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TanayaBellyDance

Middle Eastern Belly Dance Entertainment, 
Cape Town, South Africa

Blog

The Ups & Downs

in The Life of a

Cape Town Belly Dancer.

 

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40th birthday Green Point

Posted by Tanya Cameron on February 25, 2017 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (2)

A very difficult gig.

I did not have a good time!

I had to throw a couple of diva tantrums, the audience was making me so cross. 

They hi-jacked my sound system to play their own music while I was performing, messed with my settings, wouldn't leave the volume alone, unplugged my light and were getting far too close and personal for my liking. Even the cane and shamadan didn't put them off and you know those can both cause serious injury! They were seriously getting all up in my grill!!

Especially the one guy...jeez...I could happily have strangled him. He was even stepping on my toes! That's how close he was. At one point I stopped dancing and asked who they wanted to watch, him or me?? I accidently hit him a couple of times with my cane, must get a heavier one, and had to physically push him away when dancing with my shamadan. 

I was thoroughly sick of the whole thing by the time my last set was over, and couldn't wait to leave. Said my polite and always professional farewells. Then the one lady stopped me at the door and said she wanted to give me a present, It was a really nice tip - the best I've ever had! But I was still fuming and smarting the whole way home...and then, I discover I forgot my cane and veil. Flip! So annoyed. Went back today to collect and had to pretend that I had had a wonderful time the evening before and hadn't been complaining at all. lol!

Mehndi evening, a birthday and a carnival!

Posted by Tanya Cameron on February 13, 2017 at 3:55 AM Comments comments (0)

My theme for the month of February is red and white in honour of Valentines day. Any combination we feel like. If you look closely you can see we have sewn hearts onto our costumes. Cheesy, I know, but sometimes one just needs a little extra fun!

Friday the 10th I was booked for a Belly dance and Bellywood performance at Nuraans Mehndi evening in Crawford. Kalynda came with to dance the Bellywood performances as they are group or duo dances and I really don't like performing them as a solo. It was a bit of a challenge as the area we had to dance in was a tented off portion of the garden and the space allocated to us was a carpet on grass. Very uneven spongy surface! Plus we had speakers on tripod stands on either side and we had to be careful not to trip over the legs. But, all went well and they loved us. One lady held my hand at the end and thanked me personally. So sweet.

Stephanie, who has recently rejoined the group, came with to take photos.

The hostess sent me the message below;

          "Hi Tanaya, thank you so much for an absolutely beautiful evening last night. The ladies loved your performances!" Nuraan

See pics here http://www.tanayabellydance.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16059419

:)

Then we had to dash off to the next party at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town. I didn't have a clue the nationality or demographic of the client as it was a very last minute booking by a third party.

We arrived fresh(not!) from our previous gig. (All hot and bothered!) Quick change and lipstick check and off we went. The audience was fantastic! Mum and her beautiful daughter were such good sports and were dying to dance. We even did an extra song for them!

          "Thank you Tanaya, they were overjoyed. They showed me a nice video of you dancing with the birthday girl. Thanks for assisting at such short notice." The Taj Hotel

See pics here http://www.tanayabellydance.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16059421

Camera seemed to be struggling with all the different light sources, but you can see how much fun we were all having!

:)

The next day, Saturday the 12th February, we all dancing at Parow Valley Primary. Quite stressfull. Kalyndas dad had to be rushed to hospital. As soon as she knew he was stable, she rushed back to get ready for our performance at Parow Valley Primary. This was also Stephanies first performance in a long time. There was a fire fighting demo happening, so we had a little impromptu photoshoot behind the fire engine. We were caught by one of the firemen and he kindly posed with us! Photos taken by Jaden and Graham.

See pics http://www.tanayabellydance.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16059429

Antonios 21st birthday party

Posted by Tanya Cameron on January 8, 2017 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I just finished dancing at a 21st birthday. Had a costume emergency! The most serious one I've ever had. The zipper that I thought was stuck/broken closed, (so I have to pull the skirt up without using the zip) chose this evening to come undone whilst I was dancing. Fortunately I noticed the expectant and rivited faces and heard someone yell, "It's coming off!" The skirt did feel a bit loose and I immediately realised what was happening and zipped up again. I fretted for the rest of my set but fortunately no further mishaps occurred. I have now stitched that sucker closed permanently!

Friend and wing lady came with to takes some photos and videos.

http://www.tanayabellydance.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16053370

Random gigs 3rd Dec to 10th Dec

Posted by Tanya Cameron on December 12, 2016 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Two hen parties less than an hour apart.

The first one was very rushed. Everything about it was rushed. I was booked and paid the day before as the previously booked entertainment had apparently cancelled at the last minute. We had to open the festivities with me, which I don't like doing. I prefer the ladies to settle, have a drink and a chat first before they get into the dancing, but there was no helping it this time.

The second one had been booked and paid for about 3 weeks earlier. It was hilarious there were willy shaped straws, decorations and a huge pink willy pinate! (Start as you mean to go on! Show that willy who's boss!! Lol) They were all already in a very good mood when I got there and the bride to be was quite tipsy. They were a lot of fun. And the cutest little girl, she kept hugging me.

The party on the 10th was quite funny as well. I gave my flash drive to the hostess and she said it would play through her bluetooth JBL. I thought she meant a JBL like mine, but then I saw this tiny little cup sized speaker and there was no way that thing could pump the sound I need. I rushed back to the changing room to get my docking station and ipod, much better! The wind was howling through the garden, yep dancing outside! My skirt and my hair got tangled in my cane! Totally lost my place in the choreography and to make matters worse there were two bar tenders that were walking around while we were dancing and they kept bumping into me. Clueless, I tell you. Eventually I said very loudly that if they bumped into me one more time they'd have to dance with me! Haha, they really kept their distance after that! And now tonight off to a henna evening. I should be getting ready, not writing a post.

90th Birthday celebration - Bosjes

Posted by Tanya Cameron on November 27, 2016 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday we drove for an hour and a half to Bosjes Farm, somewhere between Worcester and Ceres. So far that we even had to drive through the tunnel!

Jaden and Graham came with to be roadies and camera crew wearing their brand new CREW t-shirts.

The guest of honour was turning 90 years old and  was still sharp as ever. I had taken an out fit for her to wear, 'cos that's part of what I quote for, but I wasn't really expecting her to want to wear it. She didn't!


I had been warned that it would be difficult to get the guests to participate, but actually, it wasn't too bad. About half the people joined in and some of the kids. 

As they were running late I had to do a bit of a speed lesson, which was also just as well. It was very hot and I was worried that my "students" would give up and collapse into a chair. They actually did well. I taught them my simplest choreography and they said they enjoyed it. Yay! There was one little nunu that stayed in front of me nearly the whole time. So cute.


After the workshop I did a 3 song performance for them. It was another dodgy floor. During one of my turns My toe got stuck in one of the gaps and half pulled off my nail! Ouch!

While we were having a photo taken the 90 year old guest of honour was giving me a good feel around my waist and saying what a nice figure I had! Roflmao!

The farm grows the most spendiferous king proteas. Sadly did not take a photo, but I found one similar on Google to give an idea of their magnificence.


SafariNow Party

Posted by Tanya Cameron on November 27, 2016 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Friday the 25th November I was booked to dance a double set at SafariNows year end party. Graham came with to help carry and take photos. They didn't turn out as well as hoped. Camera struggled as it was getting darker...but, he did take some videos clips which is great! I need videos! 

Last week I had ordered some T-shirts for my crew to wear when they accompany me to my gigs. We picked them up an hour before my gig, and on the way, luckily.

Traffic was dreadful on the way to the t-shirt pick up, but then magically cleared up for the final leg of our journey so then we arrived too early.

We went in anyway, and it was probably just as well as my flash drive was not the best option for playing my music, the screen on the speaker was minute and I have lots of folders on my drive. We could not see the names properly as they were truncated. Luckily I have all my songs on my mobile so I just created 2 new playlists on that instead.

I changed into my first costume (pink Hanan) and went out onto the deck to wait with Graham.


There was a waitress walking around serving canapes and she came up to offer us some. Of course I refused, but urged Graham to have some. He's always hungry. A bit later she came to me again and offered more nibbles, I refused and then pointed across to Graham and said she could keep feeding him. After the gig he said she was so sweet, she kept coming up to him with trays of food, so at least he was happy!

The floor was just rough concrete and at the last minute I chickened out of wearing my dance shoes and decided to go barefoot instead. Not sure it was a better idea as the floor had the texture of pumice and my soles were quite tender afterwards.

My second set I had taken my turquoise Sim and a white chiffon skirt as turquoise and white are my clients corporate colours. Sometimes I need inspiration otherwise I just wear my favourites all the time. 



Luau Party

Posted by Tanya Cameron on November 19, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This was something a little different. A couple of months ago I was asked to dance hula for a Luau Party for a corporate year end function. Kalynda and I practised like crazy and managed to get 4 routines worked out. Sadly no pictures taken at the actual gig with the Wildly appreciative audience. One of the guys was even offering his car keys to Kalynda!


Instead we went to the beach and Graham Quat took a few pics there for us while we were being battered by gale force winds!

See more images at http://www.tanayabellydance.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=16037363

Kaap Agri Awards Dinner 2016

Posted by Tanya Cameron on November 11, 2016 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

On Wed, 9th November, we had been booked to dance for the Kaap Agri awards Dinner in Riebeecks Kasteel. Kalynda and Jamilah were booked to dance with me.

It was a really long drive to get there plus roadworks happening. We all did hair and make up before leaving our respective homes. Kalynda wore green and her beautiful new green skirt that I had made for her. Very proud of it!! Jamilah wore a blue/red costume that I had brought back from a trip to Egypt and I decided to wear white.

Love our hair - blonde, brown, black!

My client had reserved a cottage for us to use to change in. We put all our stuff in and then went to check the venue. It was just lovely. Delsma Farm had hung lovely swags on the walls and Persian carpets thickly laid on the floor. I went to speak to the DJ and gave him my flash drive. we did a sound check and all was good. (I was really organized this time. I had a flash drive, cd, mp3 player, mobile phone and an iPod with our music loaded!)

My client wanted me to try get her boss up to dance, but he was way too shy. His wife was there too, she also wasn't keen. I asked both of them to dance with me, but no luck. Apparently he ,the boss, had been all brave and was talking tough before, but as soon as we were there he got shy!

Here we are waiting "backstage"

We did about 5 songs and then it was time to drive home. 

Bachelorette in West Beach

Posted by Tanya Cameron on November 11, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Last weekend I had another hen party in West Beach. What a pleasure, just a 5 minute drive from my house. Kalynda, bless her, offered to be wing woman and photographer again. We are so used to driving for miles to our gigs that it is now hard wired into our genes to leave at least 30 minutes before. Well we arrived with ages to spare.

I had a slight head ache and was feeling a bit wobbly from low sugar I guess. We decided to drive back to a small shopping centre to buy some aspirin and a juice. 

When we got back to the venue we were bang on time. So we off loaded and walked in. The M.O.H. greeted us and took us to a bed room to change. I had to remain hidden as I was a surprise. The bride to be was running a little late.

Side note: The day before I had bought 2 fancy dress costumes for my bride to bes' to dress up in. See pics below. My poor pro costumes are suffering terribly from having various sized ladies wearing them, plus they don't realise how expensive the real costumes are and are a bit rough with them and I am constantly fixing and washing them. It takes it's toll. So, the one is a sort of Cleopatra style outfit and the other is kind of a Princess Jasmine effort. I actually blinged them up a bit more as well. I think they are quite cute. They are small to medium sized and then I also have a costume for the larger ladies to use. Doesn't really bother me if this one gets worn out as it will never fit me, it's way too big for me and especially in the bra area!

Cleopatra style

Princess Jasmine

The Cleo costume could have fitted my hen, but she preferred to wear the turquoise belly dance costume.

She was a real sweety and the most amiable person ever. We had such a lot of fun and she was laughing the whole time.

Here she is with her MOH

Here we are all together

Tafelberg School Carnival 2016

Posted by Tanya Cameron on November 2, 2016 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)

My son is a learner at Tafelberg School. He only started there about 3 months ago after having been on the waiting list for years and already we have seen a huge improvement in his grades as well as his well being. He has fitted in so well and everyone made him feel so welcome. The only problems he's having now are girl problems!

The school has an annual fundraising carnival and as I'm not the 'stand behind a stall and sell person' I figured that maybe they'd like to have some entertainment. I sent them a mail suggesting that my students and I could come give a demo. They were keen and said that we could dance on the stage and that there was a sound system.

We practised every week for the month beforehand and decided to wear blue costumes.

Posing before our performance!

We were doing the same four songs that we did at the Chinese school. We plugged my flash drive into the laptop wich was connected to the halls speakers but no sound was coming through. The organizer went off to find someone to help. Finally I heard sound. I dashed back onto stage and couldn't hear a thing!The music system was not good. Maybe sufficient for speeches and announcements etc but definitely not for dancers. We did not have stage monitors and could barely hear our music. Lots of muffed steps especially in the beginning and I suspect mostly by me! We were assured that the audience could hear it perfectly...I don't know how true that is.There is a lot of background noise in the video. It was a very stressful experience for my dancers and I think they did brilliantly in spite of everything.

My husband was taking photos, we decided on a different setting as we were 4 dancers in dim light. after lots of trial and errors we decided to use the default setting that the camera has for easy shots with flash.

Sad to say, my husband is a terrible photographer. His timing is off and most of the time he just captured half a dancer. He also cuts off hands and feet and for the picture above he zoomed in to the max which caused the two outside figures heads to elongate in a surreal way!

I explained to him that he must not zoom in, just take photos of the whole scene and as many as possible. I will edit and crop afterwards.

I did manage to salvage a couple. You can see them here http://www.tanayabellydance.com/apps/photos/album


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