A Casablanca Moroccan Dinner Party in San Mateo

Are you throwing a dinner or cocktail party soon and looking for a great way to spice up the evening? Try hosting a Casablanca themed party and treat everyone to a luxurious evening of exotic Moroccan food, colorful decorations, and brilliant party entertainment that will leave your guests with fun memories, great photos, and some new dance moves.

For her annual gala dinner event in San Mateo, California, Kathy decided on a loose Moroccan and Casablanca movie theme. She did not want the guests to miss social opportunities by watching a movie so she opted for belly dance entertainment to keep everyone active and in a festive mood. Kathy really wanted everyone to experience the evening together so we planned the belly dance show to start in the middle of dinner, which would keep fast eaters entertained while giving slower eaters enough time to finish their meals comfortably. After getting some general background on her dinner guests, I put together a great performance to entertain her mixed group of Americans and Persian-Americans.

San Mateo belly dancing party

Belly dance performance during dinner.

Held in her own backyard, Kathy created a Moroccan feel using bold colors and a few Moroccan decorations. So she could enjoy her own party, Kathy hired a local catering company to help with the dinner and food service.

An atmosphere of romantic elegance was complete with men in white dinner jackets, gorgeous ladies in black cocktail dresses, tables donning orange linens, and Moroccan lanterns that glowed under a starlit sky.

Bellydancing party San Mateo

Belly dancing lessons at the Casablanca party.

After cocktails, the guests dined upon a traditional Moroccan dinner of chilled Moroccan carrot salad flavored with cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne, jasmine-scented couscous, delicious saffron chicken bastilla pies dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon, lamb tagine with olives and preserved lemons, and spiced kababs cooked with roasted peppers.

Well into their dinner, I surprised the guests with an enchanting belly dance performance. To keep with the Moroccan theme, I wore red and green costumes representing the colors of the Moroccan flag and danced to a mix of Arabic classics and Moroccan songs. Although the sword dance is not a part of traditional Moroccan dances, it was a big hit with the dinner guests and definitely a conversation starter. The guests loved the dancing and the concept of dinner entertainment to enhance the party’s Casablanca theme.

Belly Dancer San Mateo Casablanca

Belly dancing at a Casablanca party.

After dinner and some time for more mingling, the  desserts were brought out and served with digestifs and fragrant mint tea. I came back out for a second set focusing on audience participation. The group was lively and ready to dance the night away. To help everyone with dancing to Moroccan music Kathy found on iTunes, I gave some impromptu belly dance lessons and posed with guests for photos. Everyone had a great time learning how to belly dance and didn’t realize how many talented dancers there were in the group!

Interested in throwing a Casablanca themed dinner or cocktail party in the San Mateo or San Francisco area? Fill out a booking request or call me at 650-223-5590 to get started on planning your Moroccan themed dinner party.

Have questions or Casablanca dinner party tips? Write them below in the comment box.

• Meet the Author • Nyla Crystal


Dr. Nyla Crystal holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and performs family-friendly shows for weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events in the Silicon Valley portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. She also co-directs the international award-winning Troupe Scimitar and the Dangerous Beauties Belly Dance show. Learn more about Santa Clara belly dancer, Nyla Crystal.


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