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  1. #1
    Official BHUZzer marsbar's Avatar
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    Performing for Two "Agents"...

    I've got a dilemma that needs to be sorted ASAP. I don't advertise myself and don't get gigs on my own unless it's a friend-refers-a-friend sort of thing. My dance studio that I've been learning at for the past 4+ years handles all of my and several other dancers' gigs. We don't have a contract or anything so it's all somewhat informal but I'm very good friends with the studio owner who's also my teacher and mentor.

    A couple of weeks ago, we've noticed that one of our dancers was performing with another group of dancers. They do a variety of dance shows and that includes belly dance but from what I've seen, they seem to be heavily based in commercial dance (jazz, hip hop) and they don't have any real background in belly dancing. I've seen a few videos of their belly dance choreographies and it was basically your average good jazz/hip-hop dancer doing "belly dance" moves. I'm sure all of you get what I'm trying to say.

    I know this probably isn't being advertised as belly dance but wearing a hipscarf and no pants in your showreel? Really? Not sure what they're trying to do there...



    Anyway, one of the ladies called me and wanted me to perform at a gig with..."about 70 Pakistani guys" at a local Lebanese restaurant. I politely declined then she asked me to send her pictures and video reels and if I did any other form of dance. I sent her an email to ask her for more information about her agency first and never got a reply. Then a few minutes ago she sent me a message asking to set up a meeting.


  2. #2
    Official BHUZzer marsbar's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    Continued.


    So my dilemma is this...it'd be nice to get more gigs (not with 70 men in a restaurant though) and it'll also be really nice to show the public what real belly dancing is all about. Since they advertise themselves as being an all expat group (appealing to Thais...for some reason Thais immediately think that if you're foreign, you must be an amazing dancer and will contact you for gigs) they get more high-end jobs (fashion shows, talk shows) than we do at the studio and that's also tempting. But I'm feeling a bit wary of how they seem to be a lot more sexual than what I'd be comfortable with (bring on the sexy in belly dancing...not the sensual side or the connection with the music or the cultural aspects) and the fact that they think taking on an all-men gig is okay.

    I know we do not owe our dance studios our loyalty and there's no contract but my teacher who's also a good friend will be upset if I started working with this team. I've taken on gigs on my own before when people have contacted me personally and that's not a problem but this group is straight up our competitor. She constantly tells us that it's okay if we want to go out and work somewhere else but to talk to her about it first. She's not saying anything much but I know for a fact that she's upset that one of the girls is working with them.

    My gut tells me to say no to the other team but I can't come up with a concrete reason to say why I can't work with them that will be polite and professional. Any insights?


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Callistaangel's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    eeepers...those bellydance outfits made me shudder.
    sometimes no amount of money is worth selling yourself into stuff you dont believe.

    just be nice n simple if you dont want to do it. thank you im flattered but I dont think this would be a right fit at this time for me or something along those lines.


  4. #4
    I could get used to this! kellybellydances's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    I agree with Callista; make your declination a simple polite refusal> My boss says "Your friends don't want to hear excuses and your enemies probably won't believe them anyhow
    Go with your gut! The belly knows
    Good luck!


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer wigglewhiz's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    Agree with the above - just a straightforward "Thank you so much, but I'm not taking on any etra agency contracts right now".

    Or alternatively: "No thanks, I wear pants or a skirt to all of my family and strictly not-men-only gigs, so... I don't think this is gonna work for me. KTHNXBAI!"


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer emma-bessa's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    Quote Originally Posted by wigglewhiz View Post
    Agree with the above - just a straightforward "Thank you so much, but I'm not taking on any etra agency contracts right now".

    Or alternatively: "No thanks, I wear pants or a skirt to all of my family and strictly not-men-only gigs, so... I don't think this is gonna work for me. KTHNXBAI!"





  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    I'm all for information, myself. If you think there is a reasonable chance that these folks want to promote the kind of dancing you want to do, and if you and your teacher can come to terms with this (it sounds like that is important to you) then go for the interview. And don't agree to anything until you've thought it out and written it down for signature.

    My concern is that you have NOT been out hustling on your own and have no personal in-your-face experience with all the weird stuff some customers - and potential customers - do try to pull. If the promoters are NOT efficiently isolating the dancers from the customers (no mingling with customers, sitting at the bar, hostessing) AND providing a strong presence at the venue (either a strong lead dancer or escort) then your new endeavor could turn into a nightmare.


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer AngelicaDances's Avatar
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    Re: Performing for Two "Agents"...

    Sawadee Ka Marsbar!

    What I would do is visit the studio and ask to see what kind of belly dance numbers they would like you to be apart of. If it looks anything like the above video, you can give them a short performance (in a real costume, perhaps? :) to show them what a more typical routine really looks like. If this is something they are interested in you can start to discuss how you can work together, rather than just work for them. I know there aren't a lot of opportunities in Thailand so I would make the extra effort to see if improvements can be made before walking away completely. Of course and like the others have said, speak with your teacher about all of this as well.

    Chok Di Ka!! xox


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