Performances and Planning
Logistics and Special Requests
Are performances family friendly?
Absolutely. All I.H.W performances are family friendly- children are some of our best fans, and often like to get involved in the audience participation sections of the show.
When should I put the dancer?
Optimum time varies with each funcion, depending on formality, schedule, speakers/other events etc....However, we find that in general, single set shows and/or the main show of the evening work best between main course and dessert, and as an icebreaker to a dancefloor should you have one. The guests can enjoy the show, as they are not concentrating on a meal- or wondering when they can get to it! They also now know that it is 'ok' to get up and boogie.
Ambience performances and opening sets/performances usually fit nicely around socialising starts like disembarking points/ pre-dinner cocktails [ambience] or as guests enter the conference or dinner venue [formal show].
Zeffah wedding processions classically feature as the happy couple enter the reception venue. Should you have a special person of the day, it can also be nice to arrange a performance to focus on something they may be doing- arrival, speeches, cake cutting etc.
Once guests have swopped over to 'party' mode, a formal sit down show can seem superfluous and out of place, so we advise only nightclub and new year/special timed events or functions with a long programme to consider particularly late show starts.
Please note that if you require costume changes, breaks should be of 40 minutes duration.
I booked for 7pm. But you will be there at 5pm and wait, right? And it doesn't matter if we start at 8pm?
Your booked package is for the start time scheduled- and the time duration agreed to on the booking form, start to end. The performer will arrive 15 min before time, and leave directly after. As professionals, we do not require more preperation time then this for most performances. We understand that some large or formal functions do require performers to arrive much earlier. We are happy to accomodate this if you tell us at the time of quoting and booking. However, we cannot accomodate extended arrival times after booking. We also ask that you are considerate of the dancer's time. We understand that accidents happen, and do our best to accomodate time-slips when they occur. However, if she is booked for 10pm, that doesn't mean 10:30 or 11pm! You likely are not the only performance she has on her roster that day, and it causes chaos for everyone.
How many dancers should I hire?
This is up to you, your plan for your function and your budget. However, if your function is very large, you may consider hiring several dancers so that all guests can see easily and feel incorporated into the entertainment. For our corporate clients, we do advise that you consider 2 [or more] dancers. Whilst a solo show is a fantastic and enjoyable performance that will thrill your audience, many of your guests may have been exposed to a bellydancer before- leading a traditional wedding procession, during teambuilding or at a restaurant or birthday party. Even if your corporate function is quite small, you may desire a more formal image. The added dimension of choreographic interaction in a multi-dancer show can add that extra opulance and black-tie feel. At day's end, however, we understand that your budget will be a major determining factor in your choice. Rest assured, regardless of how many dancers you choose, your guests will be given a slick, classy and entertaining performance that will linger in their memories fondly
Is tipping allowed?
Yes, unless disallowed by the event host. Tips may be handed to the dancer, placed in her tip basket or prop or thrown over her head in a 'money shower'. Body contact tipping is not encouraged, although at the dancer's discretion tips may be tucked into the side of her hipband or her gauntlets or sleeves only. If your audience is shy, but still wish to show their appreciation, tips may be handed to the dancer after the performance as well.
What will you wear?
All costumes worn by our dancers are professional, appropriate and classy. These will mostly be two piece costumes showing the belly unless otherwise requested. If you have a particularily conservative audience we can accomodate a more covered look. If you want an idea of our costuming style, be sure to check out our bellydance and tribal fusion galleries.If you have a specific request, please discuss it with us and we will do what we can to accomodate your needs.
We want you to get the guest of honor up to dance?/We don't want to interact! We are shy!
The final moments of our performance sets do include audience interaction, and the guest of honor will be our first choice here. If you know your guest is too shy or otherwise unable, please be sure to let us know. Audience participation is a part of the classic bellydance performance, but can easily be amended for shy crowds- it is not a have-to!
I have seen dancers with props.What props will you use?
We use a variety of props in each show. Check out our speciality page for more information on what we offer. Please let us know if there is a prop we may not use at your venue, from space or zone restrictions.
May we take photos or video footage?
Yes. It is your special event, and we are there to help make your day more special! We do request that any photos or video taken are used solely for your own memorabillia purposes, and are not distributed commercially or on sites such as youTube without prior permission. We also always appreciate it if you let us have copies of any great photos you may take of our perfomance at your event.
Will you dance at all male events?
This is influenced partly by the nature of the event. Parties and other events looking for titilation will not be booked. Any other event will be considered, however, provided we feel that the dancer[s]' safety can be assured and that they will be treated with respect, as with any other booking.
What do you charge? Why do you charge your rates?
We charge a rate based on the requirements for your show, so these quotes will be tailored to fit your requirements. Contact us to discuss your needs. For more information on what goes into creating the rates for performance, and why you may receive different quotes for your show from others, we recommend this short article You will find that the rate for your area is fairly consistant amoung all dancers, and is a strong indication of the industry standard for your performance. You will also find dancers with significantly cheaper rates, if pricing is the only consideration for your event, but please do be aware that you may not be booking a top quality, event enchancing performance.
How is payment expected?
We ask a 50% deposit to secure your booking, with the balance payable before the dancer performs. The easiest methods for deposit payment is E.F.T or direct deposit into our account. The balance may be paid to the dancer in cash, cheque if pre-approved or via E.F.T. If you choose the E.F.T method, please be sure to pay the remaining balance 24 hours in advance.
Will I get a lower rate if my show is shorter?
There will be a pricing variation between different lengths of show. Our preparation time and expense to get to your event, however, will remain the same regardless of ultimate length. If a short performance suits your needs best we are more then happy to accomodate, but we do have a minimum party rate and that will be the lowest rate charged.
I want to meet you before/after I book?
Due to an extremely busy schedule, in-person meetings prior to the event are usually not possible and only available for very specific catagories of performance. However, what is it exactly that you would like to meet up about? We are more then happy to work out all necessary details by phone or email to iron out any queries and details you would like to finalise. Our publicity packs and such are available online or electronically as well, and this is an option we often recommend for people with special function requirements [our wedding packages especially] as it helps reassure of all the little details without inccuring the pre-meet fee we regretably have to charge on face-to-face planning meetings to cover travel and time.
How soon should I book?
The earlier you can book, the more able we are to guarantee our dancers will be available to take your performance, and we deeply appreciate it. We do our utmost to accomodate all clients including late-booking performances, especially if you are able to be flexible on your start time,but we may not be able to assist you if all of our dancers are already booked for functions which clash with yours. For distance functions or if you have special requests, 2 weeks notice is always appreciated.
What about out of town and international performances?
I.H.W will perform out of area, nationally and internationally. Advanced notice for such performances is highly appreciated.
I don't know what length I want!/ Can you do longer shows?
Our classic dance package provides a 20-25 min performance that is suitable for almost all events. It provides a full enjoyable performance for your guests without overpowering your special evening and robbing them of the chance to mingle, chat and relax- we are there to provide an extra special touch to a great party, not to overwhealm your whole evening. For certain types of corporates and more specialized shows, we do offer longer show packages as well as our shorter bellygrams, and our workshop options can be booked in half hour, hour or more increments. Speak to us if you have a special time requirement to discuss.
Will the dancers provide the music? And stereo?
Our dancers will provide their own music . Be aware I.H.W cuts its shows pre-formatted to C.D. for ease of play. If other formats are required or there will be a play problem on a CD-R, please be sure to let us know well in advance. We ask the booking party to supply all music equipment and reproduction. It detracts from the overall ambience and magic of the performance to have the performer self managing audio reproduction. A higher-quality reproduction system will be needed for most functions, and you will want the best! Speak to your DJ for the function if you are confused about anything, they will be more then happy to assist with the technical aspects.
Can you provide a costume for the guests?
The majority of professional dance costumes are custom designed for each dancer, and costs run into many thousands of rands. So it will not be possible for us to costume your guests fully. We can bring hips scarves for your guests to use for the duration of the show, however, if you let us know.
Can you use xyz piece of music?
We are happy to consider music requests, provided sufficient advance notice and a copy of the music in question is provided. Bear in mind, we will still be performing belly dance to it, whatever it may be.
What if I book, and someone has to cancel?
Rest assured, I.H.W will not leave you in the lurch days before your performance. Should we be unable to fufil our contract- a circumstance which will occur only under extreme circumstances- within one week of your due performance date, we will organise a quality professional dancer to replace us. We are happy to do this should we have to cancel at an earlier date also, or else we will return all money paid to us. Should you have to cancel, we appreciate as much advance notice as possible so we may accomodate other clients who wish to book us for that day. Our booking deposit is non-refundable.
We are a charity. Can we get a discount or free show?
We will offer performances at a discounted rate for all registered charities and concerns. We also donate a few free performances per year to concerns and charities we support. These are very limited, but you are always welcome to make the request.
Thanks for considering us for your event. We will get back to you with a quote for your requested performance, and a booking conformation, as soon as possible.
Don't forget to look through I.H.W's gallery of previous performances in the meantime!