Am i good enough to start performing at restaurants?

Zumarrad

Active member
This is the first time in three days I've actually felt comfortable posting a response to this thread... But I think the answer to THIS question goes back to what Tiziri said a couple pages back. There's still so much "mystery" surrounding belly dance (this, in hindsight, is not what she said at all, but she went into the Orientalist visions that were skewed by racism and ignorance, and that's what I'm mostly referencing), people don't understand it, or just assume it's sleazy; and then half the people who do understand it fuse it with something else and make it something different and then present THAT to the GP as "belly dance", so that the GP gets confused. And then they start seeing all these things presented at Renaissance Festivals, and on competition style reality shows, and truth isn't really represented in either of those venues. So the truth becomes what makes the most sense in your head at the time, even if it's not really based on anything concrete, beyond someone shaking their hips to some bagpipes, or contorting in front of painted pyramids. I think the only Westerners watching Dina and Fifi on youtube are other (or aspiring) belly dancers.
Yes, there's definitely the Orientalist element that is all about piercing the veil as in uncovering the occult, and the longstanding notion that The Mysterious And Ancient East is the fount of mystickal knowledge that is Lost In The Mysts of Tyme for all but the brave esoterists who dare to dig around in its sacred scrolls ... which gets tied also to the physical manifestation of that in so many eyes, the revealed Oriental body. Which, voila, wriggles about in a way that is either dirty and debased OR some kind of code that, once cracked, will open a direct portal to Sirius. Or both. Or whatever.

I went through my Robert Anton Wilson phase, once upon a time...
 

Munniko

New member
I would like the believe that we would be respectful and not ridicule her beliefs. I do feel bad if I came off doing so because I try to be as tolerant as I can. I would on the other hand point her to this forum or at least your website Shira so she could at least learn a little bit about the history because maybe she would like it or heck maybe it would increase her own spiritual beliefs knowing that it is a celebratory dance (maybe not about jesus, but she could in her mind be dancing for jesus)
 

Zumarrad

Active member
I would like the believe that we would be respectful and not ridicule her beliefs. I do feel bad if I came off doing so because I try to be as tolerant as I can. I would on the other hand point her to this forum or at least your website Shira so she could at least learn a little bit about the history because maybe she would like it or heck maybe it would increase her own spiritual beliefs knowing that it is a celebratory dance (maybe not about jesus, but she could in her mind be dancing for jesus)
I think it is fair to say that what happened was not quite what Shira suggests. She came in and asked a closed question: am I good enough to dance in restaurants? Answer: no. That's all anybody needed to say. But instead people gave her very kind and encouraging feedback, and offered suggestions about places she could take real classes and about the sorts of things she would need to learn.

She then replied in aggrived tones by telling everybody they were misinformed about bellydance, that she didn't want to take lessons, that despite not having ever taken lessons she believed lessons taught the wrong things, and said actual bellydancing looked like drunk women trying not to fall over. When it was suggested then a) that that was rude and b) that what she reviled is, in fact, what bellydance is, she climbed atop a mountain and began to patronise everyone for not being a follower of various psuedomystics, refused to accept that any of the resources being given to her could possibly have any relevance, and continued to troll.

She came to OD looking for validation. When she didn't get it she threw a tantrum. It's that simple. She became aggressive and obnoxious LONG before any of her responders did.

And coming back to her original question: is she ready for/good enough to dance in restaurants? With an attitude like that, no way. Hysterics because your viewers don't bow down and worship you and refusal to accept suggestions about how better to perform because she downloaded a book about mystic trails? Yeah, that's totally going to get her repeat bookings at Shapoopie Kebab House. If you need everything handed to you with cotton candy sweeteners and lots of gentle foofoo handling for fear your tiny ego will break, you are not ready for a pro dance career and that is just a sad reality.

It has nothing to do with "respect" or otherwise for her alleged belief system. You can walk your way to God but that doesn't mean you don't still have to put one foot in front of the other.
 

Kashmir

New member
Folks, if a new student showed up in your classroom and mentioned that she believed belly dancing was a temple dance from ancient Egypt, and that she hoped to use the technique in her personal spiritual practice, would you use the words "ignorance", "pseudomysticism," and "troll" to her face, and ridicule her faith until you drove her out of your classroom? If a Christian student said that she thought the shepherd women did belly dancing to celebrate on the night that Jesus was born, would you ridicule that?

Or would you courteously explain the history of the dance as you know it, refer her resources on belly dance history that you feel are credible, and respect her spirituality?
I think we tried that - but she was aggressively not listening. She was rude and ignorant and revelling in it.
 

shiradotnet

Well-known member
and said actual bellydancing looked like drunk women trying not to fall over.
And then a later post revealed that she was referring to a Dina clip. There have been countless times on bhuz that EXPERIENCED BELLY DANCERS have described Dina's traveling step in exactly this way.
 

Zumarrad

Active member
And then a later post revealed that she was referring to a Dina clip. There have been countless times on bhuz that EXPERIENCED BELLY DANCERS have described Dina's traveling step in exactly this way.
Well I think those posters are ignorant too, and we all know bellydancers who hate Arabs and hate Egypt etc etc. Of them, I prefer not to think.

But in relation to this situation: what are posters supposed to do? Magically travel forward in time to see what she's going to post later so they know how to respond to the initial post? And to be fair, I think people were feeling a bit protective of MizzNaa, not that she needs protecting, but just openmouthed shock that anybody would be so RUDE to a stranger who had told them that they knew a lot about and came from the country of origin of the dance this person purported to adore?

Where I come from, and also in England where the OP allegedly comes from, the OP's remarks to MizzNaa - who had been upfront and also apologised for being so upfront Egyptian about it - would get you a punch in the face in certain areas. At the very least, open-mouthed aghast "the hell?"
 

shiradotnet

Well-known member
I think we tried that - but she was aggressively not listening. She was rude and ignorant and revelling in it.
I didn't think she was rude, ignorant, or revelling. I thought she felt allegiance to a mind set that was different from that embraced by the more academically-inclined members of this forum, and she was trying to explain why that mind set worked for her. When spiritual beliefs clash with the academically-accepted orthodoxy, it's only natural that the spiritual person will try to defend/explain. Calling the spiritual person rude or ignorant isn't going to help matters.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I respectfully disagree. She was rude, quite so, before the topic of origin even came up. She was quite derogatory towards the forum members for giving her the honest feedback on her performance skills that she asked for in her initial post. Forum members were generally quite patient with her despite this and continued to be so in the face of increasing poor behaviour on the part of the op.

After approximately 3 days of this, people started to get fed up and started getting narky.

As to your question whether I would treat a student the same way, it would depend on the context. If a student of her ability asked me if she was ready to start dancing in restaurants and gave me a similar audition piece, I would say no, you are not ready, you have good technique but need to work more on feeling the music, transitions and audience interaction and hand her some dvds on the topics she needed to work on for home study. If a student came into my classroom and started talking over the top of me while I was discussing the origins of bellydance, loudly proclaiming how wrong I was and how stupid bellydancing looks and what she did was much better, watch and then continued with all that Dolphina-esque BS, you bet your best hipscarf I would be annoyed. And while the conversation would be private, it would definitely be in the same tone and direction. I guess that makes it a yes, I'd probably have the conversation in a less confronting environment but the content would be the same.

The point I am trying to make is that people did give her chances and the benefit of the doubt and it was thrown back in their faces. No matter how talented the student, that attitude has no place in my classroom. It's apparent that many of this thread's participants felt the same.
 
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CrimsonLuna

New member
OK well, For a start I know and have known Esmerelda for a very long time so I can tell you all now your rude comments are complete crap! How can you honestly think that the insults about her "Lack of personality" Are fair or even true! You all come accross to me to be offended by her dance style and the fact she's calling it Belly dance ... Well I am sorry but isn't there a saying that goes " Imitation is a form of flattery" Going off the fact you don't see what she does as belly dance?
I also think you are putting far to much enrgy into dis liking her calling her style belly dance rather than doing what it is you are proclaiming .... Giving critism. It's not it's down right bullying!
This has got far to out of hand now and it's like a battle of who can have the last word!
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Hi Es. You might want to try reading the constant barrage of 'wow, great technique' that you got throughout this thread instead of being so upset about the challenge to your misinformed ideas about the origin of bellydance.
 

Munniko

New member
OK well, For a start I know and have known Esmerelda for a very long time so I can tell you all now your rude comments are complete crap! How can you honestly think that the insults about her "Lack of personality" Are fair or even true!
In the video she posted to get this communities opinion on she was a little bit flat on emotion. I think she may have more personality when dancing she just might have picked a clip based on the technique she was showing and not showing the full packaged

You all come accross to me to be offended by her dance style and the fact she's calling it Belly dance ... Well I am sorry but isn't there a saying that goes " Imitation is a form of flattery"
So by this theory I should be flattered by people who go out on Halloween in their bathrobe calling themselves "Geisha" thinking that word is synonymous with whore? This point I chose to disagree on that quote being good for all purpose use.

Going off the fact you don't see what she does as belly dance?
I also think you are putting far to much enrgy into dis liking her calling her style belly dance rather than doing what it is you are proclaiming .... Giving critism. It's not it's down right bullying!
This has got far to out of hand now and it's like a battle of who can have the last word!
I have been a victim of bullying for many years and continue to be a victim and let me tell you that this was not bullying. Also I will also say that you joining this forum to defend your friend while extremely kind of you just promotes people assumption that she is a troll and that you maybe a second account she is using to fan the fires.
 

Munniko

New member
Oh my god you just can't stop can you ! What's the point in that snappy "misinformed ideas" God god you women!
Why yes indeed I am a woman good observation.

What I'm saying is that yes it is nice people like something well enough to imitate it doesn't mean you should automatically love it because it is "flattering". Porn also imitates things like Pirates of the Carribean and Alice and Wonderland, I guess their creators should be flattered:think:
 

CrimsonLuna

New member
I think a genuine question on this forum for advice has turned into a bitching match! That reply was just out for an argument but I am above that sweetheart.

Es Just ignore this thread now as it's turning nasty.
 

CrimsonLuna

New member
In the video she posted to get this communities opinion on she was a little bit flat on emotion. I think she may have more personality when dancing she just might have picked a clip based on the technique she was showing and not showing the full packaged


So by this theory I should be flattered by people who go out on Halloween in their bathrobe calling themselves "Geisha" thinking that word is synonymous with whore? This point I chose to disagree on that quote being good for all purpose use.



I have been a victim of bullying for many years and continue to be a victim and let me tell you that this was not bullying. Also I will also say that you joining this forum to defend your friend while extremely kind of you just promotes people assumption that she is a troll and that you maybe a second account she is using to fan the fires.
She doesn't want to fan the fires neither do I but when my friend got extremely upset it upsets me too. More so becasue I haveknown her for many years
 

Munniko

New member
I think a genuine question on this forum for advice has turned into a bitching match! That reply was just out for an argument but I am above that sweetheart.

Es Just ignore this thread now as it's turning nasty.
Thank you for still referring to me in a polite manner. I deeply appreciate your manners in this debate.:clap:

I was just attempting to clarify my previous comment because my reference seemed lost on you (I make weird references as prone to my major East Asian Languages and Culture) I guess we shall learn from this that make sure when submitting a body of work to an internet forum double check to how they've reacted to previous submissions and maybe even put out feeler posts before you put yourself that far out there
 

Munniko

New member
She doesn't want to fan the fires neither do I but when my friend got extremely upset it upsets me too. More so becasue I haveknown her for many years
I know how you feel because I was that way when I was younger and just wished to warn you how some people may come at you posting. I respect your friend greatly for having the courage to post her video and do encourage her to get some stage performances under her belt and flush out her ideas because she does have a lot of talent.
 

CrimsonLuna

New member
I know how you feel because I was that way when I was younger and just wished to warn you how some people may come at you posting. I respect your friend greatly for having the courage to post her video and do encourage her to get some stage performances under her belt and flush out her ideas because she does have a lot of talent.

Yeah I do agree she has talent and honestly i do understand where you all come from saying I also think when you have put hours into practising something you love and by the way she, last year wouldn't dare of put a video up on the internet she wouldn't even dance in front of her other half but her confidence is glowing now and being someone who ha watched her progress in confidence it upset me to see her first attempt at putting it up to judgement was crushed by some comments maybe they weren't meant in a nasty way but then the comments about her lack of personality and calling her rude.... I just thought that these posts were turning more into a battle of insults
 
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