Contemporary Middle Eastern Dance: Shagara Moon Dance Company

By: Shagara Moon  09-12-2011
Keywords: Wedding, Belly Dancer, belly dance workshop

Did you know it’s good luck to have a belly dancer at your wedding? In many Greek and Middle Eastern cultures the wedding is not complete without one.

A belly dancer is believed to bring abundant blessings (like children) and help encourage a good start to the union. In traditional weddings, the belly dancer (or dancers) leads the bride and groom into the hall in a procession called a “zapha”. This is accompanied by much clapping, drum playing and enthusiastic trills of joy.

As well as the zapha, the dancer will perform a solo for the couple and their guests. While showcasing her talents she also makes sure that this is an event everyone feels a part of. She gets members of the families up to dance with her and makes the bridal party feel like recipients of honour. In many ways, the belly dancer acts as an “ambassador of joy”. She is linking the community, engaging them through dance, humour and a sense of something special.

Today couples from all sorts of cultural backgrounds are employing belly dancers for their wedding ceremony. Initially they are drawn to it for its entertainment value. Having a belly dancer enter after the speeches and before the d.j. and dancing is a very effective way of rejuvenating your guests. The interactive element is loved by all (they will talk forever about how crazy Uncle Larry got up and shimmied). And the belly dance performance gives couples a chance to relax and enjoy themselves.

Just like your wedding your belly dance performance can be lavish with a full troupe and zapha or a shorter 15-minute show. Shagara Moon has performed at Moroccan themed weddings where everything was integrated right down to the camel, and vow renewal ceremonies done minimally in the home. When you plan your special day you can custom our performance to suit your needs. We are also happy to bring our dancing to the celebration of gay and lesbian weddings.

If you are interested in wedding performance quotes please contact us and we will help integrate belly dance into your wedding plans.

In addition to weddings, belly dancers are often perform at birthday parties, anniversaries, retirement celebrations, fund-raisers, bar/bat mitzvahs, and anywhere your function needs an ambassador of joy. Similar to weddings the belly dancer performs for the party and often engages the guest of honour in the dance. While I am always careful never to force anyone up to dance against their will, it is amazing how readily people want to take part. There is something so infectious about belly dancing; it truly reaches out to all peoples. I also want to stress that belly dancing is family suitable entertainment. Children love the glitter and sparkle of the costumes, and often shyly follow me around the dance floor. It is simply wonderful when a small child wants to get up and dance with me; it melts every heart, can you imagine this show-stopping event at your function?

Another exciting party idea is the belly dance workshop for women. A Shagara Moon instructor will come to your home or venue and give you a belly dance lesson. The workshop can be tailored, usually lasting anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours. At the end of the workshop the instructor will change into full costume and give you a private performance.

A belly dance workshop for your wedding (or even baby) shower is a great way to get all the women involved and having a wonderful time. Women of all different ages find a bond when they are learning something new; something that is centred around them. It also brings together families and friends who may not know each other. There is no need to struggle for small talk when you are all trying to let your shimmy out.

A belly dance workshop can be enjoyed for any special event: a birthday party, reunion, or just a party night for the girls.

Shagara Moon can also integrate any of the above belly dance experiences into your corporate workshops and retreats. Many of my “corporate career” students find belly dancing accesses their creativity and opens them up into fuller, more balanced women. It is absolutely appropriate (and encouraged) for women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds.

Keywords: belly dance workshop, Belly Dancer, Wedding,