An Arabian Nights Birthday Party to Remember

Three pieces of fabric, a couple of colored glass candle lanterns and a belly dancer are all the Arabian decor you need to turn your living room into an exotic oasis for your Arabian Nights party. If you have more suggestions on decorating or planning an Arabian Nights party, please leave a comment below.

A week or so ago, I got a phone call from Sara’s mom asking if I could help make the night special and memorable for twelve girls at Sara’s 18th Arabian Nights birthday party in Saratoga, CA. “Of course”, I said and we got to planning out Sara’s dream birthday party. My belly dance show would surprise the girls and afterward, they would all take part in a lesson to learn some belly dance moves. We talked about a couple simple decorating effects that would turn a normal living room into a scene from 1001 Nights.

Arabian nights lantern decoration

Arabian Nights decoration

For simple Arabian Nights decor, Sara’s mom hung a couple of yards of bright turquoise fabric from the fabric store on one wall and two one yard pieces of sheer, glistening, purple chiffon on the other wall. The effect of the fabric was amazing. Chiffon or sheer fabric works best, but really, anything will do so long as it is solid color or Middle Eastern inspired fabric. She accented the room with a couple of Cost Plus lantern-style candle holders and then put some of her throw pillows on the floor in a pile. If you don’t have a Cost Plus in your area, follow these easy directions to make your own tin luminaries from soup cans or make some beautiful punch paper lanterns. Three easy decorating tips and voilà; instant oasis in your own living room!

With all the girls being 18 and up, Sara wanted to add to the Arabian Nights theme and try some strawberry shisha flavor in a pretty hookah as the main activity. Sara’s mom was able to find a nice one at a local smoke shop for about $40. Little did the girls know that the hookah wasn’t the main party event! To keep my belly dance show a surprise, we made a plan to sneak me into the house through the garage while the girls were chatting in the living room.

I waited outside the living room door until I heard the music come on and made my grand entrance. The looks of confusion were quickly replaced with smiles as they squealed in excitement that a belly dancer was at the Arabian Nights party. With video camera in hand to record all the surprised reactions, Sara’s mom ushered the young ladies to sit on the floor cushions so they could enjoy the show.

Knowing that most 18 year olds are very fashion forward, I wore one of my most extravagant designer belly dance costumes. As I swirled the chiffon skirt and shimmied the fringe, the girls fawned over the costume and later asked where they could get one to wear to prom. The effect was enchanting and I had their rapt attention through the entire 30 minute performance without any texting or Facebook updates. If you have a child in high school, you know this is a near impossibility!

Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights party for adults

They clapped to the rhythms of the upbeat Middle Eastern songs, oohed and aahed during the double veil routine, gasped in disbelief during the sword balancing dance, and roared in applause as I finished my performance and got the birthday girl up to dance. The excitement of the teenagers was almost overwhelming and a much higher energy than what I am used to with wedding and corporate event performances, but I had a great time knowing the girls were having such a great time.

Before I could finish my invitation to get up and dance, the girls popped off the floor grabbed the coin hip scarves I brought for them to use and were ready to start their belly dance lesson. At this point, Sara’s mom took a much needed break and headed upstairs to relax and check in on her son and husband. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the belly dance lesson and were excited to show off their hip circles and shimmies at the upcoming senior prom. After the lesson, we took a ton of fun photos for their Facebook pages and scrapbooks.  A little worn from the lesson, the girls mellowed out (much to Sara’s mom’s delight) and after all the calorie burning, were ready to eat some cake and try out the hookah.

Sara’s mom was delighted with how successful the party was and also proud that she earned the title of “cool mom” for the night. As I packed up my sword and hip scarves, she said she wanted to start planning a similar Arabian Nights party for the adults, though she confided that they would most likely have enough energy for a much shorter lesson. “You never know”, I said with a smile.

For more information on how to throw an Arabian Nights theme party, check out these links:

http://www.ehow.com/how_7799313_throw-arabian-party.html

http://www.squidoo.com/arabian-nights

• Meet the Author • Nyla Crystal


Sacramento belly dancer


37 comments… add one

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    Link text: Nyla Crystal, Sacramento Belly Dancer
    Link: http://www.nylacrystal.com

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  • Thank you for the tips. It helped me a lot.

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  • Glad to read this blog! Keep it going!

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  • What a great idea, having belly dancer to liven up the party, such a simple but effective idea, thank you

    Reply
  • i love Arabian dance very much .
    Onlinepoo recently posted..Kitchen Rugs For Your Decorative KitchenMy Profile

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  • Absolutely nice ideas, this is the first time I see something like this, I will make one in my birthday.
    Morgan recently posted..30th Birthday Ideas – Gifts for WifeMy Profile

    Reply
  • Arabian Nights With Some Vapor Pipes And Shisha Perfect. Just The Information Required for my upcoming Sis’s In Law Party. Belly Dancing Awesome

    Reply
  • hi Nyla Crystal
    and this article is so great
    I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a great site.
    Thanks and good luck!
    Nick Carter recently posted..Tips to lose excess fat around the waist in 1 weekMy Profile

    Reply
  • This may be just the right choice. The party would be so fun for everyone! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • Wao.. nice night party arrangment …..great article….

    Reply
  • Boy, that looks like it took an army to put together. Kudos to you for pulling off a great party. I’m going to take a look at the squidoo and ehow pages to learn more.
    Congrats again
    Ernest M. Flores recently posted..Houzz Tour: A Tiny House Packed With Style (14 photos)My Profile

    Reply
  • Wow! your blog is very informative. Party would be so much fun and enjoyable to everyone!

    Reply
  • Your post is fun! Great article!

    Reply
  • Nice story . Thanks for shearing with us your memory. Party means fun.

    Reply
  • Nice and very interesting story. Thanks for shearing with us your memory.I like your post very much.

    Reply
  • amazing post!
    its really good to read it and land here to.
    it’s amazingly informative and helpful
    Keep writing and stay blessed
    thanks for share

    Reply
  • nice party arrangement. loved it

    Reply
  • Liked you article and the party arrangement is superb.

    Reply
  • This is yet another great reason to have a garage attached to your home. You couldn’t have made your grand entrance without it.
    Adam recently posted..Live SeminarMy Profile

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