Child Belly Dancers

Children Belly Dancing: Yay or Nay?

  • Absolutely Fine!

    Votes: 15 23.8%
  • No Way!

    Votes: 3 4.8%
  • Sure in the Right Conditions.

    Votes: 45 71.4%

  • Total voters
    63

LunaXJJ

New member
Wow this thread took right off.

Yes the last picture in my first post was an exaggeration. Just saying that BD seems fine for children depending on things like costuming, and technique. I wouldn't have my kid doing more of the sensual moves, but there are plenty of moves children can practice that aren't inappropriate.
 

Yame

New member
A child on playground or soccer practice versus on stage in makeup, crop top, doing hip circles? Sorry biiiig difference for me.

I personally have seen too many kiddies on stage bellydancing, participating bellydance competitions and little 8 year old divas waaaaay sexed up, resembling grownup hookers in their glitter eyeshadows.

So I prefer to err on side of safe.... To each their own I guess. After all, it is perfectly ok for their parents and teachers.... so.....
Little girls in ballet recitals wear makeup, leotards and tutus which IMO are much more revealing than most child-appropriate belly dance costumes, but no one seems to have a problem with that.

Little girls in gymnastics competitions wear even less, plus makeup, plus they crotch their audiences and spread their legs, etc.

Are these things meant to be provocative? No. Could they be construed as such? Certainly. The same holds for belly dance.

If you are also against these forms of performance then fine. If not, then there is a double standard going on here.
 

Mariyam

New member
And let's not mention beauty pageants, where little girls wear way too much makeup, often dress inappropriately for their age and move in very suggestive ways. But that's an entirely different debate...
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Of course Its a double standard! Belly dance has a 'reputation'! Upheld bu cheap and expensive dancers prostituting in Middle East. Also by certain well known dancers in the west choosing tacky costuming and over sexualising the dance.

Oh and ballet dancers and gymnasts do not happen to perform in harem fantasy costumes, bra being reserved for the bedroom and not the stage. Of course there HAS to be a double standard, as you can NOT equate these art forms, and yes, ours happens to come with certain unpleasant 'baggage'.

GP is getting more and more educated and still we get queer looks on saying we bellydance, the looks we will not get if we say we do ballet and gymnastics. Sad truth it is.

On the side not I am all for simpler more reserved costuming for kids in other forms of dance and less makeup. Take ballroom for example. However to discuss those forms of dance we have to start a new thread, here we focus on bd, obviously. A no, I do not think its ok to wear lots of makeup just because ballet dancers and gymnasts do. And mind you not all of them do either. ;)
 

Yame

New member
Of course Its a double standard! Belly dance has a 'reputation'! Upheld bu cheap and expensive dancers prostituting in Middle East. Also by certain well known dancers in the west choosing tacky costuming and over sexualising the dance.
So you are deliberately choosing to view belly dance this way, even though you know that's not all there is to it.


Oh and ballet dancers and gymnasts do not happen to perform in harem fantasy costumes, bra being reserved for the bedroom and not the stage. Of course there HAS to be a double standard, as you can NOT equate these art forms, and yes, ours happens to come with certain unpleasant 'baggage'.
Most child belly dancers don't perform in bras either, they perform in crop tops and long skirts, which, together, are MUCH less revealing than skin-tight leotards.
As a child, I took gymnastics and swimming. In both these classes, I always felt NAKED. I would have felt a thousand times more covered showing a little bit of belly but with a skirt that went all the way down to my feet and was loose enough to cover me up.


=
On the side not I am all for simpler more reserved costuming for kids in other forms of dance and less makeup. Take ballroom for example. However to discuss those forms of dance we have to start a new thread, here we focus on bd, obviously. A no, I do not think its ok to wear lots of makeup just because ballet dancers and gymnasts do. And mind you not all of them do either. ;)
Wearing makeup is part of stagecraft. People wear makeup when they are on stage because they need to have a face from the point of view of their audience.
Without makeup, the features can not be seen from a distance. It doesn't matter if it's theater, if it's ballet, ballroom, or belly dance. The style and amount of makeup worn will depend on the character being portrayed. I don't care if you are 5 or 50, if you are part of a serious performance, makeup is part of the package.
It has nothing to do with sexualizing children. Why do we have to view everything as sexual?
 

Reen.Blom

New member
So you are deliberately choosing to view belly dance this way, even though you know that's not all there is to it.
I do not see everything as sexual. I have just said that in the child performances that I have seen 8 year olds looked like grown up hookers, with lots of glittery makeup. Make up for stage - yes - grown - up makeup on children - no. Very fine line between VERY miniature crop tops and bras, IMHO.

As for the reputation of bellydance, well, regardless of the fact that you prefer to equate it with ballet or ballroom or gymnastics or whatever else, it does not change the reality and its reputation maintained by raunchy costumes and behavior of many celeb dancers and prostitutes in ME.

If you can ignore it and live your fairy tale- good luck to you.
 

Yame

New member
I do not see everything as sexual. I have just said that in the child performances that I have seen 8 year olds looked like grown up hookers, with lots of glittery makeup. Make up for stage - yes - grown - up makeup on children - no. Very fine line between VERY miniature crop tops and bras, IMHO.

As for the reputation of bellydance, well, regardless of the fact that you prefer to equate it with ballet or ballroom or gymnastics or whatever else, it does not change the reality and its reputation maintained by raunchy costumes and behavior of many celeb dancers and prostitutes in ME.

If you can ignore it and live your fairy tale- good luck to you.
I don't live a fairy tale. I live in a world made up of complex realities, one of which is the nature of belly dance in the Middle East and in the minds of the public in the West.
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
I think the problem is a cultural one. In the US it is common to see young girls "tarted" up on stage dancing like little mini adults no matter what the dance style is. I am tired of seeing 12 year old (and younger) girls strutting stuff they don't have and 14 (and younger) girls pretend gang fighting or acting seductive. I've seen it in Jazz, Modern, Latin, you name it, so I can certainly understand a blanket concern on the subject when that is the majority of the stuff out there.

Personally I have no problem with it if the kids are being taught to express themselves as opposed to pop culture, if they dress and dance in a way appropriate to their age, in fact I love it but I will admit that doesn't happen that often. I have seen a higher ratio of appropriate dancing in bellydance however so maybe as a group we are more aware of the problem for all the reasons listed above and make that choice because of it.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
Just earlier today I came across these videos. It made think. It's not inappropriate or overly sexual IMO but there is something a bit weird about it. I think it is because the girls look really young but have a very mature style. As good as they are they kind of look like mini adults or something. :think: What do you think?


 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Just earlier today I came across these videos. It made think. It's not inappropriate or overly sexual IMO but there is something a bit weird about it. I think it is because the girls look really young but have a very mature style. As good as they are they kind of look like mini adults or something. :think: What do you think?
I think I hate that. They're perfect examples of what I meant; adult costumes, adult body language, adult imitation of coyness, it's not them being their age. Now the link Yame gave is great. The costuming is appropriate for her age and the same moves on her come off as genuine and "girly" instead of "mini adults".
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Just earlier today I came across these videos. It made think. It's not inappropriate or overly sexual IMO but there is something a bit weird about it. I think it is because the girls look really young but have a very mature style. As good as they are they kind of look like mini adults or something. :think: What do you think?
That's what I am talking about. Ok for grown ups, but creepy on kids. IMHO
 

imran

New member
Oh these costumes are horrible, Reen :shok: They're just... wrong. And the poses aren't much better, if you ask me! (girl in blue outfit in particular)
I really agree.Kids of this age should not be wearing such costumes.:naghty:
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Uhm... how is that relevant to child bellydancers? I find the dresses fascinating though! (especially the red bridesmaid dresses)
 

Amulya

Moderator
I don't think bra tops and thigh-high slits are appropriate for children, but this I find totally cool:

YouTube - 1254 - Darya MATIASH

I agree, and her dancing style is different too. The other clips are just freaky, the mini adult versions remind me of beauty pageants.

I have taught belly dance to all ages, from very young kids (5-6) to primary school kids and teens, there is nothing wrong in that.
Especially teens get a lot of self confidence out of learning to dance.

Only one time I was very shocked when I was teaching a workshop to a class of 9-10 y/o and after class some of the Moroccan girls started doing some Cristina Aguilera kind of dancing with all sorts of very inappropriate movements (that was when that clip of her came out that was extremely provocative). I was so shocked and those were children of traditional parents.
 

Sara

New member
Oh yea. I had to edit my post and must have deleted the rest of what I wrote. :rolleyes: Well the traveller children tend to dress in really skimpy outfits. But it is just part of their culture now. When the program aired people were like :shok: and asking me if thats really what happens. And it is.

I tried to explain that although I don't agree with the younger children wearing those clothes, it is part of the culture. Sex, and sexualisation doesn't happen outside of marriage. These dresses and costumes are simply fashionably appealing and in a way allow the girls some freedom. Traveller girls marry young. 22 is considered on the shelf. But sex before marriage is considered immoral. One part of the clip was a woman who makes the amazing dresses and as she said, the young girls can look like prosititues but they do have extremely strong morals.

I think that although it is shocking for outsiders within the community these outfits aren't necessarily considered sexual, but fashionable. I think that if this occurs in the ME perhaps it is for the same reason? The costumes may not be seen as sexual?

When it occurs in the west, I think that it is more of a fashion thing and wanting to dress up. It is exciting for children. I don't agree with children being costumed like in the video, but if they must I wouldn't expect to see them dancing in public.

I do think that dancing at a young age is wonderful. If I have children I'll play them music all day long and dance with them. I want them to learn dance from myself and my family. I'll raise a right bunch of fire crackers! :dance:
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Thanks Sara, actually nice to get a glimpse o a different cultural angle...

However... I know this young marriage thing is part of the culture... Yet may times it happens that marriage is arranged, or a child is bulied into marriage, not necesarrily wanting to be married and have a baby at 14-15.... so what is part of a 'culture' on one hand is child abuse on the other.

That happens awfully lot in Africa, where young gals get married and have kids as young as 12 and many are devastated by having a baby at such young age. Also has a lot to do with lack of sexual education and absolutely NO birth control available to women.

Part of the culture? Yes. Child abuse? YES! I soooo hate to see those tiny skinny gals carrying toddles who are not their siblings... mostly unmarried and victims of rape... Part of a culture often means no voice no choice no education no dignity.

I am not specifically referring to the above clip, itjust reminded me of those kids and women I have seen.
 
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