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Thread: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?




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    Just Starting! ssteacher47's Avatar
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    Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Hi. Since I have begun belly dancing, I have noticed that my self confidence is at an all-time high. I am more comfortable with my body than even in my
    20s. To illustrate, I never wore a bikini until this summer and I am not afraid to run outside in my sports bra. Both things I would have never done in my 20s. Am I the only one whose self confidence has increased like mine has?


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    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?



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    Mega BHUZzer gothique's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssteacher47 View Post
    Hi. Since I have begun belly dancing, I have noticed that my self confidence is at an all-time high. I am more comfortable with my body than even in my
    20s. To illustrate, I never wore a bikini until this summer and I am not afraid to run outside in my sports bra. Both things I would have never done in my 20s. Am I the only one whose self confidence has increased like mine has?
    Yes!

    I'm still a work in progress; but belly dance has helped me get back in touch with my femininity, and has helped my self esteem, and confidence!

    (I suffer from depression, and I felt really ugly after some bad surgeries, and car accidents. I quit being 'girly girl').

    It's made me want to take better care of myself.


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    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Not to diminish any effects the dance has had for anyone, but a lot of women become bolder as they mature anyway. The "When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple..." empowerment has nothing to do with belly dance. Actually, a lot of women come to our dance classes because they've already reached the point of being able to say that they don't care how people will judge them--they've always wanted to try belly dancing, and nobody's going to stop them.


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    Master BHUZzer Bahtya's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    double post, sorry
    Last edited by Bahtya; 09-16-2010 at 08:59 PM.


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    Master BHUZzer Bahtya's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    empowerment has nothing to do with belly dance
    I don't agree. I do think that, yes, as we age we care less about what others think anyway, but I do think that BD, or perhaps any form of dance for that matter does help one get more in tune with their body. (how it moves, where your center is, your carriage, etc). By nature I've never been a shrinking violet but dance has improved my confidence and how I carry myself in everyday life. I won't go so far as to say I'm more empowered, (never felt powerless) but I have heard from many in my dance sphere that it's brought them to a new level of confidence.

    Unless Tourbeau, you meant that historically BD empowerment has nothing to do with BD.


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    Advanced BHUZzer poohbear's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    At times it has increased my self-confidence. I have always had issues with how I look but I am learning to let those go now. However, in class when I look in the mirror I see the "blob" while everyone else is so much thinner than me and I get down. Especially since the weight is keeping me out of the professional troupe : (


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    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Quote Originally Posted by poohbear View Post
    At times it has increased my self-confidence. I have always had issues with how I look but I am learning to let those go now. However, in class when I look in the mirror I see the "blob" while everyone else is so much thinner than me and I get down. Especially since the weight is keeping me out of the professional troupe : (
    If the professional troupe is so focused on weight instead of outstanding technique and artistry they don't deserve you.
    Aesera likes this.


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    Advanced BHUZzer carpediem's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    For me it has, and I feel more of a sense of accomplishment for what I can do and express rather than just evaluating whether I'm "attractive" or not.


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    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bahtya View Post
    I don't agree. I do think that, yes, as we age we care less about what others think anyway, but I do think that BD, or perhaps any form of dance for that matter does help one get more in tune with their body. (how it moves, where your center is, your carriage, etc). By nature I've never been a shrinking violet but dance has improved my confidence and how I carry myself in everyday life. I won't go so far as to say I'm more empowered, (never felt powerless) but I have heard from many in my dance sphere that it's brought them to a new level of confidence.

    Unless Tourbeau, you meant that historically BD empowerment has nothing to do with BD.
    No, I meant that many, many women find more courage in their lives to do things they were afraid to try when they were younger without ever setting foot in a belly dancing class. We are obviously biased by our own experiences, but there is nothing any more inherently "empowering" about belly dancing than any other activity that provides a sense of connection and positive feedback to the person doing it.

    Actually, I think it harms the dance in the long run to keep selling the "It's so empowering!" angle. This dance might be entertainment, and it might be art, and it might be exercise, but it isn't group therapy for people with self-esteem issues. When you play up that angle, you do so at the expense of the ideas about this dance being worthy of respect, because let's face it, something you do to make you like yourself more sounds indulgent and silly, not like an art form that takes years of diligent study to master and can be transcendently beautiful and entertaining to watch.

    I'm not saying that we shouldn't have "fun" classes, but I don't feel that empowerment should be our primary advertising thrust for that market. A lot of emotionally vulnerable people stumble into our classes, only to find that this isn't enough to fix their body issues or undo their relationship scars. Maybe it does give them more confidence and a better self image, but often it doesn't, and we have no guarantee that they wouldn't have responded better by taking a stripper-robics or ceramics painting class instead. We can say this is a fun hobby, and a great way to meet people, and low-impact, pleasant exercise for people looking for active recreation, but it's not a self-help strategy. We don't have a monopoly on women finding themselves.


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    Advanced BHUZzer poohbear's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    If the professional troupe is so focused on weight instead of outstanding technique and artistry they don't deserve you.
    Thanks Doozer! San Diego seems to be hung up on the more trim dancers. Some dancers have even lost gigs because restaurant owners have told them they were getting too heavy! And they have the "perfect" bellydance body!!


  12. #12
    I could get used to this! vanillacherry's Avatar
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    Re: Has your self confidence increased since starting to bellydance?

    Cliche... But bellydance helped me to embrace my femininity in ways I never had before. I grew up in a very strict family, who initially attended a church that doesn't even believe in dancing. Needless to say... it was not easy. On top of that, I was a tomboy as a little girl. I was definitely a girl, never wanted to be anything else, but I was always more comfortable with the guys. And then one day, they went from hitting me to hitting on me. Between not FEELING any different than I had the week before, and the complete censure of femininity I grew up with(Something about scriptures cursing women for wearing bracelets and flaunting their hair and walking seductively comes to mind...) I never really understood the attention I got from men. Or when other women called me beautiful, for that matter. It seemed out of context, like landing on another planet curiously like this one and having everyone expect you to understand an alien culture; and it seemed (and sometimes still does)cartoonish.
    When I first took a bellydance class, I was fascinated by the dance as an art form, and needed a creative outlet. I had no pretensions of soul searching or of trying to discover lost parts of myself. Yet from the very first movement, I felt connected to an integral part of myself that I'd never really been "allowed" if you will, to explore. I can't really tell you about that particular experience, but gradually, and increasing with everyday, I suddenly felt joy bubbling up from inside over being a woman. I felt like I could ENJOY that fact without the implication that had been laid over my head all my life, that if you were TOO proud to be a girl, if you moved in a particular way, if you really DID love your body, it must be for the sake of a man, or for getting a man's attention, and therefore sinful.
    Because of this dance, I now feel comfortable with the things that make me feminine. It feels ok to be soft. And vulnerability can even be strength of a kind. You could say I've gotten more "yin".

    So, more confident? Not exactly, no. But more able to see myself for ALL of who I am, absolutely, and for that, I will always be grateful.


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