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Oriental dance is art

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

I had planned to post another blog for this month but with recent events in Egypt of dancers flashing certain body parts, I’ve changed my mind. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’d love to post the other blog where I share some funny experiences I’ve had but I’m not in the laughing mood… and haven’t been since I saw the video.

I consider bellydance to be art, but believe it or not, I’ve had my beliefs challenged when I saw the video. I’ve thought about the incident and have debated a lot in my mind. Was it intentional or an accident? What was that person’s goal? What does that mean for the dance? What does that mean to me as a dancer? The way I see it is, I have to talk about this because this is what I am dedicated too and what I do for a living. I can't brush this under the rug and act like this didn’t happen.

When someone in Egypt flashes her unmentionables while dancing, numerous fucking times, in one of the countries that this dance belongs to, then how does one in a foreign country justify that behavior?

What can I say to someone who argues “bellydancers are considered whores in my country” when quite plainly, the video footage proves that? I’ve gone back and forth on this for a while as I’ve finalized contracts for gigs, finished choreographing some new pieces, teaching my classes and rehearsing….it’s just been non-stop in my head.

I hadn’t figured out how to accept the information until very recently actually. I went to a Mediterranean restaurant about a week ago to speak to them about potentially having regular shows. And even as I was talking to him about dance and music, to be honest, I almost felt a bit unsure about it. Not my proudest moment. Well, he was completely on board about the regular shows and then said, “Bellydance is important, it is art.”

*Insert one million heart emoticons here*

This isn’t about whether he saw the video or not, because I don’t think he saw it and don’t think he’d really care either. This is about someone affirming something I already knew but was doubting in my head!

My conclusion? Yeah, bellydance is art. Whatever dancers are doing somewhere else for however much money they’re doing it for is none of my business. This person is not a representative of the dance that I love and am dedicated too. That is not dance, that was shit so I'm going to just flush it down the toilet where it belongs.

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