DAWN HARVEY CONTACTS: Mobile: 07850 310978 - Email: [email protected]
I thought it would be helpful after 27 years of Belly Dancing and 3 huge book full of notes and stories of every dance booking I have done. To write up a blog here of them all. So over the next few months in 2014 I will take one at a time and write up what I thought of booking. If it was good, bad, wonderful etc. Where it took place , how many performance's were done, what costume I was wearing. (the history of the costume where I brought it from and where it ended up) Tips and helpful hints. etc. I hope it will help you , the new dancer and performer, and help me to remember some amazing times.
Important things you may wish to consider:-
1. Take someone with you. For security more than anything else A man is better. No matter how organised and pre-planned a booking is you never know what you may come up against. I am lucky in that Joe used to be a bouncer in his younger days.
2. Cash up-front as soon as you get there is always preferably Not always a nice thing to do as soon as you get to a booking but remember it is business and professional. Or a deposit sent beforehand is good it shows they are serious.
3. You will be very nervous , when I first started I used to get very wound up with actually getting to a booking and finding the place/venue. So LEAVE EARLY, so you get there early and can get acclimatised to space/changing area etc. Don't forget to warm up.
Found my first Book of Bookings so I can start right from my very first booking. it is lovely to remember all these, and first one was as you can see in 1994 that is 20 years worth of dance bookings. So I had 7 years of training before my first one. Hmmm glad I waited I think rather than starting too early:-
6th May 1994 - My very first Dance Booking.
University of North London, N7 - Student course work
2 x 10 Min performances.
Setting: Greek Style, White/Blue in the training centre.
Well received , very helpful, Good performance. A very good first paid booking. Food and Drink supplied, they did expect more for their money. Booking through J Chapman contact.
I seem to remember I wore a Gold and White costume which was very flattering, sold years ago however as got too small in the bust area. I have a wonderful framed picture of it from when I was 28 years old, Too big to scan and upload sadly. I looked so young!
RATING: 4 out of 5 - Nervous
11/12TH JUNE 1994 - Mr first Restaurant Booking - Not my favourite type of venue.
Appollonia Restaurant, Tottenham Court Road
3 x 10 Mins - Greek Restaurant
Very busy place, do not need to be a good dancer here. Easy. No break between performances. Not very good changing facilities. Help basis only. Regular dancer at that time Samira who was on holiday.
Not much more to say about that one.
RATING: 3 out of 5 - OK - I don't like restaurant work generally but when you start out its important to give it a go.
17TH JULY 1994
OTCHI - RUSSIAN RESTAURANT CRAWFORD STREET, LONDON
Setting for a Wedding Reception
2 x 10 min Performances
Good Atmosphere , very small place, bit of a rush to start. felt I could have done better, but got a good reception, just drinks provided. 3 mins in taxi from tube station. Baker Street.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - Positive
18th SEPTEMBER 1994
Trinidad & Tobago Nurses Society Republic Day Dance
Tube : Seven Sisters Picked up by Prunella
1 x 10 min Performance
Received my first letter of confirmation for this one in advance. Very Business-like. Good one, just performance, they do not want to get up to dance at end. Place is in the middle of no-Where, Very large area to dance in, Brilliant DJ, good sound.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - POSITIVE
28th SEPTEMBER 1994 -
My First TV Appearance
Thames Television PLC for Sky - UK Living, - Booking through the lovely J Chapman
Shown on 6th October 1994 10.30AM
Very friendly, Clean, Chauffeur driven pick up. Good Changing room, Good Experience, No Talking , Just Dancing. I think if my memory serves me well, I wore my old multi coloured costume which I brought on my first trip to Egypt. I sadly had to sell this one a couple of years ago on Ebay because it got too small around the top area. Loved that costume. If you wore it with the right jewellery it looked quite gypsy/cabaret.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 - Brilliant experience.
27TH NOVEMBER 1994
Private Party - Islington Near Angel Tube
2 x 10 mins Performance
Very Easy Booking, well received. House a bit of a mess. A good one for experience, need a heavy with you. Change in Loo. Costume All gold with bit of black. Sold many years ago as again got too small on top.
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5 - OK
14th NOVEMBER 1994 -
Second TV Appearance
Capital Woman Programme for Carlton TV - Filmed on the 25 October at Danceworks.
Interviewed & Filmed
This one was a surprise as we were filmed in class. Very good as it turned out I got to speak and had my name on screen to. Have this one on old Video , will have to get these all transferred to DVD sometime , will be great to keep in that format.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 - Brilliant
12th DECEMBER 1994
Edgeware General Hospital, Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware
2 x 10 mins Performance
Think this must have been a xmas party, A very good booking, good audience, on a stage with good music. Also had hoola, lambada dancers. Changing facilities a bit shaky to the side of the stage.
RATING: 3.5 OUT OF 5 - OK - Lost a point for the changing facility
18TH DECEMBER 1994
THE WHITE HOUSE HOTEL, ALBANY STREET, LONDON W1
Nearest Tube Great Portland Street.
2 X 10 Mins Performance
180 people in audience - Good changing room (always a plus) Duty Manager Terri was lovely. However contact very rude tended to ignore you. Think I did this booking with another dancer Yvonne she was great and always made it fun we lost contact so if you are out there Yvonne hope you are still dancing, and Hello. Booking through J. Chapman
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - For the changing room and venue alone.
31st DECEMBER 1994
ELESES Turkish Restaurant -
New Years Eve Party
Nearest Tube: Bayswater - 4 min walk
1 x 15 min Performance -
Was Originally for 2 performances but not busy enough still got paid however, Very small changing area, people very friendly , but would not do again
RATING: 3.5 OUR OF 5 - OK
Booking through J .Chapman
14TH JANUARY 1995
PRIVATE PARTY - EDGWARE AREA
2 X 10 MIN Performance
This was a lovely booking for an Arabic Audience, unfortunately me and Joe had flu, so we did not feel our best. But I turned up and did my bit! Very appreciative but they all wanted to get up and join in immediately, less work for me , which I would have been a bit upset about if I had been up to scratch.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - VERY GOOD apart from the flu.
booking through J Chapman
17th JANUARY 1995
WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, VINCENT SQUARE, SW1
1 x 10 min performance - No Payment as for students
Joe could not come with me for this one. So good friends Jacqui and Simon drove me there, they got fed with a 3 course meal , so was pleased for them. Might get another paid booking from doing this one. so worthwhile. College is very nice and the main restaurant is lovely, changing area large, but a bit lonely,
RATING 4 OUT OF 5 - VERY GOOD.
Booking through J chapman
24th MARCH 1995
Westminster College again as above - Old Students Annual Dinner
1 x 15 min Performance
Nearest Tube - Pimlico
had to send a demo tape. Cannot remember much about this one at all, so cannot rate it.
22nd JULY 1995
First Agency Booking - ALLSORTS -
Radlett area Private home.
1 x 30 min performance
DO NOT DO AGAIN FOR THESE PEOPLE.. NOT A GOOD ADVERT FOR AGENCIES. THEY REALLY NEEDED A STRIPPER, ONLY DID A FEW TRACKS OF MY FIRST PERFORMANCE , JOE GOT ME OUT OF THERE.
12th AUGUST 1995
PRIVATE BOOKING FOR 21ST BIRTHDAY PARTY - SOUTH HARROW
1 X 15 Min performance
My own booking. Not recommended by anyone which was exciting.
A great booking, really pleased I did this one. As I had to come back early from Northampton. Great crowd, great music system, Lovely patio setting, with lights, short notice a goody.
RATING : 5 out of 5 - Great
19th AUGUST 1995
CREST SPORTS CENTRE, KIDBROOK - TURKISH EVENING
3 X 10 Min Performance
Got a lift from station, after phoning we had arrived. Large Dance area, audience a bit dull. But no-one got up and joined in. Hard work put my through my paces, a bit too far to go, if do again , suggest two dancers. a bit in the middle of no-where. Had to send them a receipt.
Nearest station from Charing Cross - Kidbrook.
RATING: 4 out of 5 - Good
20TH AUGUST 1995
CANDID CAFE,TORRENS STREET,LONDON E1
1 X 5 MINS
A very quick and easy booking (just for show really)
A very 'in' place unusual setting Would do again but feel like why do I do all this training for years.!!??
Booking through J Chapman
RATING: 4 out of 5 - Good
1ST FEBRUARY 1996
THE GIRLIE SHOW, CHANNEL 4 - Shown on 9th February .
Recorded at BBC WoodGreen , Shepherds Bush,
Supporting Transglobal Underground and Natasha Atlas
Invited by J. Chapman
Car collected and taken by London Executive Cards, very nice. Food supplied. A long day 7 1/2 hours 3.30 to 11PM
For Rapido TV - Great dressing rooms and need a lot of patience for TV work. The main show was not good (It had a bit of a reputation) but our section was brilliant with the band playing.
I don't think I appreciated this one at the time but looking back what an opportunity. It was a very special day and I do remember this one well. I think we had our make-up done on the day by a professional make up artist too, although not in my notes. A very special thank you to Jacqueline for taking me along. Not sure however we would have been NA first choice of belly dancers.!
RATING: 5 out of 5 - An Experience to remember.
14TH FEBRUARY 1996
American College of London, Marylebone High Street, London. W1
Fashion Show International - Tube Baker Street
1 x 10 Min
Good one, changing room big. Lighting/Dance Area/ System. a bit rushed but good.
Walked into room with a Mr French (he had been to Egypt) so interesting to talk too.
RATING: 5 out of 5 - FUN
20TH JULY 1996
PRIVATE BOOKING FOR PARTY IN W3 LONDON
1 X 20 MIN PERFORMANCE
Overall a last minute booking. A very overpowering lady, her husband was lovely however. Performed in garden lights candles good. 10 people only in audience. grass floor felt I could have done better. However I think this was the time of Joe's big accident so was not in a very happy frame of mind at the time.
RATING: 4 out of 5 - Good.
7th NOVEMBER 1996
HEN NIGHT - EDGWARE AREA PRIVATE HOME
2 x 10 Min PERFORMANCE
Had done the contact's daughters hen night a year ago
Went well not far away, a bit rushed this time, with no food. But still a good booking. It's always good to be asked back. they got up and danced, lots of photo's they know me as Zenuba.
RATING: 4 out of 5 - GOOD
13th NOVEMBER 1996
FILMING FOR CAPITAL WOMAN ON TV SHOWN 19TH NOVEMBER
AT WHITELEYS - BAYSWATER
INVITED BY Jacqueline
4 Hours Filming
Picked up from work, then Mill Hill from Jacqueline's house.
Have not written too much about this one, so I presume I did not enjoy it very much. Another dancer was there called Marie Louisa with her girls, I seem to remember a small hole in her costume, what a thing to remember.! Had to sign a release form. which I still have in my book.
RATING 3 out of 5 - OK
12th APRIL 1997
LA TERRAZZA, EWELL ROAD, SURBITON, SURREY
My first Egyptian Wedding booking.
1 x 30 Min Performance
Long journey time. 2 hours each way. Waterloo to Surbiton
I was very pleased with this one, went very well. Lovely restaurant helpful staff. 30 guests only in all, they only joined in after 15 mins which was good in my eyes. Very posh. 10 mins walk fro Surbiton station. Booking through J Chapman
RATING : 4 OUT OF 5 - GREAT
10th MAY 1997
LEBONESE BIRTHDAY PARTY PRIVATE HOME -
MAIDA VALE AREA
2 x 10 Min Performance
Only took half an hour to get there. I even noted the price of the taxi home £14.20!!! BRILLIANT, Wonderful audience. No waiting between performances, private changing room
RATING 5 out of 5
7TH JUNE 1997
30TH BIRTHDAY PARTY - OSCARS MEZZIE BAR, HORNSEY
2 x 10 MIN PERFORMANCE
£60.00 + Taxi Fare
Very small venue. went OK, but I fell when entering. did not see step. John the birthday boy was so shy. He hid in the gents toilets second performance.
Turnpike Lane Tube
RATING 3 OUT OF 5 - OK
1ST SEPTEMBER 1997
THE REGENT BANQUETING SUITE, REGENTS PARK ROD, FINCHELY N3
BARMITZVA - MY FIRST ONE I THINK
1 x 20 min performance
What a brilliant booking. Really enjoyed myself, and audience did too. Boys got up and danced, everybody enthusiastic. Lovely place, very posh, borrowed group player. Lady manager took my details for future reference. I went down well I think. even if I do say so myself. felt good as just got back from holiday.
RATING 5 OUT OF 5 - EXCELLENT if only they could be all like this.
20th SEPTEMBER 1997
PO NA NA, KINGS ROAD,
(PRIVATE CLUB - SMALL)
30TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square - Rather a long walk however, Noticed some good shops
1 x 15 Mins = £50.00
Only advised about this one , two days before. Not very nice. Club too small, good job I was changed before I went (toilets very small and only two). Birthday boy got carried away. Girlfriend stopped music before it got out of hand. Not a nice experience another one of those expecting a stripper bookings
18th DECEMBER 1997
PRIVATE PARTY - SOUTH KENSINGTON
3 BELLY DANCERS PERFORMING.
20 MINS - £100.00
Not going to say much about this one , lets just say one out of the 3 dancer's was a little crude.! and it definitely was not me.!
31st DECEMBER 1997 - NEW YEARS EVE BOOKING
LOLA's - ISLINGTON - Just off Islington High Street.
4 X 10 MINS (4 Costume changes)
£150.00 plus Taxi fare
Wonderful evening , very relaxed, good atmosphere. No rush between performances. No worrying about getting people up. Two performance area's better one on top of stairs. 2 Jazz singers let me borrow music system. Free meal for us both, Free drinks all evening. Lovely way to start the new year. I can of course remember feeling very tired after this one, changing 4 times plus 4 x 10 mins performance is heavy going.
RATING : 5 - Excellent.
After a long break :- For further training.
5th SEPTEMBER 1998 -
WEDDING BOOKING. - NORTHFIELDS
2 X 10 MINS - £70.00
Very nice, good place to change, but offered no drinks/food. A good audience as there were some Egyptians in the audience, who were very receptive. Area not too nice.
RATING: 4 out of 5 - VERY GOOD.
6th OCTOBER 1998
One of my first teaching experience's thanks to Jacqueline - Covering for her class at Danceworks , London
1 Hour - Circa 28 persons.
Very nervous to begin with. But soon melting away. Managed to fit everything I wanted in that I planned. Felt everybody understood what I said. Good experience. Douglas said it looked good from outside. Very draining. Thanks to all that attended. you were the first to be taught by me, and it lead to me teaching for 13 years. Thank you and to Jacqueline.
RATING: 5 Excellent
26th JANUARY 1999
Filming 4 hours for GMTV, Studio 5, London TV Centre, Upper Ground, SE!
Invited by Jacqueline - 6 part series
I was filming for parts 3 and 4 I was partnered with Mandy Sullivan
Car Both ways
Lovely background scenery , cushions, lighting etc. Great Experience.
A few notes on TV filming to help newbies:-
Noticed Jacqueline being timed for each section.
Jacqueline preferred not to have sound mike on as beads on costume too noisy.
Very particular on where you stand (Same spot).
Thank you to Jacqueline for this wonderful experience. I have this on old Video and will have to have it transferred sometime to DVD.
24th APRIL 1999
Private Home : Richmond . Birthday Party
2 x 30 mins - £100.00
Booking through Hilary Thacker.
Lovely good audience, 'Turkish people' Said I had a baladi style , not sure I do anymore however. bit of a pig to find. Taxi driver could not find.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - Very good.
10TH JUNE 1999
JULONO - NW 3
Double 21st Birthday Party
2 x 10 Minute £75.00
with Dancer called - you may know her as she is still dancing and performing today -
CATE BRICK. this was her first booking. Beautiful place, eastern style, but audience not interested. Music system good. Really enjoyed dancing with Cate.
RATING: 4 out of 5 - VERY GOOD.
26TH JUNE 1999
PRIVATE DOUBLE BIRTHDAY PARTY
2 X 15 Minute £55.00
Contacted me through web site.
Wonderful booking , lovely dance area and garden. Lovely audience, offered food and drink. Near Parsons Green
RATING 5 out of 5 - GREAT
24TH OCTOBER 1999
PRIVATE ENGAGEMENT PARTY
2 x 15 Minute £80.00 + Taxi fare
Finchley Area. Lovely very welcoming, done booking for cousins back in 1996. They call me 'Zenuba' my stage name. Beautiful house, champayne, food plenty. She wants me to do her hen night in March 2000.
RATING: 5 out of 5 - GREAT
11th DECEMBER 1999
PRIVATE PARTY - HAMPSTEAD
1 x 20 mins - £80.00
A bit rushed , Joe not feeling too well. Bad flooring slippy, so had to be very careful. Did not dance too well. Audience OK, especially one lady who could do a back bend.
RATING: 3 out 5 - OK
29 JANUARY 2000
PRIVATE PARTY AT PIED-A-TERRE, CHARLOTTE ST, W1
With Cate Brick
10 mins each - 5 mins together
A great booking , just performing hard work as I was just getting over a cold. Lovely people, lovely area, I dance to 'A journey of the Gypsy Dancer' went well.
RATING: 5 out of 5 - GREAT
18th MARCH 2000
THE WALDORF HOTEL, Aldwich
For Charity Barnados
Got my details through my website. I went with Cate and Isobel who both enjoyed it.
Nearest Tube : Temple.
Felt good at doing this one, as mum worked for them. Lovely Hotel, Expensive. I remember that this was a HUGE AUDIENCE.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 - GREAT
28TH APRIL 2000
WEDDING - AT THE JARVIS THATCHERS HOTEL, SURREY.
STATION: Horsley - 1 Hour from Waterloo.
2 x 15 mins - £100.00
Had to use Turkish music, as requested. Long way to go in the middle of nowhere. No cabs in town picked up from station. £10.00 just to go back. Lovely old fashioned hotel in great surroundings. Lovely room to change, drinks, DJ and dancing area. did not get in until 2AM.
Note: I would not do a booking like this know-adays, always a good idea to get a dancer near to the booking for good value for customer and so the dancer does not exhaust herself with just the travelling Also not many people are prepared to pay for an overnight stay at hotels.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - GOOD
24TH JUNE 2000
FIRST HEN PARTY - Bethnal Green area.
1 x 10 min Performance plus Teaching - £80.00
Took veils and scarfs for them to borrow. Went down well. Hard work, did an hour in the end. they enjoyed it.
Got the hen in the middle gave her a nice scarf to wear. One point. Fairly noisy as they were merry, difficult to make myself heard. Hen parties are still very popular today.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 - GOOD
13 AUGUST 2000
WEDDING RECEPTION THROUGH JACQUELINE - ISLEWORTH
Lovely people, Middle Eastern DJ, Big room to change into. Drink offered, wore black/red costume with new cape. Went well enjoyed it. got back at 9.30PM nice and early. I still have that cape.
1 x 20 mins - £70.00
RATING: 5 out of 5
19TH AUGUST 2000
PRIVATE TEACHING BOOKING 8 LADIES PLUS PERFORMANCE
Booking through Website
1 1/2 Hours - £80.00
From Waterloo Station took 1 hour to get too. A bit too far to go really. Nice Ladies, they worked hard, varying ages. Place int he middle of no-where, new house, no lighting when returning in the dark.
RATING 4 out of 5
30th September 2000
Cairo Café, Clapham
21st Birthday Party (Did I really used to these!!!!!!!)
2 x 10 mins
Nice Place for a party, but not performing in , décor good like a tent, changing facilities terrible, and could not see properly, put me off doing 21st birthday parties, Joe had to really use his bouncing duties here.
RATING 3 out of 5 (just for the décor)
21st October 2000
SONGS AND SHIMMIES SHOW
Through my good friends Sue and Mark Freeman (the then major of LB)
4 x 10 mins (ie 4 costumes)
Fundraiser - FANTASTIC booking - Lift to and from, station and hotel accommodation provided. Had loads of people attending who I knew Linda and David, Julie Sofie, Rose and Maggie Godsland.
Had a photographer from the local paper too ,Think I have the review/photo from that somewhere.
Good value for everyone only £6 for evening , this included buffet.
It was hard work, just about fitted all the entertainment in , they had so much. but a very memorable evening.
Remember fitting lots of prop work in including zills, veil, stick etc.
YES , YES, YES, more bookings like this.
RATING: 5 out of 5.- Smashing
16th November 2000
1 x 20 Mins
Professional , very good signed contract . A bit alarmed at how many men their were 3 to 1 against women but they were very well behaved. Leadenhall market looked very interesting , nice to visit when open.
Rating: 4 out of 5
25th November 2000
Westminster Boating Club
1 x 20 Mins
A long negotiation on this one, since July. A beautiful setting looking over the Thames. Apparently a few celebs their but I did not see any of them. Considering we had moved in the day before (new house) did very well.
Felt very tired.
Rating 4 out of 5
11th May 2001
End of the Year Show - another booking for Sue and Mark Freeman
1 x mins only - Charity event
Felt very welcome - Meal too - songs and Masqueraders group. Stayed the night too. I seem to remember the music I danced to at this one was by Nourhan and Yousry Sharif I had a lovely email give permission to use etc.
Sue and Mark joined us for breakfast - Lovely booking
Rating 5 out of 5
My second book of bookings starts here (Like the sound of that Book of Bookings)
8TH DECEMBER 2002
Birthday Party for Rosie (word of mouth booking as I had done a party a year earlier for a friend)
Berkhamsted Area - Private Home
1 Hour Teaching a group and Performance at end. and took a present in for the birthday girl.
Paid: £80.00 Plus £25.00 deposit.
Trains played up, so very nice of them to pick me up from nearest station available. Especially as the private residence was in the middle of know-where , Place was lovely.
Hard work this one but they all enjoyed it. Did not feel too good as it was horrible day weather wise, but ok once I got there. Word of Mouth booking so may get some more. No notes of what costume I wore.
RATING: 4 out of 5 - Positive
25TH FEBRUARY 2003
BIG CHARITY EVENT
Barts & London Asian Society in aid of Cancer Relief and Whizzkids.
VENUE: Logan Hall, Institute of Education, Bedford Way, WC! - Tube: Russell Square
Wonderful Stage, A bit nervous as my first stage appearance. ! (I had forgotten that), My students Vicky, Ruth, Nina, Debbie and Julie came along with me, and did very well, and looked beautiful. they had there names in the programme, which was lovely, and plenty of advertising for me. Enjoyed.
900 in audience ( No Wonder I was nervous)
Nice Floor - fine for bare feet. Easy to find for a change only 5 mins from tube - No note of costume worn
RATING: 5 out of 5 - MEMORABLE.
Dawn Harvey -