Monday, June 18, 2012

You Are the Ambassadors of Belly Dance

No matter what level of dance you are currently at; from taking your first lessons to a professional who has been belly dancing for many years: It is you that are the representatives; the ambassadors of belly dance.  It is you that is representing this beautiful dance form to the general public.
So how can you be an ambassador to belly dance? One of the best ways is to look to one of the top belly dancers, a dancer you admire. Some great examples: Jillina, Sadie, Ava, Kaya, Aziza, Ansuya, Zahra Zuhair, Sahra, Angelika, Leyla Jouvana, or anyone you personally admire. 

How does this dancer conduct herself? 
They act like a professional would: friendly, helpful, humble, kind and living the golden rule. They behave and conduct themselves as if they were a public figure. Their performances lift up the art of belly dance, they do not drag it down. Their performances are either choreographed or if impromptu they are well thought out and rehearsed. When on stage or at a restaurant or nightclub they assume that there are people in the audience that are seeing belly dance for the first time and therefore give a performance that is classy and graceful, not a performance that would downgrade the publics perception of belly dance and belly dancers. 
It's not just a responsibility; it is also your duty to conduct yourself this way. All of us in this art form are depending on you to come through for all of us!  For those of us that have been in the dance for many years, we can tell you how hard we fought ugly stereotypes in the early years. We don't need belly dance synonymous with stripping or pole dancing.  Is ballet or modern dance ever compared to stripping?  Don't we in belly dance deserve the same respect other forms of dance receive?   -  Suzy Evans
Leyla is a wonderful Ambassador to Belly Dance.  Are you?
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Jade said...

Good point! Personally I am struggling with the current fusion styles that incorporate stripping and /or strong burlesque themes. I wonder what impact these 'ambassadors' are having on our dance. Its very hard to say belly dance is appropriate to teach kids when the first thing someone sees is a strip tease to belly dance music in what starts off as a belly dance type costume.

Suzy's Belly Dance Blog said...

People like this - I don't and won;t call them dancers - need to be called out. They have no good reason to diminish the dance. If they want to strip - fine by me - just don't do it in conjunction with belly dance.