Taking a booking

     Tips, hints and everything you need to know about taking a dance booking!

Aziza December 99

What you need to know from the client-

Date of the performance?
Keep a diary close by the phone.

Plan to arrive at the venue 10-15 minutes early.  This allows time for relaxed preparation before performing and also for you to have a look around the performance area, talk to the band etc.

Ask for the full address of the venue.  If it is at a hotel or reception centre, this address should include the floor number, or the name of the room (e.g. “The Celebrity Lounge”) as many large hotels, clubs and function centres have several different reception areas.

1.    The contact phone number of the person making the booking.

2.    Name and preferably a mobile phone number of the contact person on the night - the name of the person to ask for when you arrive.   (You can ask the contact person to point out the guest of honour if there is one.)

1.    Quote your price (know the ‘current rates’ in your area, don't undercut) Ask for a deposit if necessary.

2.    Ask for the name of the person who is responsible for paying you on the night.

3.    Cash payment on the night is preferable - cheques occasionally bounce.

If the booking is for you to perform at a private house or hall, ask for street directions, and get the nearest cross-street from the client.  Ask for a contact phone number (preferably a mobile) so you can get further directions on the night if you get lost.  Check your quickest route on a map before you leave home.  Beware of  street directions that include the words “You can’t miss it!”  - because you probably will.

The type of function?
Is it an engagement, wedding, cabaret floorshow, party, christening, Middle Eastern theme night, birthday.  Is there a guest of honour? Ask for their name.  Will it be a mixed female/male audience?  (Is it a bucks/stag nights?)  If it is a wedding, does the client want you to only 'dance in' the couple and/or give a performance later.

Tell the client the length of your performance.

Nearest car parking.  If  your appearance is to be a surprise,  you may be asked to come in via a back door or the kitchen.

Nationality of audience - choose your music to suit.

Will there be a band?  If not, does the venue have a tape/CD player or do you need to take your own ghetto blaster.

Personal Security
Bucks/stag nights?  Think twice.  The customers will be drinking and expecting different, possibly “full service”, entertainment. You could be very vulnerable and no amount of queenly demeanor or professional attitude is going to work for you here.

#1 Rule:
An offer that seems too good to be true probably is!

What the client needs to know:-

Your price and the length of your performance.

A little bit about you - how long you have been dancing; restaurants/clubs where you dance as the client may want to come and see you perform before confirming their booking.

A brief description of your performance - will you use a veil, zills, sword?  Do you give special attention to any guest of honour/birthday person.  Do you get audience members up to dance with you?

If you present a show that is suitable for all members of the family, including children, then say so. This tells the client what they will (and won’t) see.  Sometimes prospective clients honestly don’t know if you are going to keep your clothes on, or do “something” to them.

The client may ask “How old are you?”  Be moderately accurate if necessary - late 20s, late 30s.   Emphasize that you are a skilled, professional dancer.

If the client is insistent that they want a “young, beautiful dancer” and that isn’t you, then be honest and refer them to someone else.

 copyright Aziza

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Page updated 18 Jan 2000