Since moving from New Orleans to the East Coast in 2005, Isabel has been honored by the opportunity to perform at a wide variety of events, from weddings and fundraisers to the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institute and the Egyptian Embassy. Isabel is a founding member of Baltimore's Barakaat Middle Eastern Dance Company, directed by Shems, and has also performed extensively with Sahara Dance in Washington DC. She dances regularly at restaurants and clubs throughout Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia, as well as private parties, haflas, workshops and community events. She offers private dance instruction on location or at her home studio in Baltimore, MD.
Isabel continues to deepen her movement vocabulary and her understanding of Middle Eastern dance and culture. She trains locally with Samira Shuruk, and takes every opportunity to study under visiting international belly dance stars from the Middle East and around the world. She completed a rigourous teacher training program at Sahara Dance in 2010 and is certified in Levels 1 and 2 of Sahra Saeeda's Journey through Egypt intensive dance ethnology program.
A belly dance show is a traditional part of celebrations throughout the Middle East. Add something exciting and memorable to your next special event! Whether it’s a wedding, birthday party, educational or corporate function, Isabel will tailor a show specifically to your interests and your audience. Props including veil, assaya (cane), sword and candle tray bring added drama and excitement to the show. Get your guests involved by adding a belly dance lesson to the program, or ask about options for group performances, live music or a traditional Zeffa wedding procession. Isabel's shows are suitable for all ages and conservative costume options are available upon request. No fraternity or bachelor party requests, please.
A belly dancer will make a big impression on your guests, for better or for worse, so make sure you invest every bit as much care into choosing a dancer as you do planning your menu, decorating, or hiring a DJ or photographer. A wide range of belly dancers are available at varying levels of skill and professionalism, for a range of prices. In general, it’s safe to say that when hiring a belly dancer, you get what you pay for.
Isabel’s rates are competitive with those of other top professionals in the Baltimore area. Pricing will depend on several factors including the location, length and type of performance and any special requests you may have. Please contact Isabel to plan a spectacular professional show that fits your event and your budget.
My belly dance style is often referred to as American Cabaret, meaning that it is influenced by the melting pot of Middle Eastern and Turkish belly dance styles, uses dramatic props such as sword and candle tray, and appeals to Western audiences as well as Middle Easterners. My teachers have primarily come from Egyptian and Lebanese dance lineages, and I have also studied and performed American Tribal Style and fusion styles. My main teachers and influences include n.o.madic Tribal, Layla Isis, the faculty of Sahara Dance, Suhaila Salimpour, Samira Shuruk, Karim Nagi, Sahra Saeeda's Journey through Egypt program, Shems and my fellow members of Barakaat Middle Eastern Dance Co.
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 20 - 180 minutes
Each show is tailored to the client and the event, but a typical belly dance show is 20-30 minutes long and includes a dramatic entrance dance with a veil, then possibly a classic song by an Arab composer like Om Kalthoum or Abdel Halim-Hafez, followed by a prop piece using a sword or candle tray for high drama or a cane (assaya) for a fun, folkloric feel. After that, I typically include 1-2 contemporary upbeat songs that are great for audience participation. This is when we can call a bit of attention to the guest of honor, or just get the crowd up to dance if they want to. It is also appropriate, though certainly not required, to tip the dancer during this part of the show. Tipping gives guests an opportunity for a fun, one-on-one interaction with the dancer and is often done while dancing with her. Tips can be tossed over the dancer, tucked into the side of her belt, or placed in a basket or tray. The performance will end with a drum solo, where the dancer can really show off her skills, control, and knowledge of the music - and short finale piece.
In addition to one or two performance sets, many clients like to add a short belly dance lesson for their guests. These lessons are upbeat, fun and accessible to pretty much everyone.
Belly dance shows are appropriate for all ages. A two-piece costume with bare midriff is typical, but more conservative options are available upon request.
Please see Additional Notes and Technical Info section
A good belly dancer will put together a unique show tailored to your event, so the more information you can provide about the purpose of the event, the venue and the atmosphere you are trying to create, the better your show will be. Feel free to discuss any requests you may have regarding music, costuming and props.
A belly dance show requires a space of at least 10-12 feet wide and long that is free of hazards and obstructions. Inform your dancer ahead of time about the type of surface she will be dancing on and any low hanging lamps or fans or other obstacles she may have to work around - this will affect her choice of footwear, costuming and props. You will also need a nice, loud stereo system that can play from an ipod or CD. Ipod docking stations typically are not loud enough for a belly dance show. Finally, the dancer will need a safe, private space to prepare for the show and store her belongings, such as a spare bedroom, office or private restroom.
Please keep in mind that belly dancers often have more than one gig per night, so starting the show on time and keeping more or less to the proposed schedule is important. If you require the dancer to be flexible about timing, this must be discussed at the time of booking. You and your guests should understand that belly dance is not "adult entertainment" and requests for such services will not be honored.
Please see the Live Performance Overview section for a general description of a typical set list. Most requests for Arab classics and pop songs can be honored. Some Persian, Turkish and Indian selections are also available. Prop pieces and drum solos have specific requirements and are usually left at the dancer's discretion. Special requests for music should be made well in advance.
Available for Your
Anniversary Party, Awards Night, Baby Shower, Bachelorette Party, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party, Bar/Lounge, Birthday Party, Bridal Shower, Casino, Casting Call, Christmas Party, Club/Nightclub, Competition, Concert Venue, Convention, Corporate Event, Cruise, Dinner Dance, Ethnic Celebration, Fair, Festival, Fundraiser, Graduation, Grand Opening, Halloween Party, Holiday Party, Hotel, Launch Party, Parade, Private Party, Quinceañera, Restaurant, Retreat, Reunion, Seminar, Studio Session, Sweet 16 Party, Wedding Reception, Workshop
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When booking a Belly Dancer…
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