+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10



  1. #1
    Just Starting! PennyForYourShimmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    25

    Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    One of the things that I do here in Phoenix, is go around to public highschools and volunteer to teach a workshop to the dance program about bellydancing. The students and I usually talk about what THEY know about bellydancing, dispel some of those myths, go over the history of bellydancing, go over some of the basic moves and then I put on a little 10 minute show for them. It is really rewarding because not only am I getting the opportunity to make a positive influence on impressionable young girls but I also get to educate the staff. It is hard for me to even get my foot in the door at some schools because of the leaderships perception of bellydance and bellydancers.
    One of the things I am doing is revamping the cirriculum, so what I want to know for my fellow bhuzzers is;

    If you could tell young impressionable girls one thing about bellydancing, what would it be?

    Let's exclude the "belly dancers are not strippers" as that is a permanant part of the cirriculum already!

    I can't wait to read your responses and incoorperate them in my cirriculum!


  2. #2
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    2,913

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    Do you only target girls, or is this open to any comers? Is there a particular reason you are limiting this to girls? The few times we have done school presentations, it is generally the full class, so I am just curious about your particular situation.

    Without knowing what you already cover, it's hard to know what to add- and sometimes voicing myths or concerns they haven't heard can be counter productive, so I think asking THEM what THEIR perspective is would be the most productive thing anyway, which sounds like what you are doing ..g.:


  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer zamora's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    4,141
    Blog Entries
    7

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    i would tell girls and boys that it hooks up your brain to parts of your body you had no idea you could control. thus starting a life of depth and awareness of ones own self.


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,801

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    Quote Originally Posted by Sariah_Kiram View Post
    If you could tell young impressionable girls one thing about bellydancing, what would it be?
    It's just dancing. It might be formally staged and artistic, or it might be informal and social, but it's always about hearing a wonderful song and wanting to move to it.

    Let's exclude the "belly dancers are not strippers" as that is a permanant part of the cirriculum already!
    A couple of people have suggested that constantly saying, "It's not stripping!" might actually be reinforcing the association in the same way that saying, "Whatever you do, don't think about white elephants!" makes a person more likely to think of white elephants than they otherwise would have. It's a difficult problem. We can't NOT address that particular misconception because it's so prevalent, but maybe we need to be more indirect about it?


  5. #5
    Just Starting! PennyForYourShimmy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    25

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    Lara,

    It is not limited to just girls, it just happens that at the schools I do workshops for I have only had girls in the class. I guess what I am looking for from my fellow bhuzzers is if you were in my position what would you say? I'm looking for common themes and ideas because essentially I will be one of the first people in the bellydance community theses students have contact with, I want my information and presentation to be the best it can be in the limited time I have!


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    Posts
    4,540

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    I don't spend a lot of time on what it isn't as much as I do on what it is.

    I start with talking about what countries it originates from, that it is a sort of amalgum of many different cultural dances glitzed up for stage. I tell them about Badia Masabni because I think she is pretty pivotal for what we now recognize as "belly dance". Then if I have the opportunity I'll pull out some rhythms, help the students identify and play them on their bodies and then put it in a cultural context, and tell them a little about that piece of the culture - like "here is a Saidi rhythm, it comes from this part of Egypt where the culture is like this....and these are some appropriate dance steps" and you can see how you can slip in the Men's martial art Tahtib, trained horse dancing and how that leads back to a belly dancer's show. Then hit Khaliji next, or ayyub is a good one, karsilama, - there are so many great choices. Then they come away thinking rich diverse cultural danceform. You could talk about birthing rituals too, and in the context of the rest of this information, they would hopefully come away understanding that it is only one piece of a much larger picture.

    If somebody brings up negative associations like stripping, I'd acknowledge it. As much as we try to deny it, some belly dancers are strippers and prostitutes (even now, in the Middle East and elsewhere). However, not all belly dance is stripping and not all stripping is belly dance. I'd liken it to any dance form. Some pole dancers are basically gymnasts in the feats they perform, but are all gymnasts pole dancers? I think most kids would already know the answer to that is no. I knew a professional modern dancer in a respected company who would choreograph routines for stripper friends on the side. The famously scandalous can-can dancers of France were ballet dancers moonlighting in the clubs for extra money. It isn't the dance itself but what you choose to do with it that makes it what it is.
    Last edited by shems; 12-06-2010 at 11:35 AM.


  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    2,913

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    Understood.
    If your goal is giving them info they might otherwise be hard pressed to find, I'd want to let them know about the sheer diversity in this dance- even with a very traditional leaning, there is so much to learn & so much room for personal expression, & then you look at other styles, folkloric, fusion, etc...

    I think too many people are exposed to one style & think that's all there is.

    & what Zamorah & Tourbeau said too :)


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Posts
    7,691

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    This article on Delilah's web site might offer you some ideas, both with respect to what you say when you approach schools and also with respect to things you might talk about in your class: http://visionarydance.com/archive/revivingophelia.html


  9. #9
    Advanced BHUZzer Elibelinde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,648

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    Quote Originally Posted by zamora View Post
    i would tell girls and boys that it hooks up your brain to parts of your body you had no idea you could control. thus starting a life of depth and awareness of ones own self.
    Yes! Plus it's empowering like any art form - to be able to master your body - learning is always empowering so exposure to new music/different cultures is mind-expanding, opens so many doors.

    I like what Tourbeau said too, right away if we approach the issue from the negative, ie the stripping angle we're reinforcing it.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer Ainsley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,514

    Re: Dispelling Myths about Bellydancing and other information

    Quote Originally Posted by zamora View Post
    i would tell girls and boys that it hooks up your brain to parts of your body you had no idea you could control. thus starting a life of depth and awareness of ones own self.
    Love this, Cory. That was certainly true for me.

    Like Shems, I would focus on what bellydance is, rather than what it isn't. I do think that constantly, preemptively addressing negative stereotypes can reinforce them, so I would avoid bringing up, for instance, the stripping issue unless asked by a student.


Similar Threads

  1. amount of information in your class
    By mekyria in forum Belly Dance Instructor Center
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-25-2010, 07:23 AM
  2. Any information about Fakkarouni?
    By joshumyan in forum Music Traditions & Styles
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 02-06-2009, 03:37 PM
  3. Information on a Flyer
    By rassicahl in forum Business of Belly Dance
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-28-2007, 07:05 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Statistics
  • Threads 41,113
  • Posts 594,204
  • Members 38,127
  • Welcome to our newest member, Zehra


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200