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Thread: Performing in Restaurants




  1. #1
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Performing in Restaurants

    Okey dokey, I have got a whole bunch of questions but I'm going to try to make this small, hehehe I am interested in starting to perform in restaurants weekly and I would like to know everything there is to know and expect from this!
    First of all,
    How do I go about looking for a job doing this?
    -are there going to be adds?
    -places to avoid?
    -an audition
    What do they expect of me?
    -paper thin? because I am nooo where near that, I'm not fat but I'm not a Victoria's Secret model
    -costuming?
    -does the costuming have to change weekly?
    -props? do they have preferences?
    Pay?
    -how much should I be expecting? I live in Florida if that helps, I'm new to this so I don't want to get ripped off
    -tips?
    Set?
    -how long?
    -what should it include?
    -do they provide the music?
    -If i provide the music, how many times do I need to change up my combinations
    I have a lot more questions but please just tell me your best advice!


  2. #2
    Master BHUZzer beafarhana's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Gee, this all sounds a bit "please do my homework for me".

    Also tl:dr

    Do a bit of searching around here before putting all your questions. Most, if not all, of these have been covered at great length, somewhere here.


  3. #3
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by beafarhana View Post
    Gee, this all sounds a bit "please do my homework for me".

    Also tl:dr

    Do a bit of searching around here before putting all your questions. Most, if not all, of these have been covered at great length, somewhere here.
    I'm sorry if this came across wrong. I have done research but I am also looking on here to get more information from people with more experience than I have.


  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer beafarhana's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    You've posted a big long shopping list of questions, but as I've said, these are topics that recur here time after time after time after time. Basically you're asking someone to take their valuable bhuzzing time to tell you stuff that is already here.

    Try searching.

    Use the search term "Restaurant".

    You will find all these answers.


  5. #5
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by beafarhana View Post
    You've posted a big long shopping list of questions, but as I've said, these are topics that recur here time after time after time after time. Basically you're asking someone to take their valuable bhuzzing time to tell you stuff that is already here.

    Try searching.

    Use the search term "Restaurant".

    You will find all these answers.
    I understand and I was doing that but there were still several things I couldn't find. I was searching here as well as other bellydance forums a google. I wasn't trying to bother anyone, I apologize. It was after I looked it up and still had unanswered questions that I posted.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Almost all of these questions depend on your area and what the proprietors of the local establishments want. There probably will not be want ads in the local paper or Monster.com. Some of the jobs are obtained by word of mouth. Some dancers go to the manager and ask for a tryout. I'd be leery of Craigslist, but anything's possible there.

    This is the most quoted rates page: Belly Dancer Rates
    These are some things to watch for: Top 20 Club Cliches

    Pretty much everything else is manager's choice.


  7. #7
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    Almost all of these questions depend on your area and what the proprietors of the local establishments want. There probably will not be want ads in the local paper or Monster.com. Some of the jobs are obtained by word of mouth. Some dancers go to the manager and ask for a tryout. I'd be leery of Craigslist, but anything's possible there.

    This is the most quoted rates page: Belly Dancer Rates
    These are some things to watch for: Top 20 Club Cliches

    Pretty much everything else is manager's choice.
    Thank you very much :-)


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer mathkitty's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Best place to start is by talking to dancers in your area who perform in restaurants. They should be able to answer most of your questions and possibly help you set up an audition.


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    I am going to answer some of your questions with "It Depends" because it all does depend on the venue and the owner. There is no one size fits all answer. I would also suggest going and talking to your teacher and to house dancers.


    How do I go about looking for a job doing this?
    -are there going to be adds? Probably not
    -places to avoid? talk to your local dancers
    -an audition It depends. If so, only audition when the venue is closed or if you are being paid while it's open
    What do they expect of me?
    -paper thin? because I am nooo where near that, I'm not fat but I'm not a Victoria's Secret model Once again, it depends on the venue / owner
    -costuming? Professional level. For some venues you need to have two or more a night. And if you are dancing several night, several costumes.
    -does the costuming have to change weekly? See above
    -props? do they have preferences? Depends on the venue. remember, many are small, so tailor your props to the venue
    Pay?
    -how much should I be expecting? I live in Florida if that helps, I'm new to this so I don't want to get ripped off Once again, go talk to your teachers and other dancers. Many are very open about what to expect.
    -tips? Talk to the owners about their entertainment license. Tips are pretty standard, but how you accept them can be dictated by licensing.
    Set?
    -how long? depends on the venue. Here in LA we generally do 20 mins
    -what should it include? depends on the venue
    -do they provide the music? hardly ever
    -If i provide the music, how many times do I need to change up my combinations frequently

    Now that I have answered those questions, I have some for you: how long have you been dancing?
    have you spoken to your teacher about your desire to dance in restaurants?
    How many restaurant show have you been to?
    Have you taken time to talk to local dancers who are working at the local restaurants?
    Have you started to network with the house dancers?
    So you have sufficient music, costumes, etc to get started?

    It sounds to me as if you have little experience in this genre. It might beneifit you to take yourself out to dinner one night and go talk to the house dancer. You might want to call a day or three ahead of time and ask what night is slow and would she be open to talking to you about what being a restaurant dancer entails. The good and the bad. remember to ask about what skills are needed besides dancing. You might be surprised.

    I am not saying this to discourage you, but to help you access whether you are ready to pursue this or not. Or if in reality you want to. many people find that it's not all it's cracked up to be.

    {{{HUGS}}}


  10. #10
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by mathkitty View Post
    Best place to start is by talking to dancers in your area who perform in restaurants. They should be able to answer most of your questions and possibly help you set up an audition.
    Awesome! Thanks!


  11. #11
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by tahiradancer View Post
    Now that I have answered those questions, I have some for you: how long have you been dancing?
    have you spoken to your teacher about your desire to dance in restaurants?
    How many restaurant show have you been to?
    Have you taken time to talk to local dancers who are working at the local restaurants?
    Have you started to network with the house dancers?
    So you have sufficient music, costumes, etc to get started?

    It sounds to me as if you have little experience in this genre. It might beneifit you to take yourself out to dinner one night and go talk to the house dancer. You might want to call a day or three ahead of time and ask what night is slow and would she be open to talking to you about what being a restaurant dancer entails. The good and the bad. remember to ask about what skills are needed besides dancing. You might be surprised.

    I am not saying this to discourage you, but to help you access whether you are ready to pursue this or not. Or if in reality you want to. many people find that it's not all it's cracked up to be.

    {{{HUGS}}}
    how long have you been dancing? I have been dancing for 8, bellydancing for a little over 6
    have you spoken to your teacher about your desire to dance in restaurants? no, she is currently out of town and will be back in two weeks and I will definitely discuss it then
    How many restaurant show have you been to? Honestly, 1 which I would definitely like to attend more before I start. If i were to start dancing in restaurants it would be in a few months most likely
    Have you taken time to talk to local dancers who are working at the local restaurants? Yes, I have
    Have you started to network with the house dancers? Definitely
    So you have sufficient music, costumes, etc to get started? Yes, I do!
    And thank you very much for your answers! And thank you very much for being honest with me!


  12. #12
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Most of your questions have been reasonably well answered, but I want to add my advice. Don't go in cold, meaning, have your support network in place first. You will need somebody with experience in your area to turn to for advice. You will need the other dancers in your area to communicate with to be a success. If you have them, you will hopefully never need us. And that is how it should be.


  13. #13
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    What Shems and Tahira both said, and 20 Club Cliches is a MUST read.

    Restaurant work is not always easy, nor is it really glamorous. In this economy and in a supersaturated belly dance market like Florida (I'm to the north of you in the Space Coast area), a lot of restaurant owners know that they can shop around for the best deal and get their pick from a large pool of dancers.

    That said, there ARE good restaurant and club venues out there, and after solemnly vowing that I'd never do restaurant work again, I've found myself in a regular venue I LOVE. The owners pay me well, promote my shows, give me full creative license to do whatever I want as long as the crowd loves it, and graciously appreciate everything I do. I'm actually getting my own following there, and that alone is quite rewarding.

    But need I stress any further that those venues are very few and far between? Horror stories abound on Bhuz and Facebook. I can share some, myself. This is why you will need a support system and perhaps, some personalized coaching from a mentor or trusted friend. From my very first public performance, my earlier teachers made sure I had a good grasp on local going rates, basic professional protocol, how to structure sets for different types of audiences, and how to entertain a crowd. If you're not familiar with the in's and out's of restaurant work, you may want to ask your teacher if you can tag along with her to her gigs as an apprentice of sorts. Or, as others mentioned, pop in on a slow night and chat with the house dancer.

    None of us want to be Debbie Downers here, but it's WAY too easy to make yourself into a doormat if you go into restaurant work without a master plan or at least a bit of guidance. You are not alone!
    hollyraqxanc, la_soraya and Karnak like this.


  14. #14
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by BellydanceByDeborah View Post
    how long have you been dancing? I have been dancing for 8, bellydancing for a little over 6
    ....
    6 Years? or 6 Months?


  15. #15
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by SamiraShuruk View Post
    6 Years? or 6 Months?
    Oh my gosh! Years! Lol I can't believe I didn't write that
    SamiraShuruk likes this.


  16. #16
    I could get used to this! BellydanceByDeborah's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    What Shems and Tahira both said, and 20 Club Cliches is a MUST read.

    Restaurant work is not always easy, nor is it really glamorous. In this economy and in a supersaturated belly dance market like Florida (I'm to the north of you in the Space Coast area), a lot of restaurant owners know that they can shop around for the best deal and get their pick from a large pool of dancers.

    That said, there ARE good restaurant and club venues out there, and after solemnly vowing that I'd never do restaurant work again, I've found myself in a regular venue I LOVE. The owners pay me well, promote my shows, give me full creative license to do whatever I want as long as the crowd loves it, and graciously appreciate everything I do. I'm actually getting my own following there, and that alone is quite rewarding.

    But need I stress any further that those venues are very few and far between? Horror stories abound on Bhuz and Facebook. I can share some, myself. This is why you will need a support system and perhaps, some personalized coaching from a mentor or trusted friend. From my very first public performance, my earlier teachers made sure I had a good grasp on local going rates, basic professional protocol, how to structure sets for different types of audiences, and how to entertain a crowd. If you're not familiar with the in's and out's of restaurant work, you may want to ask your teacher if you can tag along with her to her gigs as an apprentice of sorts. Or, as others mentioned, pop in on a slow night and chat with the house dancer.

    None of us want to be Debbie Downers here, but it's WAY too easy to make yourself into a doormat if you go into restaurant work without a master plan or at least a bit of guidance. You are not alone!
    Thank you so much for all of that, I've heard a lot of horror stories and then I've heard wonderful things like you have stated above. I want the honest truth and I know I have heard from some local dancers some really bad things, it scares me but I wanted to post this to see what to really expect. Your answer was extremely helpful!


  17. #17
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Performing in Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by SamiraShuruk View Post
    6 Years? or 6 Months?
    Quote Originally Posted by BellydanceByDeborah View Post
    Oh my gosh! Years! Lol I can't believe I didn't write that
    lol... it was a legitimate and well intended question. :)
    One of my main sayings about going pro is "you need to have the skill and standards to get and keep gigs at or above your local going rate in order to be a professional level dancer who contributes to the dance."

    Isn't Omaris in your area? They do shows etc sometimes and I'm pretty sure have regular gigs. It's always good to friendly network with those near you because you want to keep your rates up, and you want to support others, not step on toes.


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