Plus Size Dancers

LadyofLostTimes

New member
Hi there,

I am new to belly dancing (less then a year). I really love it but I have a problem and I was wondering if you ladies can help me. I am a plus size lady and I find it so hard to find any support from the belly dance community. I thought that belly dance was to empower you and make you feel like a woman and to have a place that all women (no matter what size or shape) can come together and celebrate being a woman and the love of the dance. All I have been receiving is hatred and negativity. I was once in a class to learn belly dance and all I heard was rude and nasty comments, even from the teacher. I had also placed a video on you tube of me dancing and showing off the costume that I hade made and all I got were nasty comments on there to. It had gotten so bad that I had to take it down. Now I know that you tube is filled with a bunch of lame brains that have nothing better to do then sit there and leave nasty comments all day long. The ones that left me the nasty comments were mostly belly dancers. (I know because I looked them up.) I will not sit here and list what they have said because some of them were really nasty. I would just like to know if and other plus size dancers are having just as hard of a time as me. Why do skinny dancers find it ok to beat down someone who is not as small as them? (I had enough of that in high school)

I know that I shouldn’t care about what other people think or say but it is hard when you want to share with people and they turn there backs to you when they find out that you are over weight and all you are left with are your cats and your boyfriend. It is heartbreaking to think that a community of something so beautiful can be filled with negativity, anger, and hate.

Sorry for the long rant but I just wanted to know what other people think on the subject.

Thank you
Fran

P.S If there is any big beautiful dancers out there that read this I want you know that there is some one out there that supports you. I may have hung up my coin belt but I will be there for you. (((((HUGS)))))
 

da Sage

New member
Hi there,

I am new to belly dancing (less then a year). I really love it but I have a problem and I was wondering if you ladies can help me. I am a plus size lady and I find it so hard to find any support from the belly dance community. I thought that belly dance was to empower you and make you feel like a woman and to have a place that all women (no matter what size or shape) can come together and celebrate being a woman and the love of the dance. All I have been receiving is hatred and negativity. I was once in a class to learn belly dance and all I heard was rude and nasty comments, even from the teacher. I had also placed a video on you tube of me dancing and showing off the costume that I hade made and all I got were nasty comments on there to. It had gotten so bad that I had to take it down. Now I know that you tube is filled with a bunch of lame brains that have nothing better to do then sit there and leave nasty comments all day long. The ones that left me the nasty comments were mostly belly dancers. (I know because I looked them up.) I will not sit here and list what they have said because some of them were really nasty. I would just like to know if and other plus size dancers are having just as hard of a time as me. Why do skinny dancers find it ok to beat down someone who is not as small as them? (I had enough of that in high school)

I know that I shouldn’t care about what other people think or say but it is hard when you want to share with people and they turn there backs to you when they find out that you are over weight and all you are left with are your cats and your boyfriend. It is heartbreaking to think that a community of something so beautiful can be filled with negativity, anger, and hate.

Sorry for the long rant but I just wanted to know what other people think on the subject.

Thank you
Fran

P.S If there is any big beautiful dancers out there that read this I want you know that there is some one out there that supports you. I may have hung up my coin belt but I will be there for you. (((((HUGS)))))
Not sure if you are for real or not....that said, I apologize if people were rude to you in dance class. That should never happen. I hope you find your way back to dancing again.

And there are plenty of big bellydancers on here. I'm fat myself; it doesn't keep me from dancing.

Also, I think it's usually the average-weight bellydancers who say rude things...the skinny ones often understand what it's like not to be able to control their weight.
 

LadyofLostTimes

New member
Not sure if you are for real or not.....
I am very real. I live it every time BD comes out of my mouth. Maybe I just have no luck. As far as the teacher I don't she knows that I had over heard her talking to someone about me.

I am new to this site so I didn't know how many people are like me. I just wanted to know how many others are getting hurt doing something they love to do. I still try to dance but now its only when I am alone in my bedroom. I find it easer not to say anything to anyone about my dancing any more.

You don't have to apologize Hun you never have done anything to me but I do appreciate the response back.

Thanks
 

Eve

New member
If the other students & teacher have made nasty comments tell them where to shove their class and find another instructor.
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
I am so sorry that people have been nasty and rude, there is no call for that ever! I am maybe slightly above average size, but I am going on 60, and have never had anything but huge support from fellow dancers and instructors alike. I dance with young girls of 17 and women in their 50s and one lady who is 62, plus all ages in between. One instructor is 35 and my other one is 47. Try to find another instructor, don't give up, don't dance alone. sending you a big hug and rainbows

~Mosaic
 

Samira bint Aya

New member
There is girl from my class, who is usually my dancing partner in duet choreos, she is a little large too.

I believe that she is an amazing dancer with lots of talent. One of the top in our class. However, she does not believe me when I tell her that. Her self-confidence is very low because she is very self conscious about her weight. That’s such a shame. :(

Slightly off topic now but relevant… this girl I am talking about had a wardrobe mishap at our hafla last Friday (bra straps broke and popped off). She held onto her bra with her hand and carried on with the choreography like a real pro. I was her duet and panicked more than her! I also adjusted my hand moves to more or less match hers, and some people in the audience didn’t even notice the accident. All thanks to the way she reacted and carried herself. :clap:

I know it sounds like such a cliché, but I really feel that ultimately the audience receives what the dancer communicates. If you feel uncomfortable dancing, that will come through. If you are one with the music and really enjoying yourself, that will be felt by your audience too.

Don’t cut yourself short, and don’t give up on belly dance (give up on your instructor though!). It is not about shape and size, it is all in how you express the music.
 

lizaj

New member
If in the eyes of the deluded perfect some of us are too big, too slender, too old, too young, too black-skinned, too blonde to be a belly dancer..that's their loss. If we do not meet up to today's standards, we do have to prove something more and that is that we can stick at it and be a good dancer and a good entertainer and the young, cute size 8 isn't necessarily going to be that.
BUT if your weight is hampering your ambitions, do something about it. We oldies and the girls of African origin who are told..."You can't be a belly dancer" can't do much about it except go all out to prove them wrong.
I recently lost weight and feel better for it and hope it will tackle other health issues. Having said that if you are happy in your skin, all power to you and rest assured that most belly dancers are accepting of the wondrous variety we human beings are.
Ah Youtube..just don't expose yourself.... the mindless morons will only take savage delight. Look at how the praise the useless little dancing bimbos because they see their bodies not their talent :mad:
 

da Sage

New member
BUT if your weight is hampering your ambitions, do something about it. We oldies and the girls of African origin who are told..."You can't be a belly dancer" can't do much about it except go all out to prove them wrong.
I recently lost weight and feel better for it and hope it will tackle other health issues. Having said that if you are happy in your skin, all power to you and rest assured that most belly dancers are accepting of the wondrous variety we human beings are.:
Ah, lizaj....I would have been so much happier if this thread had made a full page (or more), before someone encouraged the OP to lose weight.

She can be overweight, even obese, and still be a bellydancer. And she deserves basic human respect regardless of her weight. She never said she planned to be a professional performer...just a dancer. So her ambition is to be treated kindly, and she shouldn't have to lose weight to do that!
 

lizaj

New member
Ah, lizaj....I would have been so much happier if this thread had made a full page (or more), before someone encouraged the OP to lose weight.

She can be overweight, even obese, and still be a bellydancer. And she deserves basic human respect regardless of her weight. She never said she planned to be a professional performer...just a dancer. So her ambition is to be treated kindly, and she shouldn't have to lose weight to do that!

Read on
......I also said if she was happy in her skin, good luck to her. I have friends who have had medical people tell them they are overweight and they are healthier than me!
But sometimes the solution is right in front of us and all we need is the right "push"...I've just been through that myself...an event came up, measurements added to asthma and slightly high BP and I thought yup get on the stir fries and fruit.
 

lizaj

New member
Having said that if you are happy in your skin, all power to you and rest assured that most belly dancers are accepting of the wondrous variety we human beings are.


Please note I MEAN that...don't think ill of me for mentioning alternatives.

I couldn't give a sh$t if a larger gal turns up at my class and says "I'm fit and healthy and am staying this way"
No one but no one in my class will get away with being nasty and anyway I can assure none of MY class would..they are good hearted ladies and wouldn't "turn a hair!"
 
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khanjar

New member
I suppose with all this that is going on in the western world about larger people, both the UK and America linking large people to ill health, you are feeling some of the backlash from this incorrect idea.

Fair enough some are unhealthy, but I know others who are large, and can run rings around me and I am what some might call under weight. Size therefore has is not always an indication of poor health

Personally, If I were large, and sometimes wish I was a bit weightier than what I am, I would set out to prove the others wrong and be the best I can be.

My first class, there was a lady there, taller than me, so above six feet, and very large. The class had been rehearsing for a performance they were doing, and can you imagine my surprise when hip locks were performed, I can tell you, this larger lady stunned me with her ability, because of her larger size, the drill was more pronounced, it looked more effective than the scrawny dancers there. I was very impressed and re educated.
 

lizaj

New member
I have larger ladies in my class and why I mentioned losing weight is because they inevitably ask me if they will by belly dancing.
You all know the answer to that.
Is it a normal thing in the USA in belly dance classes that people are made to feel unwelcome because they don't fit into a stereotype of slim. It certainly isn't here. health is the only concern. I have had a friend have an anorexic girl in her class and she had to have a carer with her and under those circumstances she was never any thing other than welcome as the idea was to make her mix and get back to integrating.
It's sick bunch of people who consider others not worthy to join them.

And if the digs about being big and healthy are aimed at me and my post then read my post fully and see I said it first!
 

da Sage

New member
Read on
......I also said if she was happy in her skin, good luck to her. I have friends who have had medical people tell them they are overweight and they are healthier than me!
But sometimes the solution is right in front of us and all we need is the right "push"...I've just been through that myself...an event came up, measurements added to asthma and slightly high BP and I thought yup get on the stir fries and fruit.
I copied your second paragraph about 'happy in her skin' to show that I had read it. Do you seriously think the "solution" of losing weight had not occurred to her? Or that you are the one who will provide the "right push"?

I appreciate that you are very happy about your recent weight loss. I am happy when I lose weight too, as long as it is fat and not muscle. It doesn't matter if someone is fat or skinny, healthy or unhealthy...they still deserve to be treated as PEOPLE, and not just a body/stereotype.

The OP didn't come here for weightloss advice. For someone in her condition, being given unsolicited weightloss advice is oppressive.

I know you're a good person with good intentions, lizaj, but I think you got carried away *in that one paragraph of your post. The rest of your post was great, as usual.

I haven't seen comments about fat people in class, but I have heard comments about skinny people. Which is hurtful, too.
 
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Gia al Qamar

New member
Is it a normal thing in the USA in belly dance classes that people are made to feel unwelcome because they don't fit into a stereotype of slim.
You are absolutely 100%, dyed in the wool WRONG.
That is completely and utterly untrue and of the 50 or so dance classes AND their teachers that I can think of JUST off the top of my head, every size, shape, age, race, political and social affiliation is WELCOMED, embraced, supported, educated and celebrated.
No one would accuse me of being 'slim'.
My students are every kind of woman...
Maybe a bit of thought BEFORE typing is due Lizaj.
A note to the original poster...
I'm so sorry that you've endured this kind of negativity in class. It SOoooooo isn't you...this is completely about the inadequecy of the teacher and the damaged egos of the students who would treat you badly. No reputable teacher would allow this kind of behavior in class.
Gia
 
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Shanazel

Super Moderator
No reputable teacher would allow this kind of behavior in class.
Yeah. What Gia said. I took a class with a person who repeatedly made weight-related remarks about other people (this person was a former fat person and apparently needed to reinforce her newfound feelings of superior thinness). One of the other students finally shut her down by turning to her and saying coolly, "What a mean spirited thing to say," then walking away to continue class in another part of the room, as if the atmosphere around the first person was simply too dismal to breath.

A lot of things go into making a dancer, and body size is not the most important.
 

lizaj

New member
Not to stir a hornet's nest here but I think lizaj's comment was actually a question (she was asking if it was normal). My answer is, it depends. I HAVE been to classes where yes, people talked about weight.

My classes are not that way. You all know the investment I have in equalism, and that is for everyone all the time. However, that doesn't mean it's true everywhere. The US comes in many flavors and not all of them are the same.
As it had appeared to happened once I was indeed asking if it was expected to happen elsewhere (sorry I ommitted punctuation so no wonder someone picked up on it...my fault I was misconstrued). Women here are often advised by doctors and health centres that dance is a good way for the less than fit and belly dance classes and troupes tend to contain all body shapes. This is why I think we may sometimes we are looked down on because we don't try to match up our dancers in a "professional" way.
My question should be viewed in the context of an article I once read answering the question of a belly dance student about to move to Paris, that she may find herself less than welcome in some studios if she were less ( or rather more) than the perceived perfection. :rolleyes:However it's probably not so for all classes!
 

lizaj

New member
You are absolutely 100%, dyed in the wool WRONG.
That is completely and utterly untrue and of the 50 or so dance classes AND their teachers that I can think of JUST off the top of my head, every size, shape, age, race, political and social affiliation is WELCOMED, embraced, supported, educated and celebrated.
No one would accuse me of being 'slim'.
My students are every kind of woman...
Maybe a bit of thought BEFORE typing is due Lizaj.
A note to the original poster...
I'm so sorry that you've endured this kind of negativity in class. It SOoooooo isn't you...this is completely about the inadequecy of the teacher and the damaged egos of the students who would treat you badly. No reputable teacher would allow this kind of behavior in class.
Gia

I left out the ? so I don't blame you for not catching the question ...my fault there and you are quite rightly irate. However from the original post it is obvious that at least one student was made to feel awkward.

neither am I slim...a UK size 14 (only recently) before 16..not far off 18!
belly dance classes here are well known for being accepting and I was very surprised to read of this not being so in the uSA because you have been world leaders in equal ops.
 
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