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

seona

New member
Regarding the big fat gypsy wedding, I watched that show on-line, I didn't really like the way c4 went about presenting it, but I'm going way off topic now , lol! But I do remember in the show it was said that the girls adore Shakira! Hence the dancing.
 

LadyFatima

New member
I think it is absolutely perfectly fine for kids (male or female) to want to belly dance, BUT it has to be under the right conditions.

Which goes without saying, no TOO revealing costumes, try to keep the choreography simple and fun (not too provacative, leave that for the older dancers)
I think that's great if they want to perform in front of an audience but in this case I would

1) Hand pick the audience myself (try and keep it limited to close family and friends instead of total and complete strangers until the kid is a bit older)

2)view the choreography beforehand to make any necessary adjustments.

3) Give your audience a heads up first so they won't be taken off guard later on.

Other than that, I say "Go for it, babies!!":clap:
 

Amulya

Moderator
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.

Which clip are you referring too? I must say I am suddenly lost with this thread LOL. Sara's post came a bit out of the blue, was there a post that has been removed/edited?

With travelers are you referring to a group of people from the UK?
 

Sara

New member
Yes, Travellers from the Uk. In this documentary series the Travellers were mostly Irish Travellers. They aren't Romani so they do have traditions I'm not familliar with.
 

Imeera

New member
Personally, I see belly dance as....not sexual or anything even like it, but more a kind of coming of age thing. For both males and females (though females esspecially as the hips thing is quite important!!) So I feel it should be kept from children. I am talking under 11 though not under 16/18. I know that 11 is still a child but at that age puberty is close/begun so "coming of age" still applies if you know what I mean =] I have no real problem with it though, it unless they are really young, but that being said I don't think really young children should do any kind of dance. They don't have the understanding or nervous system for it :lol:

Its slightly off topic but I have always found it strange how at 16 (in the UK anyway) we can have sex, have children, get married and raise a family, but we can't vote until 18 :lol:
 
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LuLu

New member
I think it is absolutely perfectly fine for kids (male or female) to want to belly dance, BUT it has to be under the right conditions.

Which goes without saying, no TOO revealing costumes, try to keep the choreography simple and fun (not too provacative, leave that for the older dancers)
I think that's great if they want to perform in front of an audience but in this case I would

1) Hand pick the audience myself (try and keep it limited to close family and friends instead of total and complete strangers until the kid is a bit older)

2)view the choreography beforehand to make any necessary adjustments.

3) Give your audience a heads up first so they won't be taken off guard later on.

Other than that, I say "Go for it, babies!!":clap:
I agree completely the biggest issues I have see is costumes being too revealing for a child and sometimes provocative choreography. Fix those things and I dont see any problem with a kid Belly Dancing. Youngest Iv seen in my class was 3 or 4 she kinda lost interest though so it depends on the attention span of the dancer lol. You can always make it age appropriate.
 

Letizia

New member
Very interesting topic...I have an 11 year old daughter, who is at an awkward stage in her development. She is going to be tall, Dad's 6'4, shes 5'2 now and has just begun budding. She is on the chunky side, although I know that will change, I was heavy at that time in my live as well.

She has tried Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Ballroom and Latin, the B and L she still does a little bit, but she loves BD. I encourage her, allow her to wear a hip scarf over a skirt or pants and have fun practicing hip drops, etc. She is not performing. I agree that is for a more mature woman.

I have found that because BD is not so body type specific, she feels confident when she is dancing, she doesn't have to compare herself to the string beans she usually sees dancing. She is just exploring the movements, we are talking about some lessons, but she is not so self conscious when she dances now....I love that BD is doing that for her.

I almost feel that it was providence that I got back into it at this time in HER life.
 

LadyFatima

New member
Very interesting topic...I have an 11 year old daughter, who is at an awkward stage in her development. She is going to be tall, Dad's 6'4, shes 5'2 now and has just begun budding. She is on the chunky side, although I know that will change, I was heavy at that time in my live as well.

She has tried Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Ballroom and Latin, the B and L she still does a little bit, but she loves BD. I encourage her, allow her to wear a hip scarf over a skirt or pants and have fun practicing hip drops, etc. She is not performing. I agree that is for a more mature woman.

I have found that because BD is not so body type specific, she feels confident when she is dancing, she doesn't have to compare herself to the string beans she usually sees dancing. She is just exploring the movements, we are talking about some lessons, but she is not so self conscious when she dances now....I love that BD is doing that for her.

I almost feel that it was providence that I got back into it at this time in HER life.
:clap::clap::clap:

That is absolutely awesome!!:D

I think it is so great that your daughter got exposed to belly dancing at such a young age! I'm glad that she loves it so much, too. I have a feeling that (based on what yous said) by the time she is older, maybe around her mid-teens, and her body finishes developing (I "budded" around age 11 too;) ) maybe she will be ready to start performing and will be absolutely stunning!:D

I love hearing stories like this; tell your baby to keep dancing and practicing:dance:
I wish her the best of luck!
 

Letizia

New member
Thank you I am proud of her. :D

I never forced her into any form of dance, I wanted her to try them and continue if she wanted to, but to find and develop her own talents, she has the voice of an angel, where mine could peel paint. I do think she might really enjoy this one, whether she ever decides to perform, it will always be a natural outlet for self expression.

My mother took me to class with her when I was five...that was my first exposure. I was able to participate in class, but obviously no performing, we are going back a while now, I'm 43.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
WHAT costumer in his/her right mind would make such costumes for children??? :mad::mad::mad:

This isn't at all appropriate. I'm all for kids learning bellydance, Oriental dance, Raqs Sharqui, or, well, let's say, Middle Eastern dance, but with definite guidelines. When I think of children "bellydancing," I think of this:



and this:



(I adore Al; he's PHENOM! :D )

and this:



Darn! :( Tarik, you had a wonderful video shot in Egypt, I believe, of children dancing in a cultural context, but I can't find it in any of my saved vids, or in either one of your channels? :( Do you remember it?

I'm not so sure if whoever shot this next vid should have made it, because I'm iffy about whether he or she had the parents' permission, but the description says that it shows how people in Egypt start dancing as children with their families (it was shot backstage at the Ahlan wa Sahlan Festival in Egypt:

Just a tad bit late to the discussion, but here they are:


 

nightdancer

New member
In 2009, my children performed at my group's recital. They were wearing full skirts, matching tie tops and contrasting tank tops underneath. (For example, one was dressed in blue, and her tank top was red.) Their routine was simple, and the most provocative thing that happened was they spun around and their ankles showed. So, it can be done tastefully, as long as there is common sense involved.
 

zaiahadiyyah

New member
I have absolutely no problem with young children learning Belly Dance if it is done with discretion and emphasis is placed on the fact the this wonderful form of art has its roots in folkloric genre and children that grow up in these cultures learn from an early age to dance it. What I find distasteful is teachers or parents trying to create mini cabaret artists out of children. I have been a teacher for many years and have had the priviledge of teaching the art form to children including teaching them about the culture, the history as we know it and the musical instuments that are applicable to belly dance. I think it teaches children to learn from an early age to think outside the box and am very proud that I have both my grand daughters here in the USA dancing and one of my grand daughters in the Middle East as well. I have also taught them African dancing where where I come from and children there in the rural areas run around and dance without any clothing at all. Why deprive them of education outside of the USA. There is a big world out there.
 

LadyFatima

New member
Just a tad bit late to the discussion, but here they are:


Oh my goodness, those kids are SOOOO CUTE!!!:clap::clap::clap:

Sometimes kids are my favorite ones to watch when it comes to belly dancing. They always seem to just be "in the moment" and more concerned about having fun than about pleasing their audience:D

I totally agree that kids should learn to belly dance. However I don't think parents, teachers, guardians, etc should try to make prodigies out of them either. If the child (male or female) wants to learn to dance and seems like they're really into it, urge them to practice/perform, but don't force them into it.
I also agree that teaching them at a young age also promotes learning about different music and cultures at a young age, which can definitely help them out in the future. I think one of the many reasons why so many Westerners have a problem with belly dancing is because they are so used to the standards of their own culture that anything outside of that is just automatically considered "taboo". And by the time a lot of people reach adulthood, they feel they are so 'beyond' having to learn anything about the world around them.

I'm not saying that a person can't learn once they're over the age of 18 or 21, but when you're young, your brain is like a sponge: you can absorb pretty much anything.

Boy I hope if/when I have kids, they'll want to belly dance just like their mommy!!:dance:
 
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zaiahadiyyah

New member
Kudo's LadyFatima. Jay!!! Someone else that thinks like me. I can't understand why no fuss is made of "Babies in Tiaras". If that is not exploitation of young children then I am lost for words.

I love little children doing bellydance. You can see the admiration of their mothers and teachers in their eyes and smiles and the look of triumph when they do a move well and get rewarded for it. Tell me that that is not building self-esteem. :think:
 

LadyFatima

New member
Kudo's LadyFatima. Jay!!! Someone else that thinks like me. I can't understand why no fuss is made of "Babies in Tiaras". If that is not exploitation of young children then I am lost for words.

I love little children doing bellydance. You can see the admiration of their mothers and teachers in their eyes and smiles and the look of triumph when they do a move well and get rewarded for it. Tell me that that is not building self-esteem. :think:
Ugh, don't even get me STARTED on "Toddlers in Tiaras"!!!:mad::mad::mad:

I can't sit through shows like that for more than 5 mintues without getting sick/wanting to change the channel. Grown women making over little girls who are barely in kindergarten is just so irritating to me. It breaks my heart to see things like that. Because you're basically teaching your child (while she's practically still a baby) that yes, looks are everything and it is perfectly fine to be judged and rewarded solely based on your looks (at the age of 5 even. . .:rolleyes:)

Belly dancing actually has health and educational values. . .what's healthy/educational about teaching a toddler to be a spoiled brat covered in thick make up and over processed hair?!:confused:

If I ever have daughters, I'll sign them up for ballet lessons, belly dancing lessons. . . .shoot, I'll sign them up for pee-wee football if they want (I'll by the helmets and pads and everything), but NEVER, EVER beauty paegents.

I could care less about the opinions of some judges or the worth of some ridiculous trophy. . .as long as your kids are beautiful and precious in YOUR eyes, nothing anyone else says should matter.

*hops off her soapbox*
 

walladah

New member
Child bellydance

in areas where bellydance is a traditional dance, and actually they participate in the dance as soon as they can walk. In fact, they are encouraged to participate in the dancing adult women have!

However, this discussion about children in bellydance costumes, in revealing clothing and in "provocative" attitude does not exist within those same communities. First, because adults, men and women, do not dance in costumes, much less in clothes more revealing than their everyday outfit. Second, because the dance is social and within a community setting most women and men avoid to be very provocative in general. It is another story if f.ex. a person wants to flirt with someone dancing with her or in the audience. This creates an exceptional condition, which, however, makes the dance flirty but not more sensual than it usually is.

Because: bellydancing within a community setting is something that reveals the dancer's personality. A woman dancing within such setting will never exceed what is appropriate and lady-like and actually flirting is much more effective when is subtle than when it is explicit and vulgar. And in dance, just like in flirt, such things matter a lot!

So, if children are participating in that dance, they will never be exposed to learn anything that is vulgar or.. beyond their age. Even if they are, aesthetics of the community will educate children about who is exceeding... balance!

THey might have some... problems when they later want to learn more on bellydance, as their teachers will struggle to get them dance with big moves, while their community education makes them avoid exaggeration while dancing.

In that sense, i agree with children bellydancing, once this is done within a community setting. You do not need to be a so-called traditional community, just a community where real people and not "pro-adopting-a-dancing-persona" dance.

Moreover, i really wonder how bellydance teaching has forgotten that real, traditional bellydance, is done in everyday outfit among real people. I see many adult women bellydancing in a friendly-family setting and they have no idea how to do this, although they might know how to dance with a costume on a stage. Bellydancing as a real woman within real people is not taught at all - actually, bellydance teaching is still seen, even in countries with tradition in this, like Greece, to be exotic. In that sense, children suffer this misunderstanding as they are supposed to wear cabaret costumes and imitate a style that is not socially embedded.
 
Belly dancing is fine for children if they dress modestly and are protected by the adults in their life. I do not believe that belly dance is a sexual dance, so people of any age can belly dance.
 
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