Planning a Bellydancing Bridal Shower/Bachelorette
Date posted: September 27, 2012
My absolute favourite type of event is doing Performance/Lesson Belly Dance packages at events such as bridal showers, bachelorettes, and Girls Night Out parties. Typically at these events, I’ll do a short 5 – 10 minute costumed performance so that everyone gets to see what bellydancing looks like, costume and all! After this, I teach a lesson to the group in which everyone learns some fun bellydance movements including undulations, figure 8s and of course, the famous hip shimmy. At the end of the workshop, we put all our movements together in a funky choreography, so that everyone gets to strut their stuff and show off their new belly dance movements. Of course, none of this would be complete without jingling hip scarves that I provide to all participants to use for the workshop. These events are so much fun with lots of jingling, shimmying, and of course, giggling as everyone tries to perfect that new bellydance move!
In my career as a belly dancer, I’ve done my share of these events and while I don’t consider myself a party planner extraordinaire, over the years, I’ve seen some really great ideas for these events that I thought I’d share with you. Hopefully these tidbits will inspire you when planning your own Belly dancing event!
THEMES: Themes add uniqueness to your event, so that it’s not just another shower or bachelorette. Below are some theme ideas that work well with a bellydance lesson. Keep in mind of course that you don’t have to have one of these themes in order to incorporate shimmying hips into your event.
- The Classic Arabian Nights: This is the classic bellydancer theme, with bright, colourful fabrics, jingling coined hip scarfs, the delicious aroma of Middle Eastern delicacies, and of course, bellydancing to the exotic instrumentation of Arabic music.
- Around the World: I came across this idea recently at the bridal shower I performed at and thought it was such a unique twist to traditional bridal showers. It’s also a great idea if you’re celebrating someone who loves to travel. The hostess had set up activities and food from all over the world for her guests. It was an all-day soiree that involved a henna artist from India, food from all over the world, and of course, the bellydance performance and lesson from the Middle East.
- Cultural Connection: This idea is typically done for those who want to celebrate the cultural background of their guest of honour and sometimes, their partner as well. For example, I’ve had hostesses request that I do a fusion performance and lesson instead of just belly dance. In the past, I’ve done Bellydance/Bollywood workshops and even Bellydance with some latin dance styles to showcase the cultures of the guests of honour.
SETTING THE MOOD:
- About 2 years ago, I performed at a Bellydance/Bollywood bridal shower that was so beautifully decorated that I haven’t forgotten it. The hostesses took lots of brightly coloured fabrics (if you have saris, these would work really well) and placed them all over the room including draping them from the ceiling in order to create a tent-like atmosphere. When I walked in (danced in), the bright pinks, reds, and turquoises really added to the exotic atmosphere of the belly dance performance and made for a memorable event.
- Similar to draping fabrics all over your venue, for a similar feeling, get coined hip scarves and place them strategically around the room to instantly add a whimsical, Arabian Nights mood. Drape a few on the walls, over chairs and even use them as table runners!
- I once performed at an indoor/outdoor Girls Night event that although wasn’t done in an “Arabian Nights” or “Belly dance” theme, was still magical in its décor. Keep this one in mind if you love the idea of a bellydancing bonding activity at your event, but don’t want the entire event to revolve around that theme. This particular event was in the evening and when I walked into the house, all the lights were off and candles filled the entire space, giving off a romantic, beautiful glow. Get a large pack of tealights and place them all over your venue, turn off the lights, and there you have it, instant mood lighting, perfect for bellydance!
- As long as your guests don’t have any allergies or other issues with scents, having the sweet aromas and subtle smoky hints of incense floating through your event add an exotic sensory appeal.
- Sounds are so important in cultivating the feeling of your theme. If you’re having a belly dance performance and/or lesson, consider incorporating Middle Eastern music as your guests mix and mingle. If you are hiring a bellydancer, feel free to ask her for music suggestions that would add the perfect atmosphere to your event!
- Purchase coined hip scarves as party favours for your guests. You can find cheap hip scarves in every colour of the rainbow at lots of jewelry/scarf shops in and around Toronto/the GTA for as little as $9 or $10 per scarf. You can also check online on auction websites such as eBay for great deals. This great party favour allows your guests to practice their new bellydance moves after they leave the party and serves as a reminder of your unique event.
- Hire a henna artist to beautify your guests’ hands with beautiful designs. This will also make bellydancing extra fun as your hand and arm movements ill be embellished by the henna designs!
These are just a few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing as you plan your upcoming Bachelorette, Bridal Shower, or Girls Night event! Check out our Belly Dance Bookings page to book a dancer for your upcoming event!