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Celebration Hafla!

Mark your calendars for the “Celebration Hafla” that Jennifer is hosting! The event is open to the general public and is to give gratitude to the
amazing people who have supported Jennifer and her passion for bellydance. Ten amazing dancers will be featured who have exemplified what it means to be true bellydance sisters in a sometimes dramatic industry. Jennifer Orlando Belly Dancer

Who
:
Hosted by Professional Bellydancer Jennifer of Orlando and featuring ten surprise dancers 

When: May 22nd, 2011 (Sunday)

Time: Act I 5:30pm-6:10pm
          Intermission with games and raffle
         Act II 6:30PM-7:10PM

Where: Takis greek & Italian Restaurant
13761 US HWY 441. Lady Lake, FL 32519

ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER OF SEATS ARE AVAILABLE!
Tickets are on sale right now through PRE-ORDER ONLY.
Tickets are $5 each and children under 10 yrs of age are free.
Please contact Jennifer to order your tickets and reserve your seat.

Tel: (407) 247-1097  
E-mail: jennifer@bellydancebyJennifer.com
Join our Facebook page: Celebration Hafla

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What Goes Into a Show?

Here is the whole breakdown of why I and other belly dancers in Orlando, charge what we do. After examining this list it should become very apparent why this is a specialty type of service and the key differentiators between a professional such as myself and non-professionals. The dancing you see in a performance is the fun part, but the behind the scenes work that is put into producing a show is quite a different story:
  • Gas– It just keeps going higher doesn’t it?
  • Car Maintenance– My car is one of my most important assets, if it is not up to shape I cannot drive anywhere! As a belly dancer I put in about 24,000 miles a year driving to all my venues and events.
  • Tolls– Those get higher every year as well.
  • “Renting” Costumes– All my costumes are high end Turkish designer duds or from my self-made line. All in all, that leads to big $$$$ being spent to make a big impression. Every wear of a costume depreciates its resale value (like a car). In fact we are  “renting” a costume every time we use it.
  • “Renting” Props– the same basic idea goes for props as it does costumes.
  • Custom Music Edits– Hello software! Music editing software costs money and so does every single song we must buy that is not easily available on popular music sites such as I-tunes. Many of the most amazing songs I use have taken months of research to find, and are in languages not familiar to me, so that is a part-time job in and of itself.
  • Custom CD– I never use the same cd twice! Every event is different and I make sure to custom tailor my cd’s to fit with the requests, and event type I am performing in. I would not play Shakira in a traditional Greek wedding party if you know what I mean.
  • Education/Training– This is the one huge difference between professionals and non-professionals who call themselves “professional”. Non-pro’s have had minimal if no training in this beautiful art form and it is apparent in their skill set. The dance is the first and foremost matter of importance to become a professional. You can have a beautiful costume, but if you dance poorly, it will not compensate. Like Doctors, Lawyers, and other serious professionals, we spend hundreds if not thousands per year on workshops and training alone to ensure we stay on top of the trends and maintain our abilities. Just a one weekend intensive runs $300-$500! Looking at my schedule alone, you can already see that this takes up a big chunk of my time and earnings, much like college tuition would for a student.
  • Workshops With the Masters– I spend hundreds if not thousands every year learning from the belly dance masters at workshops held all around the Florida State. This is the top way to maintain technique and keep up with the trends. These are imperative to growing as an artist and making my shows better and better every year.
  • Photo-shoots– All those beautiful photos you see in our galleries, marketing, and business cards….let me tell you, those professional shots did not happen for free! Photography is an essential part of this business and lets you the client know what we look like NOW. Each costume change is an additional cost on top of the photographers fee (and we rotate costumes frequently). Overall each professional photo-shoot runs $450-$600. Take that with the fact that we professionals do a photo-shoot once to twice minimum per year and you will see how quickly the numbers add up.
  • Business Cards– an essential part of any business.
  • Website– between design, encoding, maintenance, renewals, and etc…that’s $$.
  • Advertising/Marketing I have to make sure I reach out and sustain my business
  • Makeup– performance makeup costs considerably more than normal everyday wear makeup and the fact that it has to be sweat proof also adds a nice chunk to the bill.
  • Jewelry– the icing on the cake, one looks to bare without it.
  • Seamstress– Dancing full time causes constant weight shifts, and seamstresses are pricey. This is the only way to ensure though that our costumes stay on securely and do not detract from the show.
  • Chiropractor– In my particular style, sharp movements are commonly utilized, and over time causes much wear and problems in the back and leg areas. Visiting a chiropractor at least once a month is essential to my professional health.
  • Hair Upkeep– One might say “that’s not a necessary expense” but boy that couldn’t be more wrong! Could you imagine me coming to a venue looking great head to toe but with a frizzy hairdo? Keeping my VERY long hair clean, neat, and healthy is a process, and takes thousands of hours of my time per year.
  • Expensive Fuels for Fire Performances– These fuels are becoming more popular as more fire performers are appearing, and so the price has continuously gone higher and higher.
  • Performer’s InsuranceThis is an extremely important factor! This is my way of protecting myself and you in the event that some unforeseen circumstance causes an accident. This also is proof that I am knowledgeable and experienced in this craft.
  • Studio Rentals– If you want to take a class or workshop at a studio, rent must be paid to the owner by the hour and it is not cheap.
  • Cleaners (only way to really clean a costume) – Costumes (due to their rhinestones, exotic beads, and sequins) are not something you can just throw in the laundry with the rest of your clothes. Especially since these costumes usually cost between $500-$1000! The fabrics used often time trap odors so the use of a professional to steam clean of dry-clean your garment is a must in order to not ruin the beautiful detail work.
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A Lesson in Class

One of my biggest and most important goals as a professional belly dancer in Orlando has always been to display the beautiful art form of belly dance with the utmost class and respect. Often times the general public has not been exposed to a true trained and professional belly dance artist and so the misconstrued reputation of belly dance as some sort of strip tease has lingered. Middle Eastern dance is very family friendly and classy. Although it contains elements of sensuality, it was in no way developed to be erotic as pop culture has deemed it to be.

Salsa is salsa, burlesque is burlesque and ballet is ballet…each is a very different discipline. Fusion is a wonderful thing, but I am always asked by clients why some dancers are more eroticized than others and it is precisely due to the decisions of what they fuse together. A dancer with a strip aerobics background is VERY different from a belly dancer with classical or modern dance training. I hope that clients and audience members can take a critical eye and educate themselves to see the difference in order to make the right choices when hiring a professional for their events. If one is looking for a tasteful, family friendly belly dance artist, it is important to research the performer and ensure they have the style pallet you are looking for. It can make the difference between a poor/tacky display and an elegant and spectacular show.

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Welcome to Bellydance By Jennifer!

Hello everyone and welcome to my new website www.BellydancebyJennifer.com! After years of contemplation, I finally felt ready to design a site that would be user friendly and showcase my work.  The years 2006-2010 marked a turning point in my career as I worked to bring my career to new heights and expand my knowledge and skills. I finally felt ready to officially begin my own company Bellydance By Jennifer Inc. in 2011 and show not just Orlando, Florida but even my friends internationally, what I have been working so hard towards. I specialize in providing Orlando, Florida and beyond with tasteful high quality belly dance performances for weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and community events. I also provide beautiful and user friendly web design, as well as high end couture belly dance costumes.

Thank you for all who have supported me and made this site possible, and a special thanks to Maurix from Orange Pixel Designs who made my web design a reality. So now I implore you to please go ahead and explore the site, and your feedback is always welcome. Enjoy!

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Have You Seen It? “Sh*t Belly Dancers Say”….too funny!

For those of you who did not see this on Facebook or Bhuz, here is a little something I made with the help of my fellow friends. It is called “Sh*t Belly Dancers Say” (forgive the naughty word reference). This is actually inspired by last months huge “Sh*t Say” videos craze that scoured all over YouTube. It is super cute and funny! If you are not a belly dancer, no worries, there is some lines of text to help decipher a couple of things. 🙂 It gets better the more you watch I promise.

So enjoy and please share with your fellow belly dancers, friends, family, and anyone else who might get a good laugh from watching our quirky yet so true ways. Special thanks to Zana, Kristina Nazario,Lacey Sanchez, Najmah Nour, and Shawna for the help and input 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGtowhykA_E&feature=channel_video_title

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Belly Dance Documentary. Must See!

I posted this on my fan-page already but I think this is something everyone should see. It is a belly dance documentary talking about the historical, cultural, and family roots of belly dance. I have always been a huge advocate of educating the gp about this dance as it truly it. Often times American TV can really tarnish the good name of belly dance and what these ladies are doing with this documentary is just another step in the right direction for us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and now watch this please 🙂 *Please note it starts at 17 seconds*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPgFTOnQR1E

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What NOT to Say When Hiring a Belly Dancer!

b2ap3_thumbnail_ignorance-with-belly-dancer.jpg

Last week this Orlando Belly dancer was on Facebook ,rummaging around, when my curiosity was sparked by a Youtube clip called “I Want to Hire a Belly Dancer”. I viewed it and oh my…kudos to the individuals that made it because it perfectly showcases the epitome of the ignorance that we dancers sometimes come across. I know that not everyone is a belly dance expert out there, and that is fine (that’s our job), but that by no means allows it to be right for individuals to act as if it is acceptable to ask us some very unacceptable things!

 

*Please note this is not directed to my fans, past clients, or friends…this is just a rant about some of the ignorant callers I have had in the past (I turned down performing at their gigs) and a hilarious video I came across that I think we belly dance lovers will enjoy!*

 

 

American cinema and the “cabaret shows” of the olden days definitely made a lasting and partially negative impression of the view of belly dancers and it has been difficult to shake the stereotype to say the least. NO… professional do not gyrate on the floor! NO… we do not jiggle our posteriors in men’s faces! No….I will not dance for free or for some cheap amount at your private event! No… I will not try and pick up your husband when you turn your back. No…I do not take off my clothes!

It is so frustrating when I get calls from strangers asking me to perform at an event where they will also have strippers, or where they want me to meet them at some hotel room (EEEEWWW but I seriously got calls like this). Come on Now!

With the advent of Youtube, belly dance websites, huge belly dance forums, belly dance superstars, even Wikipedia for goodness sakes …there is no reason that if you wanted to at least acquire the true facts about professional belly dancers that you would not be able to. My colleagues and I are working hard to change public perceptions (one person at a time). The stereotypes are getting real old, and there is a lot of really GOOD things happening by PROFESSIONAL belly dancers that should erase any feelings otherwise.

Yes…your children can dance with me. Yes, I only perform at family functions and corporate events. Yes…I have taken extensive training in this art form. Yes….I am in a relationship. Yes….I do this as a profession and it has been the best thing I ever did. Yes…I am smart (in fact I am working on two degrees) so do not speak to me as if I came from under a rock upon calling.

Ignorance happens that is fine, we have all been ignorant at one time or another (especially as little children). The questions we dancers sometimes get though are preposterous! You would not ask your lawyer or accountant these sorts of questions so do not do it with us! If you have a question try to look it up, call a dancer (but ask her in an appropriate manner please), or watch a historical documentary. Sometimes ignorance is NOT always bliss.

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Baladi Belly Dance and It’s Many Facets

The word “Baladi” often stirs up a plethora of emotions and connotations in the belly dance world. Many times it’s meaning is confused with so many other things and so I went searching for a great resource that would easily sum up what Baladi truly is and guess what? I found one! The Gilded Serpent is a great resource I check every time I am looking for answers to questions or researching about belly dance, so definitely book mark it if you haven’t done so already. I came across an article written by Hala Fauzi on Nov. 4, 2011 called “The Many Faces Of Baladi” which nicely sums up all the aspects of Baladi and even goes into some basic information about Melaya. I highly suggest it for anyone taking belly dance. It is important to know all the different styles that exist and educate ourselves on this dance that has such deep cultural roots. Hope you enjoy it and thank again to Gilded Serpent for always having such great articles.
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