Russian bellydancer Yasmin dancing to “Ya Msafer Wahdak” (You who are Travelling Alone) composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab, here sung by Najat.
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I’m currently working a blog called “Belly Dance Rants”. The blog, like the title suggests, is about things that peeve off belly dancers. It’s also a place to educate the public on what we do (and don’t do)!
I just recently submitted an assignment to my followers:
Say that you’re in a class in a town that you just moved to. You’ve been doing belly dance for a while (a year or so) and decide to give yourself a boost. If you saw your belly dance teacher doing something wrong (technique wise), would you speak up or hold your tongue?
If you spoke up, why?
If you said nothing, why?
I want the teacher’s opinions! If you were taught a certain way to do a move, and one student spoke up about how s/he was taught different, how would you feel?
If you learned off hand that something you were taught wasn’t the way it was suppose to be, how would you feel if you found out a student knew it was wrong and didn’t tell you?
Send me a message for your response!
Please note that these messages will be put up on the site! If you don’t want me to post your name, just let me know in the note, or you could use your stage name!
P.S. This post was created thanks to no one answering on FaceBook!
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I went on to Twitter, and found a fellow belly dancer had posted a blog. I concur with her thoughts and ideas, but I think that people really should stop comparing our unique dance with more restrictive, conservative dances. I mean, come on! Who wants a conservative belly dancer? ;)
Her comparisons were with the all-exclusive, restrictive, and conservative ballet. Let me recap:
People knew where ballet came from. It comes from a French court routine dance, often performed by French kings themselves. And, to be more blunt, it was performed by men.
No one really knows where Raqs Sharqi came from. A Mediterranean mishmash of dances and cultures really has a blame for that. It spread like wildfire among the women when they learned that men would pay to dance for them, and slaves were forced to dance for their owners. Oh, and it was performed by women exclusively.
I had this to say to her. She seemed a bit downed by her own blog:
I honestly think that we need to educate people on WHY we do this dance rather than let them see the dance and have their own thoughts engraved in their brains.
Yes, women did these dances in the old days. But WHY did they do this dance? Well, mainly because they were forced to or they were desperate to get money to feed their families and the like.
So why do we do this dance TODAY? To show off our own techniques and movements, to show off our talents. We no longer dance for the men, we dance for our fellow women!
We need to educate that, yes, this started mainly because women were forced or because someone needed the money. But us women today are changing it because we want to show our femininity. We want to show that we are comfortable with who we are.
With these other dances you have to hold your feet a certain way, your head a certain way, turn a certain way. But with belly dance you can combine anything, turn any way, place your feet any way. Just the posture is the only thing that must main constant between anyone. Belly dance really breaks out of the shell because we can be creative and expressive with our dances. It’s like when contemporary came into being to break the mold of ballet. No one wanted anything to do with contemporary because it had no base like ballet. But once the revolutionaries became entranced, it spread like wildfire.
We just need to keep marketing until these visionaries come to us.
We just need to keep educating people on what this dance was, is, and will be.
People say to quit dwelling on the past and to move on with the future. They need to do that in all aspects of life, including dance.
Well, what do you have to say about this? Does anyone really want belly dance to be compared to some other dance that restricts what moves you are to do? Belly dance is belly dance. It’s an expressive art that breaks the molds of many dance routines. And that’s how it should stay.