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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

10 Red Flags that Suggest You Should Say "No" to Performing at that Event



It can be very tempting to sign up to perform at every event in your area that offers a "community stage": county fairs, arts festivals, music festivals, farmers' markets, nursing homes, charity fundraisers, Rennaissance Faires, and more. Summer is particularly filled with such events, often with outdoor stages.

However, please think carefully before signing up to perform at these events all over your region. Not every performance opportunity is worth your time, effort, and transportation costs. Beware of events that won't treat you with respect and won't allow you to showcase your dancing in the best light.

In particular, these are red flags:

  1. They won't offer a dressing room for you to change.
  2. They won't give you free admission the day of the performance.
  3. They don't have time slots open on the main stage, but they say that they can "let you" dance somewhere random on the grounds.
  4. They won't pay you, but they are paying other entertainers.
  5. They expect you to commit to performing outdoors even if it rains.
  6. They won't return your phone calls or emails.
  7. They won't confirm specific date, time, and location of the performance.
  8. They won't sign and return your contract. 
  9. They expect you to provide your own sound system. 
  10. They make you feel as though they're jerking you around or treating you as an afterthought.

I have danced for events that involved one of the above red flags, and everything turned out fine. I personally tend to consider how many of the above red flags apply to a given situation — the more there are, the more likely I will turn it down.

Also, the things you think are deal breakers could be different from the things I feel that way about. You might be flexible on points that I would find completely unacceptable. Each of us draws different boundaries.

Ultimately, you'll want to look for events that care enough about you and the art of belly dance to treat you courteously. Some don't respect you and don't value you. Others may appreciate you, but they're so disorganized that dealing with them can be very chaotic.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Photo by Lina Jang, New York City, New York.




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