Joyful Middle Eastern dance performances! With many years of performing experience, Bahija is genuine, entertaining, reliable, and will enhance your event like no other entertainer can. Family-friendly professional entertainment, with your live band or with recorded music. Contact now for corporate events, birthdays, weddings (including zaffa), retirements, anniversaries, cultural celebrations and educational demonstrations. Ask Bahija for a workshop for your students, or for private lessons for the ladies. Windsor/Essex and surrounding area preferred, and willing to travel.
Price Range: $150+
Gig Length: 5 - 60 minutes
Languages: English, French
What to Expect
Birthday parties / special events: Beautiful dancer in professional costume will enter the room with enthusiasm and joy as the music ushers her in. For a typical performance, there is a dynamic 5-10 minute solo, with musical variations and changes in style. If the audience is seated at tables, Bahija can move through the room, dancing with and for the audience at tableside, and if desired, get the special guest up to dance! An exciting finale closes the performance, she bows and exits. 10-30 min performance, depending on crowd size and participation.
Weddings / Zaffa: After the entrance of the family and the bridal party to the reception hall, an elegant dancer with a glowing candelabrum on her head (if desired) and playing finger cymbals to the music (if desired), brings in the bridal couple. They process around the dance floor, so that everyone can see the couple and wish them well. Bahija brings the couple to their head table, can then perform for the entertainment of all, then bring them back to the dance floor and gather the parents and family members as well to start the dance. 15-30 min performance
Restaurants: similar to Birthday parties, with less solo performance if there's no suitable "stage" area that's visible to most clients, and more tableside dancing for patrons. Working with a live band is possible, or she can bring her own playlists. 15-45 min, depending on restaurant size and audience participation.
Corporate events / demonstrations: 5-15 min visually stunning stage performance, which can include multiple props and musical changes or style variations
House parties: Bahija can be a surprise, with the right planning! An open living / rec room with seating or standing room around the edges is best. Bahija can bring her own music player, or use your home stereo to play her music from an iPod. Mini-lessons for ladies' nights are a popular idea, as are full sparkly-costumed performances in back yards. Many variations are possible! Sorry, absolutely no "men-only" events will be accepted.
Bahija studied Egyptian dance with DancEgypt 1998-2015 in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and has been performing since 2001 with that troupe and as a soloist. Bahija was the featured weekly performer in restaurants, and at several longstanding annual events, such as Folkfest, car shows, women's world trade shows, as well as at annual cultural celebrations for Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, Greek audiences. She performs in many Egyptian styles, including baladi and folkloric, and can work effortlessly with veil, shamadan, cane, sagat and other props.
As an experienced performer and a natural instructor, she has taught dance classes and workshops since 2005 to hundreds of women in two provinces and one state, sharing the joy of music and of expression through movement. Classes are currently offered 4 times a week through City of Windsor Recreation and Life After Fifty programs.
Moving from Saskatchewan for her husband's work, she is now located in Windsor, ON. Since arriving, she has secured work in a restaurant, at several 50th birthday parties, two weddings, new Year's Eve, at a local Lebanese festival, and has performed for several cultural and fundraising events. Bahija is looking forward to offering authentic and spell-binding bellydance for your special event!
Improvisations and choreographies, modern styles and ancient influences, from baladi to shaabi, Bahija embodies so many facets of the beauty and joy that is Egyptian dance.
Additional Booking Notes
There must be someone in charge of starting and stopping the music, as Bahija will be off stage.
Bahija will bring her music on an iPod, with all the tracks in the correct order in one folder. Cord types that would be necessary should be discussed ahead of time.
Music can also be sent to a DJ ahead of time, if desired.
Working with a live band is certainly possible, and will be most entertaining if there is rehearsal time prior to the event.
Event lighting varies by venue, and will need to be discussed.
Songs vary, depending on styles desired and length of performance.
Classics like Leilet Hob, Alf Leila Wa Leila, Habibi Ya Eyni, Mishaal, Zay El Helwa, Zeina, Tamr Henna, Fakarouni, Ya Msafir Wahdek, Enta Omri, Samra Ya Samra, ...
Modern songs by Nancy Ajram, Najwa Karam, Amr Diab, Moustafa Amar, Fadi El Saadi, Fares Karam, and many others.
Influences & Inspiration
Inspired by the work of: Denise Enan (Egyptian National Folkloric Troupe, student of Mahmoud Reda, currently in Montreal / Ottawa), and Melissa Gamal (Toronto, Canada). Historic greats like Samia Gamal, Tahia Carioca, Soheir Zaki, Fifi Abdou (mid '80s)
Middle Eastern Folkloric Styles, Mainly Egyptian (Banat Mazin, Bedouin, Fellahi, Ghawazee, Saiidi, Shamadan, Khaleegi, Nubian, Melaya Leff, Shaabi), Including Modern And Golden Age Oriental
Studied with / taken workshops with: Karim Nagy, Sarah Saeeda, Tito, Mohammed Shahin, Faten Salama, Ava Fleming, Ahmed Fekry, Yousry Sharif, Nourhan Sharif, Aziza, Cassandra Shore, Ibrahim "Bobby" Farrah, Suhaila Salimpour, Nath Keo, Suzy, Jamilee Abir and Ariellah, Yasmina Amal
Stage needs to be clean and free of debris (no food or broken plates, for example), but any size of stage is workable.
As the dancer will need to change costume, there needs to be a secure place for her dance bag to be kept during the performance, and a private space in which to change before and after the performance.
Music will be on iPod, so the mixing board or speaker system must have either headphone cord or a lightning cord; these cords or a regular audio jack adapter can be brought with the dancer as long as the DJ can hook them up to the equipment.