quit dancing for the dance

Ahava_Melantha

New member
would you quit for the art? would you quit performing because you could no longer represent the art and do the dance justice? I am being stubborn and am having a very hard time with this idea. *
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I suppose it depends on whether one views "the dance" as a sacred undertaking to be worshiped only by those perfect in body and technique or an activity related to pleasure, grace, better health, and social bonding.

I'm a proponent of the second viewpoint myself and I will dance as long as it suits me, with or without an audience.:cool:
 

Aniseteph

New member
It depends on the type of performing. In the places I perform (haflas and dancer-orientated events) I am not representing belly dance. Quitting because I'm not up to scratch makes no sense and is a sure way to never get better at it!

I would take a harder look at myself if it was a public performance though. Clearly-labelled student troupes demo'ing what they get up to in a "hey you could come and learn this too" context is great. But when the general public are getting the impression that this IS belly dance when what they are seeing is student level and no better than you'd expect, well that doesn't do belly dance any favours and personally I don't want to be part of that problem. If I couldn't make an objective judgement on whether I was fit to be seen I'd ask a trusted teacher and hope I got a responsible answer.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I think I know the person behind these questions. Frankly it's her decision. It's not something I agree with and I do hope she changes her mind, but ultimately it's her decision to make.

I think that if one feels that their performance has fallen below the professional standard, that it's right to retire from professional gigs. But I know an awful lot of dancers who retire, then come back, then retire, then come back. I think that dancing gets under your skin and it can be very hard to stay retired unless you're dead (and even then if they bury me I'm sure my bones will be shimmying long after I'm gone!)
 

Daimona

Moderator
If my dance reaches a level where I no longer can represent this dance in a way it should be represented, will I
- quit performing professionally and doing pro gigs? Yes (btdt).
- quit performing non-professionally? Yes (I have considered it seriously, but not decided on it yet).

But completely quit dancing? Never!

As long I'm able to do a shimmy, I will dance.
As long as I am able to isolate and move my hips to the music, I will do this until the day I die.
This, simply because I believe it is better for my body to dance, than not using it at all.
And it is better for my brain to concentrate on doing the moves right while listening and interpreting the music than not using it at all.
It is simply necessary for my soul and mind to move to the music to keep sane.
 
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Ahava_Melantha

New member
I have lived without music or dancing at all for three years. it was hell. and I missed something. I love going to dance class. I am not able to perform as of yet, but would love to build up to it. I can not imagine life without bellydancing throghout the day at all. whether watching it, doing it, studying it. this is how I feel.
 
When someone else's money is involved (paid performances) I prefer to dance well or not at all.

If dancing well proves impossible, then I take time out from public dancing and regroup. Privately practicing (or not), listening to music (or not), play sagats (or not), sewing a new costume (or not).

Would I dance at a student hafla when not at my absolute best? Sure, and I would enjoy the heck out of being there.

p.s. Just purchased a second hand Hanan (currently in the mail) for next time.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I'm sorry for being nit-picky, but when did this discussion dissolve into an argument, and how did it end up in the Sauna so quickly, seeing that it was started only yesterday? Everyone is having a nice discussion, so I don't understand why this thread is in Debate.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
It was created here. Since the topic is one that can cause contention, I'm happy to keep it here where I can keep an eye on it.
 

Amulya

Moderator
I am currently retired because of being ill and I would not be able to represent this dance nicely ATM because I can't train and I collapse if I dance more than a minute. So I'm not exactly the type of dancer someone wants to hire haha (unless they want a fainting dancer for Halloween)
 

Jane

New member
It's going to have to be a personal choice that no one can make for you.

Honestly, I no longer have an interest in dancing at the same type of venues I did when I was younger anyway: bars, belly grams, parades, office balloon deliveries, community festivals, and basically I've decided against doing venues that aren't belly dance-centric or are geared more toward moving wallpaper. When I was a CYT I danced at *everything* that came along. Now that I'm older, I'm not wasting my time dancing for people that don't appreciate it. Quality of gig vs. quantity. I'm also doing more teaching than performing, so I don't miss dancing out as much.

If there comes a day when dance is physically painful, or I just can't physically dance well enough to be hired, I will have to make a decision. I can still teach, dance socially, and lecture, and be an enthusiastic audience member :)
 

Amulya

Moderator
Very early on I decided there were gigs I wouldn't do, but for me they were especially restaurant gigs. For various reasons: dancers were treated badly, paid badly and audience not interested, they come to eat, not to watch the dancer. Maybe it's different in each country, but this how it was in Holland.
I also didn't do the wall paper thing, I think that's rediculous, we as dancers have invested too much to be wall paper. And never bars, bachelor parties etc.
though community festivals I liked, they used to be appreciative.
 

Sophia Maria

New member
Very early on I decided there were gigs I wouldn't do, but for me they were especially restaurant gigs. For various reasons: dancers were treated badly, paid badly and audience not interested, they come to eat, not to watch the dancer. Maybe it's different in each country, but this how it was in Holland.
I also didn't do the wall paper thing, I think that's rediculous, we as dancers have invested too much to be wall paper. And never bars, bachelor parties etc.
though community festivals I liked, they used to be appreciative.
This is how I think; I'm still a baby belly, but if I ever do go pro, there are some things I already just wouldn't do. Like the bars, the bellygrams, etc. I think the problem is that in these venues, there is nothing Middle Eastern about them so to me it just feels really out of place. To me, at least if you dance in a restaurant, you are (hopefully) part of a larger Middle Eastern atmosphere, with food, music, decoration, and maybe musicians. In other cases, why would I perform to an audience that doesn't understand the lyrics or the context of the dance? I admire the dancers who are able to work abroad for some time; there, even if it is a short time and they are not too successful, they get to dance in an actual Middle Eastern context. Doing this at some point in my future would be a dream come true.
 

Amulya

Moderator
I don't mind non ME venues and parties because we can educate people about bellydance. Most gigs I did were non ME (or non ME setting) and most audiences I have had loved it. I want to share my love for dancing so I didn't want to limit myself to only one type of gig. Also you have to know that if you do that you will have less opportunity to dance.
I also did theatre work and that's totally different, but you get great audience.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Very early on I decided there were gigs I wouldn't do, but for me they were especially restaurant gigs. For various reasons: dancers were treated badly, paid badly and audience not interested, they come to eat, not to watch the dancer. Maybe it's different in each country, but this how it was in Holland.
I also didn't do the wall paper thing, I think that's rediculous, we as dancers have invested too much to be wall paper. And never bars, bachelor parties etc.
though community festivals I liked, they used to be appreciative.
W

What...whaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAT??? WALL paper??? WHAT on God's green earth??? o_____@???
 

Amulya

Moderator
Yes, Jane mentioned it, have you never been asked for a gig where you basically just had to be a backdrop, not even dancing at all, just be decoration? I have had people ask and I never wanted to do it. It's stupid and also it pays crap.
 
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