Audience participation is a fantastic way to enhance your guests experience with your party or wedding entertainment. Instead of watching an exciting belly dance show, your friends and family will be directly involved in the excitement. Participation can range from clapping out rhythms to learning belly steps and how to shimmy. Having your guests make an active connection with the belly dancer will leave them with great memories of the show.
If you are interested in including audience participation for your guests it is extremely important to hire a professional belly dance entertainer with a lot of performance experience. An inexperienced belly dancer can cause awkwardness at your event and can even offend your friends and family. A professional will know the right way to involve the audience, know when a person may be uncomfortable with being part of the show, know how to scale level of involvement for both wallflowers and hams, and know how to control certain guests who may be too eager to display their talents. We all have that friend or family member who can be a little over the top! Especially when there is an open bar, an experienced entertainer will be able to identify, gently handle and neutralize Uncle Bob before he lifts up his shirt to show off his belly dancing. What a relief!
So how do you know if your party or wedding entertainer has the talent to smoothly guide your guests through an amazing belly dance experience? The best way to determine this would be to attend the belly dancer’s public show and see first hand how she interacts with the audience. For example, I regularly belly dance at public shows in Sacramento. There is an entertainment calendar on my website so anyone who wants to see me perform live can attend a show. Secondly, you can call your entertainer to determine the perfect mix of performance and participation for your event’s show. After you give them a description of your event and mention you want some audience participation, the entertainer should respond with some helpful tips on how to make the show run smoothly. Trust your gut. If the answers sound good and knowledgeable to you, then you have found the right belly dancer.
The next step is to plan how much audience participation you want. For wedding entertainment at the end of the reception banquet, it is standard to have little to no audience participation while a birthday party may have up to 80% audience participation. Many belly dancers default to 70% performance and 30% participation. If you think your guests would enjoy more participation opportunity, make sure to talk about that with your entertainer. Although a great performer knows how to read a crowd, you know your guests better and can help prepare the belly dancer to deliver the best entertainment possible for your wedding or party.