Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect?
Mellilah will design a show for your specific needs. However, a typical belly dance performance generally includes 1-2 sets, approximately 20 minutes in length. The music includes four sections, an up-tempo entrance piece, a slower section which might include a veil or sword dance, a fast drum solo, and a final section during which the dancer will visit audience members as she dances. Dancers generally receive tips during the last performance section. When appropriate, the show may include audience participation, for example, the guest of honor may be asked to dance! Additionally, Mellilah can include a group belly dance lesson before or after the show. View video footage of Mellilah to sample her dancing.
Will Mellilah bring music?
The belly dancer provides the music CD or digital player, and the venue should provide the sound system. The dancer gets her cues from the music, especially during the drum solo; therefore, louder is better! Usually the dancer will stay out of sight until after the music has begun playing. Mellilah collaborates with the top Middle Eastern musicians and bands in the area and can arrange musicians upon request. Please let Mellilah know in advance if you’d prefer her to bring the sound system.
What kind of music is used?
Mellilah will generally perform a traditional Cairo style belly dance routine to Egyptian music. Upon request, she will substitute or include Greek, Lebanese, Persian, Indian or Bollywood, and/or Middle Eastern folkloric music.
How do I tip the dancer? What's appropriate?
Unless the host has requested otherwise, tipping is acceptable. Tipping is a typical way to show your appreciation of the belly dancer's performance. Generally, audience members tip as the performer dances up to your table during the final section of the performance. Fold a bill in half lengthwise and tuck it into the side or back of the hip belt or the back of the bra strap or arm band. Never tuck money into the front of her costume. Alternatively, an audience member can come up to the performing area and present the belly dancer with a "money necklace," bills connected together, or a "money shower," bills thrown over the dancer's head, which are collected and given to the dancer after the show.
What is a Belly Gram?
It's like a singing telegram but with a "twist." Mellilah will present the guest of honor with a party hat/horn, balloon, chocolates, card, or other festive item and perform an upbeat, mini-belly dance set! Perfect for hospitals, coporate and business environments.
Is it appropriate for children?
Yes, Mellilah's belly dance preformances are family friendly. She also dances for teen and children's birthday parties. These often include a group lesson, and she will bring along extra veils, jewelry and accessories to add to their enjoyment.
What if more than one belly dancer is needed?
Mellilah often performs with additional belly dancers, dancing separtely or together, and is the artistic director of Kamar Ala Nar: Professional Belly Dance Company. Just let Mellilah know in advance if you'd like to hire Kamar Ala Nar or more belly dancers.
What type of space/flooring is needed?
For an ideal performance, Mellilah needs approx. 25 sq ft of level, clean flooring, free of obstacles. However, more space allows for a better performance. If possible, clear away furniture and low-hanging decorations. Outdoor and garage flooring are less favorable. Please notify Mellilah if the flooring is less than ideal, so appropriate footwear can be worn.
How far in advance should I make my booking?
It's always best to book the show as soon as possible. If you are flexible with the start time, last minute shows can often be worked in. Saturday nights and holiday performances should be booked well in advance, if possible.
Can I hire a belly dancer for out of town shows?
Yes, Mellilah will travel to your event. For a radius over 30 minutes from Redmond, a travel fee may apply depending on the location. Mellilah lives in the Redmond area and often serves neighboring cities, including Bellevue, Bothell, Edmonds, Everett, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Redmond, Seattle, Snohomish, Tukwila, Tacoma, Vashon Island and Woodinville.