decided to be a foriegner living abroad and using anotehr language...the other odd life choices seem small.
    Last edited by ozma; 10-29-2009 at 12:53 AM.


  28. #28
    Advanced BHUZzer Marianna's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    You should definitely start a thread about Japan - I would be your number one reader!
    when I was 16, I so loved Japanese culture (especially the Samurai - era) that I read Shogun a 100 times (when I came to the US, I brought the books, and still have them after 17 years), I even learned some Japanese words / phrases (about 20-30 of them) which I still remember. So go on, start a thread! :)

    sorry,
    thread derailing over.


  29. #29
    Master BHUZzer ozma's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Marianna View Post
    You should definitely start a thread about Japan - I would be your number one reader!
    when I was 16, I so loved Japanese culture (especially the Samurai - era) that I read Shogun a 100 times (when I came to the US, I brought the books, and still have them after 17 years), I even learned some Japanese words / phrases (about 20-30 of them) which I still remember. So go on, start a thread! :)

    sorry,
    thread derailing over.
    I blog about my life over on live journal which often means I am talking about Japan over there. With a blog, I have no need to start cluttering Bhuz with Japan stuff..and I am always open to taking questions and expanding on them over there.

    Here are some entries on "modern Japan" Starting with me remembering the homeless man with the booklet.

    Buggirl's Increasingly Strange Tokyo Tales...
    Buggirl's Increasingly Strange Tokyo Tales...


  30. #30
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Spinoff: Tipping Traditions By Culture

    Quote Originally Posted by ozma View Post

    After 8+ years here my first reaction is "It isn't so different" and then I have to remember how much reverse culture shock I get going home.
    LOL! I have a friend who is half Chinese, half Scottish and grew up between Hong Kong and Melbourne, got her MBA at UCLA. She now lives in Hong Kong, although she comes to the States several weeks a year to do consulting work. She is always shocked at how Chinese she is when she is here, and how Western she feels when she is there.



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