This isn't logical-This from their archives: This is not arab, Top 10 Reasons to NOT Bellydance: A Guide for non-Middle Eastern and North African People
Some of this I agree with and some of it is debatable.
"Exotic" means foreign. Why would a person copy the way their mother and aunties dance around the kitchen if they wanted to look foreign, ie different to what is the "norm" where they live? If I'm in, say, Egypt, and I want to look exotic, I might bleach my hair and try to look like a California girl, and NEVER bellydance because ew, so beledi.Presumably a person of Middle Eastern/North African descent can happily learn to bellydance for the sole reason of looking exotic, cute, and sexy.
Yes. Most of the general public in my state. GP automatically equates the exotic costuming of American/Fusion Tribal with the modern fantasy "harem girls" they have in their heads from video games and other pop culture stuff. Some of the GP can't relate the sophisticated sequined gown type costumes with their "living in tents and riding camels in the desert" notions. Quite a few of the newer dancers don't know where the fantasy/reality lines are. Some don't care to learn either. Flaming Thai finger air ship pirates on stilts while popping and locking to industrial music remains the rage for a reason.
One of my dance friends brought a non-dance friend to a hafla recently where he announced at the end that he'd really enjoyed the native American dancing! I didn't see that one coming, but I can totally see why a newcomer could make that mistake. Most of our local tribal groups perform Fat Chance ATS, so it's always billed as such, and I also like to emphasise that it's American rather than traditional Arabic dance, but sometimes that can spectacularly backfire if our MC doesn't give a whole little history lesson before the first Tribal act :shok:to add - A friend (non belly dance) once organised a festival and a tribal group had got in touch and offered to do workshops and a performance. He told me we have some American tribal dancers coming, and he initially,honestly thought they were native Americans!
My first thought was that it was associated with Techno/Unrban music (my second was that I loved their attitude) and so Arab never entered my mind and I had no idea there was even different styles when I started taking classes! It was just so very different from what I thought of as bellydance (again not knowing about different styles) that the connection was never made. Ok, I can see why people would be confused but to be honest I'm not sure how many people (general public) see Bellydance and think "Arab" either. Not that the connection isn't there but that I doubt people really stop to think about it. Honestly unless you dance why would most people?I must admit it confused me when I first saw it, that was prior to me having the internet and I had no clue of belly dance styles. I saw Rachel Brice in the bdss show and a lady told me that this was her favourite style and it's called 'tribal'. The title confused me and I thought I can't imagine tribal women doing those crazy back bends to Arabic electro fusion :lol: I didn't think it was an Arab dance but I can see why people may get confused!
Jane, I couldn't agree more with you! I am a beginner dancer...and pale white with blue eyes lol. I don't pretend to be something I'm not. But that doesn't make me any less interested in learning about this dance form, as well as about the cultures it originated fromIt is hard to be a belly dancer. When you start, for whatever reason, you might not know much about the cultures of the Near and Middle East. Some of us are willing to learn as we go and others aren't interested at all. I don't think it's fair to judge all "white women" as ignorant jerks just out to make a sexy spectacle of ourselves. It's just not that simple and everyone is an individual. Sure there are people everywhere who remain willfully ignorant, that's just people.
Isolating and not sharing your culture isn't helpful for people who *want* to learn. Everyone needs a jumping off point and finding common ground with basic humanities is a good place to begin. Food, music, dance, stories, art, we all share these things and can find things to love about our similarities and differences. We can acknowledge that some things are Arab and some things are not and that both are good and unique. I think misrepresenting things as Arab when they are in reality European/Western constructs is the problem, but the main message of the blog is unclear to me. I don't pretend to be Near/Middle Eastern. I am an American who is trying to learn a dance from another culture and do it to the best of my ability. Is that bad too according to the blog? I'm unsure.