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Thread: Would you teach at a porn shop?




  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Okay, I just spent the last hour on the phone with an event planner who hired some of my "competition" to perform at a party and she was appalled at the (how do I put this) the "burlesque" nature of the performance. I had to talk her down and convince her that my performance (next month -- she booked me in April) was totally G-rated, and the usual explanations and apologies for other people followed. She really wanted to cancel the contract, and it certainly didn't help my cause any when she mentioned that she saw "bellydance" classes offered at a local porn/erotic toys/adult novelty shop.

    It's difficult to convince someone they're NOT getting a stripper when they see they can take a 5:00 pole dance class in the same place as a 6:00 bellydance class.

    Now, I live in a small midwestern town and yes we're hick and backward, but I'm not a prude and we're not all rednecks here. I realize things may be different in bigger cities and college towns, but I have an opinion:

    PLEASE do not confuse belly dance and sex. Please do not teach this beautiful art form at the same place that sells dildos and crotchless panties. You have no idea how hard I have to work to repair the damage you create when you do this.

    The above is exactly how I feel and I want to write an article about it. But I would like to know how the general dance community feels about this. If I am overreacting and you think I need to chill out, please say so. If you agree with me, please say so. If you don't agree with me, and would be offended if I wrote an article criticizing teachers who teach at adult novelty shops, let me know. I'm really looking to get a bead on how we feel about this as a community of teachers.

    thank you for reading :)


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer nisaasaintlouis's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    I don't think you're overreacting. Seriously...no one would ever see a freaking flamenco class, hula class, WHATEVER [insert various ethnic genres here] ethnic dance class offered at a porn shop. Or at an erotic showcase featuring poledance, bondage scenarios, etc. (this has been an annual happening in my neck of the woods). Why, why, why does belly dance have to be constantly relegated to being either the "wink-wink, nudge nudge" dance form or the "everything but the kitchen sink" dance form?

    I have nothing against stripping or porn, but hell, I don't go to the porn shop to learn how to bake a cake, or speak Spanish, or write calligraphy, so why would I go there to learn how to do an ethnic dance????

    Aziyade, I feel your pain. Write your article.


  3. #3
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    no, I wouldn't, ever


  4. #4
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Hear, hear!!! ...do it!!!


  5. #5
    Mega BHUZzer SamarDahab's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    No I wouldn't teach at a porn shop. But I have taught at a place that mainly teaches pole dancing. I was uncomfortable with it but it's a very popular studio annd they have a large following. I mostly wanted to learn what I could from their business model. I don't like to be lumped with anything in sex trade. But as pole dancing gets more popular it's seen more and more as harmless fun and a great workout. The studio I taught at was women only and a very positive environment.


  6. #6
    Established BHUZzer GenevieveOfAtlanta's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    You know, I noticed a while back that a very well-respected dancer in my area whose style I always enjoy and who has always presented our art in a way that was beautiful, respectful and entertaining was offering classes at a local adult store. I was...perplexed. I'm not sure if these classes are still on-going, but I was truly confused by it.

    As for me, I would personally not be willing to offer or attend classes at such a venue. If it's confusing to me as a fellow dancer, I'd be afraid the public would be completely lost.


  7. #7
    Official BHUZzer beautynlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    I would never take a belly dance class at a porn shop. The appearance of impropriety is too great. However, I would take a pole dance class at a belly dance studio. Pole dancing offers a great cardio work out and upper body strenght training. Its a fad, like zumba, a "do" in my book. Also, it seems as though quite a few reputable studios are offering pole dancing in their studios.


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    I'm with rakgirl, here. While I'd teach at a studio that offered pole dance, I'd be more hesitant to offer a class at a porn shop or as part of a series for bored housewives to "spice up their sex lives," as I've also seen out and about.

    OK, so a job's a job's a job, right? Well, I like getting hired for slick corporate events and appearing in local media and other classy freedoms that our seedier counterparts don't enjoy. I like embarrassing Uncle Joe and surprising teen girls at their Super Sweet 16's. I wanna keep life simple and my opportunities classy. Even if one person gets the wrong idea, that's too big of a risk for me to take. I wouldn't want my students to walk into my class with their hip scarves on and walk out with a 12" double-sided dong.

    On the rare occasion that somebody has canceled on me at the request of a conservative family member, I can't help but to wonder if someone had been turned off by something specific they saw either in the local community or in the media.

    Go ahead and write that article! I'll plaster it all over my own blog


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer steffib's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Well, if I lived in San Francisco, I would consider teaching at Good Vibrations, which is a cool, clean and well-lit store. But, in my neck of the woods teaching at a porn shop - no way. I am also not into the bellydance classes in a studio that offers whatever kind of sexercise there is.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer jamielynn's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    definitely with you on this one. Write the article, post it everywhere. Teaching bellydance at a porn shop is not good at all. Yes, bellydance is a sensual dance but there is a huge difference between sensual and sexual. I heard it explained that it is the difference between a caress on the cheek and a slap in the face. We need to maintain the "art form" of bellydance and not give the general public any more excuses to belittle bellydance.


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer wigglewhiz's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    My friend used to work in an Ann Summers shop. I used to have a hard time just "being seen" going in to say hi or to take her for lunch.

    Can't believe there are people happy to teach dance in/above/linked to a porn shop - I'm so tired of having to defend myself against various (and sometimes weird and out-of-the-blue) assumptions from people, there's just no way I'd do anything to increase the risk of having them make the same assumptions.

    And the super annoying thing is, no matter what I do and how I present myself, somebody is always going to use that old chestnut of "But I saw a dancer once and she was/wore/did xyz" or "I saw bellydance advertised in the porn shop, you can't tell me it's not about sex".

    Le sigh. Much as I wish these other dancers would think about the impact of their actions on the rest of us, there's always that movement of dancers (including really good dancers) who think it's "empowering" or who are comfortable with their sexuality and so on and so forth, and we're going to accused of being prudes. Bothers me hugely.

    To sum: write your article! ..l;,


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    "Oh, noes!" as the LOLcats say. Maybe you better read this first, if you haven't already...Miles views on maintaining a positive image for the Gilded Serpent

    I can totally see your point. Personally, as a dancer, I don't want anything to do with porn, stripping, pole dancing, bachelor parties, and the like, but a few people do. I think in general, the dance community is divided into three groups:

    (A) Dancers who care about elevating this to an art form and are very conscientious about its presentation and creative integrity
    (B) Dancers who think Group A is stuffy/nerdy/cramping their style
    (C) Dancers who say they are in Group A, but are actually closer to Group B--either because they don't understand the ramifications of what they do or because they're lying

    Group A would never teach at a porn store. Group B wouldn't be able to sign up fast enough for the gig, and trying to talk them out of it would be about as much fun as trying to teach Quantum Mechanics to a goat. You might be able to reason with Group C and convert them to solid Group A's, or maybe all you would do is push them into Group B, where they were probably destined to belong anyway.

    I think part of the problem is that when you have the PR issues we face, we see a lot of students who approach the dance filled with stereotypes and misconceptions. Seriously, when is the last time you had a new student inquire for classes by saying, "I've been researching ethnic dance forms that are under cultural assault by religious fundamentalists in their native lands, and I was looking for a way to help preserve them in a secondary culture...oh, and I enjoy low-impact recreation." No, usually what you hear is, "Uh, it sounded like fun, and I've heard it's good exercise to flatten your stomach," and half the time you can see from their faces that they're still thinking about how hot they're going to look showing this off to their husbands later in their Halloween-store genie costumes.

    To Group B, it probably makes perfect sense to cultivate this market--after all, many of the same women who are going to their classes are probably also taking pole dancing and buying stripperobics DVDs. Until we can make a substantial dent in the public misconceptions of our dance, we'll just keep seeing this over and over...at least until the next exercise fad comes along and clears out some of the riffraff.


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    No, no, no, no, NO! And I hate that so many Middle Eastern Dance instructors teach in locations that teach pole dancing.

    We fight so hard to educate the GP that we aren't strippers;why would we want to confuse them?


  14. #14
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by wigglewhiz View Post
    Le sigh. Much as I wish these other dancers would think about the impact of their actions on the rest of us, there's always that movement of dancers (including really good dancers) who think it's "empowering" or who are comfortable with their sexuality and so on and so forth, and we're going to accused of being prudes. Bothers me hugely.
    Yes. To me, the sex thing is like the goddess thing. Personally, I think each dancer is free to attach any personal, spiritual or sexual significance to her own dance practice. In the long run, many of us feel rewarded by being part of something larger than ourselves. So who am I to judge the individual dancer who has become more sexually liberated through her dance practice? Or the dancer who uses BD to become closer to the Mother Goddess, for that matter?

    However, it begins to get hairy when BD is marketed strictly for those peripheral, personal purposes and not as the ethnic social dance that it is. When I go to class, I want to learn how to dance, not how to feel the awakening of my own kundalini or how to worship my womynly curves (or lack thereof!)

    Just because BD makes some people feel sexually liberated does not mean that it's a universal means to being a tigress in the sack. Some people feel sensual empowerment through ballroom dancing or even certain forms of yoga, but you'd never see those offered in a sex shop!


  15. #15
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    Until we can make a substantial dent in the public misconceptions of our dance, we'll just keep seeing this over and over...at least until the next exercise fad comes along and clears out some of the riffraff.
    Slightly OT - but I've always been a firm believer in selective PR.

    In other words, you get a call from a media professional for a TV, radio or print appearance. Don't jump on the gig just yet. Talk some more, dig into the nature of the appearance. Will you get a chance to display the beauty and culture of the art form, in a crowd-pleasing, fun way? Will you be part of a bigger segment on pole dancing and strippercize? Are they gonna make you do that same tired, stupid act where you tie a hip scarf around the (male) news anchor's waist and make him shimmy while the chipper female anchor hoots and hollers for him? Do you have a chance to help shape the story or are they pushing a very specific angle?

    I can't tell you how many times people have found out that I belly dance, and then made a reference to this awful "belly dance" act that the local stripper studio put on for our local lifestyle news show. (The instructor was not a belly dancer, but got up to do 10 excruciating minutes of wonky hip drops immediately after talking about how pole dancing is a great way to let your juicy curves out to play or some BS - no mention of what belly dance is, or where it comes from).

    "No....that's not exactly what I do," I tell them. And leave it at that ,r:;


  16. #16
    Fotia
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by rakgirl View Post
    No I wouldn't teach at a porn shop. But I have taught at a place that mainly teaches pole dancing. I was uncomfortable with it but it's a very popular studio annd they have a large following. I mostly wanted to learn what I could from their business model. I don't like to be lumped with anything in sex trade. But as pole dancing gets more popular it's seen more and more as harmless fun and a great workout. The studio I taught at was women only and a very positive environment.
    I am familiar with this studio's philosophy and yes, it is all about fun and all about fitness. But if they ever start promoting costuming (or lack of it) then you are talking about something completely different which I can tell is not the issue here. A porn shop is different because it has all those gadgets, while bellydancers use props and accessories. Big difference.


  17. #17
    Mega BHUZzer Bellydancingcaroline's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    I think that most people are smart enough to figure out that most people who bellydance are middle aged women in dance studios for fitness and fun. I firmly believe that some people just enjoy making others feel uncomfortable by bringing up inappropriate conversation topics.


  18. #18
    Fotia
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Recently, I was dancing at a family oriented cafe in a supposedly sophisticated neighborhood. While I was walking across the street in my cover-up, some jerk sees me and starts licking his chops. It took all of my self-control not to smack him in the face because then he starts telling people that "hey bellydancers are here."

    The audacity. . .,m::


  19. #19
    Mega BHUZzer Linnyg's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Write it! I would never take a class at a porn shop. I would assume that they were teaching a type of BD that I am not interested in.


  20. #20
    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellydancingcaroline View Post
    I think that most people are smart enough to figure out that most people who bellydance are middle aged women in dance studios for fitness and fun. I firmly believe that some people just enjoy making others feel uncomfortable by bringing up inappropriate conversation topics.
    How would they figure that out? Most people don't know bellydancers, or know anything about it. Unfortunately, many people think it is Middle Eastern stripping.


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer da Sage's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    I wouldn't want my students to walk into my class with their hip scarves on and walk out with a 12" double-sided dong.
    You're saying convenient shopping opportunities are a bad thing?


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Nope never no way not gonna do it. I teach a difficult and quality class. I don't teach or perform in sex shops, laudromats, starbucks, IKEAs, mall parking lots, grocery stores, donut shops, porn conventions, and any place else that does not possess the atmosphere that this art form deserves.


  23. #23
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Also you need to find out who is teaching at the porn shop and get all your dance friends to call her and explain why that is a no no. I swear I am so tired of people being able to get away with this stuff. The reason you will never see a ballet class or hula class in a porn shop is because the teachers instill a respect for the dance in their students and teach them rules so they don't go out and make asses of themselves.


  24. #24
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by da Sage View Post
    You're saying convenient shopping opportunities are a bad thing?
    Well....maybe vibrating panties might be of assistance to the shimmy-challenged ,r:;

    Satin's Fine Print Disclaimer: If this thread comes up on a random Google search for quality belly dance entertainment in the Constitution State, please take note that the author is engaging in her usual internet horseplay and does not really advocate the use of adult toys as dance props or learning aides! If you really believe that vibrating panties will help you master your hip shimmies, then so be it - but if you think you will find advice on incorporating said panties into your practice routine, then you are barking up the wrong tree by seeking such assistance on Bhuz.com


  25. #25
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Oh oh oh!!!!!! On my damn soapbox again!!!
    That miles copeland article makes want to smack him! His Babelesque show had a burlesque style number in it!!!!!!!
    Adore was twirling around on a chair with a top hat on and taking off her robe. Smack him smack him smack him upside the head!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    "Oh, noes!" as the LOLcats say. Maybe you better read this first, if you haven't already...Miles views on maintaining a positive image for the Gilded Serpent

    I can totally see your point. Personally, as a dancer, I don't want anything to do with porn, stripping, pole dancing, bachelor parties, and the like, but a few people do. I think in general, the dance community is divided into three groups:

    (A) Dancers who care about elevating this to an art form and are very conscientious about its presentation and creative integrity
    (B) Dancers who think Group A is stuffy/nerdy/cramping their style
    (C) Dancers who say they are in Group A, but are actually closer to Group B--either because they don't understand the ramifications of what they do or because they're lying

    Group A would never teach at a porn store. Group B wouldn't be able to sign up fast enough for the gig, and trying to talk them out of it would be about as much fun as trying to teach Quantum Mechanics to a goat. You might be able to reason with Group C and convert them to solid Group A's, or maybe all you would do is push them into Group B, where they were probably destined to belong anyway.

    I think part of the problem is that when you have the PR issues we face, we see a lot of students who approach the dance filled with stereotypes and misconceptions. Seriously, when is the last time you had a new student inquire for classes by saying, "I've been researching ethnic dance forms that are under cultural assault by religious fundamentalists in their native lands, and I was looking for a way to help preserve them in a secondary culture...oh, and I enjoy low-impact recreation." No, usually what you hear is, "Uh, it sounded like fun, and I've heard it's good exercise to flatten your stomach," and half the time you can see from their faces that they're still thinking about how hot they're going to look showing this off to their husbands later in their Halloween-store genie costumes.

    To Group B, it probably makes perfect sense to cultivate this market--after all, many of the same women who are going to their classes are probably also taking pole dancing and buying stripperobics DVDs. Until we can make a substantial dent in the public misconceptions of our dance, we'll just keep seeing this over and over...at least until the next exercise fad comes along and clears out some of the riffraff.


  26. #26
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by SandraDances View Post
    How would they figure that out? Most people don't know bellydancers, or know anything about it. Unfortunately, many people think it is Middle Eastern stripping.
    To complicate things even worse, sometimes it IS Middle Eastern stripping. There are plenty of oversexed youtube vids AND actual working girls in the Middle East that "belly dance" to advertise their wares.

    There's a ton of gray area in the dance, and teaching in a porn shop would make your belly dance appear to be a darker shade of gray, for sure.

    I would not teach at a porn shop. I would teach in a studio that offered pole dance as part of a varied schedule (and the studio where I currently teach offers a class called "Zensual Dance", which used to be a Stripping for Housewives (or something like that) class - but it also offers Nia, Pilates, Yoga, and Belly Dance, so I don't have a problem with it. Studios have to make money to stay open, after all.

    There's another studio in town that teaches mostly sensual dance, pole, and burlesque classes. I chose not to pursue that gig when it presented itself to me.


  27. #27
    I could get used to this! melodyrnr's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    I don't even know what to say that hasn't already been said. No, No, No I would not do it and anybody who asked me would get quite a lecture.


  28. #28
    Mega BHUZzer Linnyg's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    Well....maybe vibrating panties might be of assistance to the shimmy-challenged ,r:;

    Satin's Fine Print Disclaimer: If this thread comes up on a random Google search for quality belly dance entertainment in the Constitution State, please take note that the author is engaging in her usual internet horseplay and does not really advocate the use of adult toys as dance props or learning aides! If you really believe that vibrating panties will help you master your hip shimmies, then so be it - but if you think you will find advice on incorporating said panties into your practice routine, then you are barking up the wrong tree by seeking such assistance on Bhuz.com
    ..l;,..l;,..l;,.w.:..l;,..l;,..l;,..l;,


  29. #29
    Official BHUZzer beautynlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    ..l;,You're a hoot, Satin!!!..l;,


  30. #30
    Master BHUZzer aziyade's Avatar
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    Re: Would you teach at a porn shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    Also you need to find out who is teaching at the porn shop and get all your dance friends to call her and explain why that is a no no. I swear I am so tired of people being able to get away with this stuff. The reason you will never see a ballet class or hula class in a porn shop is because the teachers instill a respect for the dance in their students and teach them rules so they don't go out and make asses of themselves.
    I know who it is. It is a friend of my Disgruntled Student, and a former (8-month) student of MINE. But I'm not blaming myself, because I feel like I made my position VERY clear in class, and we talked about what was appropriate and not appropriate. This student clearly had other ideas.


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