Dance performance tip: Show me the money – upfront!!

This is a lesson I think many belly dancers have learnt the hard way!

It can feel a bit controlling and almost arrogant to insist upon payment up front but it is really the best policy to have. Years ago, I was lucky enough to have read an article written on this very topic, outlining why one should get money upfront. BUT living in a country area I thought that a bit more laid back approach would be better suited. I thought I would leave that hardnosed approach to business to the city slickers.

Don't let yourself get the run around.

Don’t let yourself get the run around.


Over the years I have found that the advice of experienced dancers is gold.

Thankfully my initial reluctance to take the advice didn’t lead me to getting burnt (financially) too badly.

I now tell my clients that I don’t consider a booking locked in until the non-refundable deposit is paid and the balance is to be paid BEFORE I perform with the exact details outlined in the invoice. Yes, there are a few times I have been a bit flexible but upfront payment is the most stress free way to deal with the issue of 2 by jade belly dance

Before I did this I ended up in situations like at an Australia Day celebration a number of years ago. The event organiser had promised payment before the gig but then was ‘not available’ before we danced. We performed our set in the blazing mid day Australian Sun and then spent the next 2 hours traipsing around trying to find the organiser (who wasn’t answering their phone). They avoided us like the plague but we caught them in the end and they duly handed over the cash. In that 2 hours we all managed some very fine sunburn and were made to feel like tramps begging for cash.

After that experience  (and unfortunately a few others, LOL). I started to be a bit stricter and I remembered what I had read.

No deposit – No booking

Don’t pay the invoice – Don’t get to see the show

Another excellent reason to get paid in advance is safety. Thankfully I haven’t had to live this one myself yet but friends have. Please also stipulate a safety clause in your booking form/ contract. If you start dancing at a private function and “weird uncle al” or whoever starts trying to take your bra top off, grope you, etc then you should be able to leave immediately and know you have already been paid. No dancer should feel like they have to endure poor behaviour so they can get their money.

Feeling relaxed about performing - 'cause I got that cash before I even got to the venue!

Feeling relaxed about performing – ’cause I got that cash before I even got to the venue!

Don’t believe me yet?

Here is inspiration for this post – a belly dance troupe that has had to sue in order to get paid. If you have ever been to court, then you will know that even a small claim is stressful to handle.

We want to have our energy for dance and creativity, not have it expended on tedious legal proceedings.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had difficulty in getting paid?

Our first concert – a sneak peek at the sold out performance

The Bellingen and Dorrigo classes of Jade Belly Dance came together in December to put on a spectacular concert night. We were joined by the lovely ladies of Masana Belly dance from Grafton and we had a great time. It was a night for all ages. It was held in the small town of Dorrigo NSW at the super cute Dorrigo Drama Club Theatre. We were utterly stunned when the stage manager whispered to us that it was a full house – we hadn’t even had much time to advertise it!

Putting on a show is a lot of work and I have so much respect for those that do it regularly! I am putting up these photos for my students that have been away over the holidays and haven’t yet seen them. There is some excellent photography by Bruce Thomas and a few pics by Tammy Mills-Thom so I hope my regular readers don’t mind having a look too. Photos of the evening are available for $10 for disc (it includes many more photos than these in higher resolution) contact me on if you are wanting some to keep.

If you are reading this before the 31st of January please take a few moments and vote for Jade Belly Dance in the favourite blog and Teacher category for the top dance blog awards. I put in a whole heap of effort to get comments on a previous post and it turns out I only needed 10 and the competition was a second round of voting! Doh! So if you haven’t already please, please, please vote for Jade Belly Dance in both categories by clicking this link.

Did you like the photos? Please comment below

Natural stage make up – Zuii Eyeshadow

NATURAL MAKE-UP REVIEW – Zuii Organic ‘Vanilla Frost’ and ‘Jade’ Eyeshadow

 It’s Make up Monday again – so here is another natural make up review for you!

Zuii is another of those natural make up brands I looked at many times when I was in the Health food store … should I , shouldn’t I… nah too expensive. Natural Eyeshadow reviewWhat if I pick a product I don’t like? It’s just too much money to lose. I really liked the sound of the products though so I wrote to the manufacturer and asked if there was any where I could get a makeover with their products so I could find out which ones worked for me. They sent me a friendly response with a list of their stockists which didn’t really help at all (I already knew where they were stocked) so I forgot about Zuii.

Many months later I noticed that Zuii stock were marked half price in the local Go Vita Toormina and shortly after were discontinued in Kombu Bellingen too. I asked the shop owners about it and they said that Zuii just didn’t sell well. I reluctantly bought a couple of reduced items out of curiosity – I didn’t have high hopes. I mean, if no one was buying them then they must suck, right??

 Zuii Organic ‘Vanilla Frost’ and ‘Jade’ Eyeshadow 

What a pleasant surprise I got. These products rock! (or raq, he he)

They are a compressed powder eyeshade in a 1.5gram black circular, screw top container. The screw top bit is both great and terrible. It means it doesn’t spill when travelling but is a bit fiddly for everyday.

The truly great thing about these eye shadows is that they have excellent pigmentation with a bit of a shimmer. Yep, you can use them for stage and actually see them!! Hurrah! Natural and effective – it can be done apparently.

The vanilla is not quite white. I chose it because it was in the reduced basket and I had recently been experimenting with stronger highlights under the brow, inner eye and water line. I got the idea of colouring the water line from a Misschevious video on youtube and while I doubt the long term safety of continually putting products on the water line (i.e. above lower lashes), if you have had a really poor night’s sleep and have red rimmed eyes but need to perform then it works a treat to make you look less haggard. The white I had tried out previously (out of a cheap and nasty palette of colours) seemed to irritate my eye a little but this doesn’t seem to make the eye feel as gritty.

Jade is a jade green colour that is very vibrant and again very suitable for performances, night wear and general showiness. It is probably a bit over the top for everyday unless applied lightly and played down with more neutral or blending tones.

I applied both shades using artists’ brushes (my favourite tools of the trade and all I could get that were decent where I lived before I became such an online shopper). Both applied well with minimum fallout. They travel well – i.e. they didn’t crumble to pieces when knocked around in my bag and are basically the best natural eyeshadows I have tried yet.


“Zuii Certified Organics has embraced the essence of nature with a unique blend of Certified Organic Flora powders and ingredients to nurture protect and improve the health of your skin and the earth. Zuii’s timeless and evolving color palette is created with the benefits of certified organic floral ingredients, essential oils, vitamins and minerals to allow you to create any look you desire without the use of chemicals. Not tested on animals, No petrochemicals, No parabens, No talc, No GM ingredients is the Zuii commitment to Love of Nature and Organics.” –zuii websitevanilla frost natural eye make up packaging

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It was tedious but as Zuii products have not been independantly reviewed by the EWG, I went through each listed ingredient and ran it through the EWG safety in cosmetics website. It scored very well indeed with most ingredients getting a 0 (the best rating) with the highest score of 2-3 for zinc oxides. It is the safest ratings I have so far found for a cosmetic product so I am impressed again.

I have to get really pedantic to find a problem here and the only fly in the ointment is the organic certification. Apparently last year there was a bit of an online uproar about Zuii advertising itself as USDA Certified Organic. There was some finger pointing by the USDA at the Australian certifying body involved and they concluded that The Organic Food Chain (TOFC) had made errors in its certification and that Zuii products did not meet their standards (see here for more info).

The products remain Australian Certified Organic however but it is a shame that Zuii picked TOFC as their certifier, from my investigations they are one of the least respected certifying bodies in Australia and have certified many businesses that were de-certified by other certifying bodies. Oh well, it is unlikely Zuii knew this and the eye shadow is still the best natural product I have tried.

I liked them so much I have rushed out and bought 3 other shades and several other Zuii products from the half price sales and will review them here for you soon.

 My summary

(5 stars being the best)

Product: Zuii Organic ‘Vanilla Frost’ and “Jade’Eyeshadow

Effectiveness: 5

Packaging: 4.5

Safety: 5

Price: $21.75 AUD ea (I paid $10.50ea)

Size: 1.5g or .052oz

Suitable for day wear: yes (if lightly applied)

Suitable for stage: Oh yeah!!!

Where can I buy it?:

 Overall Star rating: 5 !!!

With online shopping most products can be purchased from anywhere in the world but if you are after American natural make up reviews then I would like to recommend the excellent “glamorganic goddess” blog.

Have you used these products? What did you think? I love comments please comment below.

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