Gilded Serpent presents...
Bully Belly
by Tatseena

What are 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.

Looking 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. 

Additionally, 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. 

We 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?

Many different 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 events 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 sad—but true.

Free "self posting" calendars to aid scheduling within our community

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 feelings at home in our own dance community? Furthermore, if you were from one of the Middle-Eastern countries, do you think you 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 their bodies 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 energy. Rationally 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.

For 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.

What’s 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

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Ready for more?
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