July 12, 2012

12 Months in a Year….So Why are Workshops a Week Apart from One Another?

Belly dance workshops|Orlando Belly dancer Call To Action

Bellydance Workshop ProblemsI hope this does not cause too much of a stir but as an Orlando belly dancer I know if I am feeling this discomfort then others might too… The belly dance community is growing stronger and becoming more popular offering more opportunities for events and workshops where this art form can be enjoyed by the masses. On this point I commend the large increase of workshops becoming available. but with this, a slew of Bellydance Workshop Problems have also come about.

With soooo many new belly dance events springing up and SOME promoters not working with other event hosts, there is a big discord on workshop dates. As a dancer and regular attendee of events/workshops this creates a stressful issue.

Belly Dance Workshop Problems


For example: say I know my favorite dancer is coming for a workshop in May, then my second favorite is coming two weeks later at another event, and then there is a competition/workshop weekend the week after, there is a big problem here! Why? Because of this:
A: These workshops all cost money, and being so close together the majority of dancers will probably have to pick and choose and not be able to attend one of their favorites workshops.

B: There is not enough time to prepare. Let’s say you are invited to dance at all 3, you are expected to put on a fabulous performance for all three and sometimes with life, it gets a bit too busy some seasons to properly prepare for all.

C: It is a bad example for the belly dance community when event sponsors get negatively competitive with each other instead of working together. If they can work together and set appropriate dates that don’t step on each others toes, we would all win.

This is a business I know and I bow down to the event hosts who put these events on because it is a TON of work but realize you will gain more if students have enough time to recuperate cash flow in between and then they do not have to sacrifice more than they need to. Also, it strengthens the community 10 fold when you can get a long 🙂

Honestly having a ton of workshop options is a blessing, but please hear our cries


  •  we WANT you to get along
  •  we want workshops to be scheduled with enough time apart to recuperate
  •  we want your amazing festivals and instructors to have a good turn out
  •  we want for the big events to continue for the long haul and not wither away
  •  we want to put on amazing shows for each
  •  we want to see our friends be able to come with us to these workshops.

Ok that is my rant, love belly dance, appreciate all the hard work form sponsors but please, let’s work together and put on belly dance workshops and events without the extra stress! No one wants to go through Bellydance Workshop Problems.

On another note, if you are an event host and would like for me to come to your well established and respected belly dance festival to teach workshops. Please visit my belly dance workshops page to get some of my latest workshop topics and contact information.

Love ya! From your Orlando belly dancer Jennifer 🙂

4 Comments on “12 Months in a Year….So Why are Workshops a Week Apart from One Another?

A. F.
July 13, 2012 at 1:32 am

I feel your pain Jennifer. As an event host for 12 years who announces our yearly event a year in advance, I have tried to work around other, newer promoters. We desire to make it easy for the community to want to attend and afford to join programs we produce. Unfortunately we have had to give up on moving to accommodate others when other or newer sponsors do not look to see what events have continuously gone on reliably for years.
By the same token, we all live in america which is the land of free enterprise and others have the right to make a living. Unfortunately in many cases, the talent trues to dictate when a workshop occurs and many times a sponsor succumbs and all the consequences are not taken into consideration. We do and have tried to take all the factors into consideration. It is every bit as frustrating to us when we see you have to choose, especially when that choice is not easy.
In this day and age, when many have lost their means of making a living or have been reduced to nothing as companies are “streamlining”, sometimes people try anything as a way to try to make a living without taking into consideration what impact it has on the art and how the business and the art is seen by students, newcomers and the public. Unfortunately, so many factors make it hard to say what is right and what is wrong, but our wish is that attendees choose carefully and fellow sponsors ethically consider how to move forward when they decide to have an event.

July 18, 2012 at 2:26 am

I feel your pain too…
A few years back now – I sponsored a weekend of workshops, w/ the local BD community all being aware of it (as was my first event – I advertized and promoted it locally/regionally only), had a fairly good registration when suddenly a dancer longer established here in our little corner of the world plans to hold ‘another workshop weekend’ THE WEEK JUST PRIOR TO MY EVENT. I started getting refund requests (people saying they were sorry – but just found out that Instructor X was having an event and had better lineup of workshop teachers than I did).

At this point in time – Instructor X seems to be holding an event every other month or so…
So if I happen to want to sponsor a workshop series or event again – I will always be stepping on toes, and with my being the lesser known/established may find it a rough road.
I have had dealings with Instructor X with regards to swooping in and stealing gigs (the first one of which she helped me write a proposal/contract for – then went in and underbid me). She has tried to woo students away from my classes into hers (for me this is a very personal matter because Instructor X had been one of MY earlier instructors, and she mentored me for a year before I started teaching). I am not as active in our LOCAL BD community as I once was or could be because of this person.

July 18, 2012 at 4:03 am

Thank you so much for posting this and do not give up! Seems newer event promoters sometimes do not know, or ignore the ethics that need to be maintained with this subject. Sigh…one step at a time. Thank you!

July 18, 2012 at 4:05 am

oh my Chandra! That sounds terrible but hopefully with time you two can work this mess out. I commend you for being aware of the events in your community and wanting to place yours at a time that did not step on anyone toes. Unfortunately situations like your do happen, and this is where with time, hard work, and communication and ethics will lead to change. I wish you the best!


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