the attributes from the masculine world doing in
this divine feminine art form? I am refererring
to the lack of thoughtfulness when planning large
events. Or, simply offering classes in the same cities where
existing instructors are teaching at the same time nearby,
and how this cultivates competitive war-like qualities within
the Belly dance community.
back over the past year, I note that there have been many
angry and hurt feelings over this growing culture of competitive
energy moving in the Belly dance community.
one can see the effect of this competitive aspect around us
on a global scale as well as locally: “I don’t care about this
teacher/Democrat/Republican/country! They are not like us;
they don’t hold the same beliefs as ours, or follow the same
religion, they dance different styles anyway!” And so forth! But,
don't forget that diversity is a great moving force in this ancient
art form and in the world. Imagine how successful
we all could become if everyone would strive to plan big events
on different days, especially those within one hour’s drive.
Additionally, if we encouraged all of our students to go see
as many styles
of dance as they can and study as much as you can.
know that Belly dance springs forth from ancient times
and was used as a connection to honor gods and goddesses,
and the divine feminine principle of creating life.
So, how have we let our culture and society move us into
Belly dance as a competitive form?
styles of Belly dance have become popular all over the world,
and no one can say which is best because that decision is
solely up to the individual. Consequently, can we serve
to help broaden the community by offering dance events on
the same day and time as others nearby? Would it be too much
to ask for co-ordination of events to be planned on different
days so the community and the students can attend as many
or classes as they like of various styles of Belly dance? Is
it just too much work to keep the divine feminine dance in
the divine feminine light while surrounded by conflicting
negative energy? Personally,
I would not want to add to the war energy on our planet;
by drawing attention to this issue, it is not my intention
to purposefully hurt feelings or cause anger in my community.
My hope is that we can all Wake Up! There
are women who still die in their Egyptian homeland, as well
as other Muslim countries, because they love to Belly dance,
and though “honor killings” are rare, they sometimes
still exist, stopping dancers from performing. It is very
We in the
West are believed to lead the world with our open hearts
to different cultures and styles. How can we
accomplish that if we’re behaving in a war-like manner, hurting
at home in our own dance community? Furthermore, if you
were from one of the Middle-Eastern countries, do you think
would relish hearing about a generation of Belly dancers
that seems to enjoy playing with, and adding to the warring
energy while living in the daily midst of it? From
my point of view, women are about bringing the feminine
love energy back into the world, just as men are historically
about competition and conquering things around them. Think
about it: what was the real role of a harem? Throughout
time, in our roles as women, we have brought men back into
with desire, sensuality, touch, and love; otherwise, men
might have become ruled by anger, lost in fear and domination.
All these attributes I equate with a war like
we know, if we scheme, act unconsciously, or act insensitively toward each other
within our dance community how can we not expect to create negative feelings?
If our actions have the outcome of making someone feel, angry, hurt, or
defeated, then we would generate a war-like, fear-dominated,
angry, hurt, immature, and calculating dance community! The
word prejudice comes to mind, even though most
of us say we are not prejudiced. Yet, prejudiced attitudes
are all around us.
example: a promoter is thinking about planning an event
and is talking to a friend and says, “I can’t help it if
some other teacher has planned a show on the same day or
night; they are different styles anyway.”
I host a
festival each summer, and before I set the date, I attempt
to make sure that another large event is not going to happen
in the community at the same time.
If one checks the community to see if other large events are
already planned before booking their own, then hurting feelings,
and (worse) dividing the community can be avoided. This simply
allows other teachers the opportunity to support both events.
the belly bottom line here? Is there really enough room
for everyone here in the dance community?
I dare to
think, to believe: “Yes, yes, yes!” Our
diversity is key; many local dance communities are huge! To
avoid toxifying our divine dance, please plan on moving in
the feminine, sensual, peaceful way, and share your dance with
an open mind to your fellow dancers. We all have life
challenges, and many of us dancers come to Belly dance for
escape, fun, and sexy exercise. We have common bonds, or we
would not be involved in dance art at all!
An old cliché (but
a good one) is: “United we stand, divided we fall.” not just
locally but for each other as dancers.
I evoke each dancer to think
before acting and strive to expand our community with positive
vibrations. Let us pervade this divine dance with feminine
energy because there is enough room for everyone, really!
Please, don't become a Bully Belly!
Blessings to All
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for
other possible viewpoints!
9-4-06 Tatseena's Bellydance
Fantasy Festival 2006 Photos by Lynette & Carl Sermon
28 & 29, 2006 Marina Community Center, San
Leandro, California. "This festival was created for family,
friends, and fun!" says Tatseena.
Report on the First International Bellydance
Conference of Canada Part 2 - Sunday Club
by Denise Marino and Lynette
orchestra, Randa, Amir, a packed house and very festive mood. How
could it be any better?
Part 1 A Brand New Idea for Belly Dance: The Festival
Idea in its Formative Years by Amina Goodyear
speaking of a festival and its promoters that promised more than
they were able to deliver.
Devil's Details, Show
Ethics for Professionals Part
4 - What
NOT To Do by
Show up drunk or stoned. No more needs to be said.
International Belly Dance Congress told by Salwa
of Belgium and the winner of the contest professional
September 28-30, 2007, in Bogner Regis, England Gala photos provided by Josephine
Wise, others by author.
being able to prepare my planned choreography properly for the
Oum Kalthoum song, which is not easy to interpret to begin with,
I quickly turned to emotions in order to fill up the space.
Textiles Part 3: Creating Your Unique Statement by
is possible that you may never have performed professionally
while wearing a lampshade on your head…but I have.