I discovered last night, when I was booked to perform at one.. that often small groups of people (less than 10) will hire dancers to perform in their own homes- just so they can sit and enjoy the dance without people passing judgment on them. Nothing dodgy or sordid in any way although I know it does sound like it is- just a house party- with entertainment. I guess this is even more so if the people hiring are famous (as these guys were) or feel their reputation would suffer if they were seen out and about watching dancers! As if it should be something to be ashamed about……… but I guess for many people in the middle east it is still seen as something not seen in high regard.
Anyway- I have to say- it was my party like this…. And I was incredibly nervous…….. It felt wrong in the beginning (although it set my mind at rest having 2 other dancers I knew there with me who were performing too!) …….. BUT these people were totally respectful and appreciative of the art so my fears were thankfully unfounded. I know I didn't dance my best since I was being very cautious and holding back, but it went ok. I guess there must be some people who will hire dancers hoping for a bit more than dance- but since I had my 'boy' with me to look after me (and the other dancers had the same), and since these people were decent people, it was all 100% ok. Still strange though- that someone would pay that much money (we're talking UK performance rates- not Egyptian ones here!) just to entertain a handful of people. Anyway- it’s a side of the dance I have, not only, not experienced before but didn't even know about- so that’s why I am writing about it. A friend was telling me that sometimes a group of women (esp. Saudi women) will hire dancers for an event themselves so they can enjoy the dance and join in, without men spoiling the fun- now that I am looking forward to- hope it does happen!!!!!