Gilded Serpent presents...
Blind and Bellydance
known anyone who has lost their vision or who has been blind since
birth. I can not even begin to imagine what it is like to not
be able to see. So I am writing this piece just as a commentary
on my recent experience with a customer who was blind. Myself,
I am more than half deaf. That is very different than being blind,
to hear and being able to see are such different abilites so I
want to make it clear that I will not and do not speak for those
who are blind. I just want to tell a sweet and poignant story
of a shy blind couple who had dinner at Marrakech
restaurant on a night that I was dancing.
was full of patrons. I danced my first set for the main room.
As I exited, I noticed a couple who were sitting alone in the
"private party" room. I also noticed a seeing eye dog
with them. The small room where they sat is not cut off from the
music that is played while I dance.
could hear everything that was going on but were, essentially,
unable to participate. I understand that they needed a quieter
spot to eat their dinner because they had their seeing eye guide
dog with them.
After I had
changed out of my costume, I decided to go and introduce myself
to them. After all, they could hear my music and everything that
was going on in the other room. I also brought along with me the
belt of my costume (the costume that I was going to wear for my
second set). I introduced myself to a man and his wife, both blind
since birth. This was their first time to Marrakech Restaurant.
It was a joy speaking with this couple. They were so intrigued
with belly dance, even though they've never seen it. They both
really loved the music and were very interested in how the dancers
moved or danced to it.
I talked about
the history of belly dance, the costumes, and the music. I then
had them feel my belt. This particular belt was of Turkish design,
heavily beaded and very intricate. They ran their fingers over
the beads as I explained to them how the fringe would sway with
the movements. I also explained, as best as I could, how the different
movments looked, using shapes such as circles and figure eights,
I then stood
up and, asking their permission, placed each or their hands on
my hips as I demonstrated a shimmy, figure eights, and such. They
both seemed to really understand how the movements went with the
music and very much enjoyed the demonstration.
then asked the lady if she would like to dance with me. She
shyly stood, and I held her hand as we belly danced together.
She caught on very quickly and was as uninhibited as anyone
I've ever known.
She had a
genuine joy in her smile as she shimmied and swayed to the music
as her husband sat and enjoyed his wife's enthusiasm. This is
the first time I've ever met a blind couple where I dance. Their
interest has made me take a step back and really look at this
dance in a deeper context.
this dance fascinating even though they had never seen it. What
made it so interesting to them? They had never felt what a costume
was like before. The music? The mystery? Whatever the reason,
it made me feel good to "dance" for this couple.
may not have been able to see me, but they did "feel"
me. Dance is feeling. If we don't feel when we dance, what are
we doing? Just the motions? Yes, I am applying the physical
touch to emotion. They both hold true to me. We need to feel
this dance. Feel the music, feel the beat, feel the rhythm.
Feel it so we can pass the feelings on to others. Does it really
need to be so technical?
gives me the best feeling I've ever known. I hope others, blind
or not, can feel it too.
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Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
BDSS Auditions January 14-15,
2005, North Hollywood, CA
-Inside the Bellydance Superstars Final Auditions by Michelle
-"What have I got to lose?" by Zaheea
-Photos by Lynette
A Report of the 2004
Ya Halla Y’all Saturday Evening Show, by Leigh Allen
and Tamara Campbell, photos by Craig Campbell. Isis’
annual August shows are always great and professionally presented
but the show on Saturday truly lived up to its billing as ‘A
Gathering of Stars’. We can’t wait for next year!
Unity through Belly dance by Erica
If you are reading this publication, then you too have fallen
in love with belly dancing.
Taking Good Care of our Stars by
of all, as we now need them consistently; we have to free them
from financial worries by giving them job security including such
things as health insurance.
Sirat Al-Ghawazi, Part
5 of 9 by Edwina Nearing
in the mid-1970's , the early sections of "Sirat Al-Ghawazi"
were first published under the title "The Mystery of the
Ghawazi." We are happy to be able to respond to the continued
demand for these articles by making them available to our readers