‘After three years in the Middle East on dance performance contracts, Najla is returning to the USA!! Available for Belly Dancing, Hawaiian Hula, Brazilian Samba, and Cabaret bookings in Hawaii’.
To assist you in booking Hawaiian Based Belly Dancer Najla for your upcoming event, we recently had a Q&A session with her!
Q. What are the most common events that you perform at?
A. That depends on which country I am performing in. In UAE, Jordan, and Lebanon I perform daily shows at five star hotels and resorts. Shows are usually in the lounge or at an outdoor bar/cafe area and are geared toward both locals and tourists. In Turkey I mostly perform daily shows on Bosphorus dinner cruises as part of their Turkish shows. In the USA I tend to perform more at private events including weddings and birthday parties. I also perform occasional theater or nightclub shows.
Q. How long have you been in the entertainment industry?
A. I did my first paid dance performance in 1997 while I was still in high school. I began performing full-time 15 years ago.
Q. On average, how much do you cost to hire? A. Again that depends on the country. In the USA the minimum fee is $200 for a 30 minute show. In the Middle East daily pay may be slightly less, but contracts include accommodation, food, airfare, and visas.
Q. Is there audience interaction in your act? A. Yes, if the client decides it is appropriate. Typically for a birthday party I will do a dance with the guest of honor and also include all the guests in a mini-lesson. At Middle Eastern events guests will get up to dance with me at any point in the show.
Q. What is one of the highlights of your show? A. I am well known for my intricate and high energy drum solos. These are typically performed early in the show to get the crowd excited. Plus people love to see props like sword and wings used. Audience participation is always a bit hit as well.
Q. What’s your most favourite gig to date and why? A. I always love dancing at Middle Eastern weddings because the guests relate to the music and they love to get up and dance with me. As far as a specific gig there was a nightclub in Seattle called Kolbeh where I worked for many years. They had an amazing live band, huge dance floor, and 2 belly dancers every weekend night. It was always a big party! My favorite contract was at the Movenpick Resort on the Dead Sea. It was a beautiful setting for a hotel and the outdoor cafe was packed with enthusiastic audience members every night.
Q. Whereabouts have you played in the country/world?
A. USA: Washington, California, Oregon, Hawaii. World: UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, India, China, Greece, France, England, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, US Virgin Islands, Canada.
Q. Describe your act in 5 words. A. Elegant authentic joyful Egyptian/Lebanese dance.
Q. What do you personally enjoy most about performing? A. Feeling the music and seeing the audience happy and enjoying themselves. I especially love when people sing along and get up to dance with me (under the right circumstances). But I also love performing on a stage where I can show more of the technicality of the art form.
Q. What was your worst gig and why? A. Many of my shows in India. Many people were ignorant about the art form and did not respect it. Therefore there were many shows with drunk men trying to get too close to the dancer.
Q. Performing your act, what’s your biggest achievement so far? A. Securing contracts at luxury hotels in the highly competitive middle east dance market. Venues are extremely specific in their criteria for choosing dancers. Dancing in Dubai is the dream of many modern belly dancers. Also directing a dance company in Seattle that took 2nd place at an international belly dance competition in Las Vegas and produced monthly shows at one of Seattle’s top cabaret venues.
Q. Are there any occasions that you would not advise to book you for?
A. Bachelor parties.
Q. What type of occasion/event have you the most experience performing at? A. Birthday parties, weddings, hotel, lounge and restaurant performances.
Q. Do you have any overtime charges if the event runs late? A. Yes. If I have to wait more than 30 minutes I charge an extra fee for every 15 minutes.
Q. What questions would you like to ask your booker? A. Date, time, location, and ages of guests, occasion, size of performance area, sound system availability, any specific costume or music requests. There would be many other questions if it was for an extended contract.
Q. Are there any occasions that your act is better suited to?
A. It’s perfect for birthdays, Middle Eastern weddings, Middle Eastern nightclub performances, cultural events, corporate events, bachelorette parties, and many other occasions.
Q. Is you act child-friendly? A. Always. Kids love belly dancing!
Q. Do you have any video links on your Profile for a booker to view your act? A. Yes, there are three on my profile.
Q. What is the biggest crowd you have performed to so far?
A. Around 700 people I think.
Q. Can you tailor your act to the booker’s requirements?
A. Of course. I take music and costume requests. Sometimes clients will ask me to deliver a cake when I enter for a birthday party. I can vary the amount of audience participation and props used.
Q. Do you require any special arrangements in order to perform? A. I’m pretty adaptable. I just need a space to perform, a decent floor surface, decent lighting and preferably a sound system (though I can provide a small one). If it is for an international gig I need flights, accommodation, food, and visas covered.
Q. Do you have any online reviews a booker can read? A. Yes.
Q. What is the average duration of your act?
A. Usually between 20-30 minutes.
Q. Are there any cancellation fees? A. Yes the 30% deposit is non-refundable.
Q. What sets your act apart from your competition? A. I was trained in the Middle East to put on the most authentic and exciting show possible. I am often mistaken for a native of the Middle East and I am familiar with the culture due to my extensive travels. I have gorgeous costumes and great music, and I am very adaptable.
Q. Do you have an idea age-range? A. No, all age ranges are fine.
Q. Are there any other services you provide, such as MC’ing?
A. I perform other dance forms such as Brazilian samba, Hawaiian Hula, and Cabaret. I have also worked as a cigar girl, greeter, and magician’s assistant.
Q. How long before the event do you typically arrive at the venue?
A. 15-30 minutes.
Q. If you were to cancel on the day due to an emergency, do you provide a back-up?
A. This has never happened, but yes I would.
Q. Do you require a meal?
A. Yes, if I am required to be at the venue more than one hour.
Q. How far in advance would you advise that the booker book you?
A. I would advise at least one month or two. I accept last minute bookings, but for specific dates I will likely be unavailable.
Q. Would there be any fees that the booker is not accounting for?
A. If I am required to travel more than 30 miles travel fees will be added.
Q. What kind of outfit will you wear?
A. A traditional Turkish, Lebanese, or Egyptian 2 piece belly dance costume. All my costumes are from high end designers and are extremely sparkly and glamorous.
Q. Do you use flashing lights in your act?
A. No. Lighting is provided by the client.
Q. Do you require help to set up your equipment/set-up?
Q. Would you say you have a good rapport with your audience?
A. Definitely. My favorite part about dancing is seeing smiles on the audience’s faces.
Q. Does your pricing change during popular seasons?
A. Only on New Years Eve when prices are double.
If you are looking to hire an amazing and talented live Belly Dancer for your Corporate or other event, view Hawaiian Based Belly Dancer Najla’s publicity here!