What's Your Problem?

Amulya

Moderator
For me it was always the same thing: the undercutting by other dancers. It's a worldwide problem.
(I have been dancing for a long time and I saw prices drop badly. Even hens'/corporate/party etc workshops got undercut that now they don't earn much anymore)
 

Zumarrad

Member
Arseholes. Oops, did I say that out loud?

Er, fractured relations between dance groups. OK and also, a badly damaged city infrastructure with few venues for events and classes, and a community of people who just don't always have the money or energy to dance any more.
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Not enough interested people in my area to keep classes running. Everyone u7nder 50 is more interested in Zumba or other dance fitness type of exercise:( It may be a fad and BD will make a comeback in a couple of years, hope so)
~Mosaic
 

Dunyah

New member
We are pretty fortunate in our area. We have the Middle Eastern Dance Guild which for more than twenty years has been producing a monthly show and two big events each year with great workshop instructors. This year we are doing some guild outreach to the surrounding dance communities in towns nearby. The first inter-guild hafla is being planned for August.

Classes may not be large but there are several excellent instructors who teach regularly.

The one thing we don't have is a venue for professional dancers. There are the occasional private parties and events but not enough to really sustain someone in a career as a dancer.

There are plenty of decent shows and opportunities to perform at festivals, but none of them pay very much.

It is difficult for a single dancer to compete with the Guild, as revenue from the monthly shows supports the bigger events and helps keep the prices low to Guild members. I gave up trying to produce my own events years ago. But I am happy participating with the Guild.

There was some unpleasantness a few years ago from the fusion community, because of Guild emphasis on Middle Eastern music and dance. After that they started their own fusion group and produce shows regularly. I hear through the grapevine that there are some sour grapes in that community, but nothing big or impactful, and I am so glad they have their own venue, so our shows can stay as they have always been, with mostly Middle Eastern music and recognizable belly dancing. The fusion group is included in our Guild outreach efforts and they are invited to perform in our yearly Festival and Alternative Night.

So I am pretty happy here, since being a restaurant dancer was never a goal of mine and I'm too old for that kind of venue now anyway. I wish there was a place like that here, I would definitely support it.
 
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tigerb

New member
I think one of our biggest local problems is the lack of a solid M.E. music band. If we had one, everybody would want to dance with them, and they would be a focal point for the community. Instead the local ME-ish bands play a lot of other kinds of music and seldom have events that feature dancers, and there's also the "drummer's girlfriend" problem, where the featured dancer is not exactly the best dancer in town.

(Sorry if I sound whiny!)
 

Kashmir

New member
As a dancer - lack of classes/teachers in areas I'm interested in. Ditto live dance to watch.

As a teacher - lack of students - in part due to the state of the city but made worse by students "teaching" classes at very low prices (yes, I know you get what you pay for - but many of their students may have otherwise gone to a more legitimate class and may have even stayed on instead they've "done" belly dance - and there isn't much to it - and now they are doing something else)
 

DancingArabian

New member
The lack of community is the biggest problem for me. Near me is my teacher and her students but that's it. The nearest local dance community is an hours drive away from me. The distance makes it difficult to try to make myself a part of the community.
 

walladah

New member
All the above! non-collegial professional conduct, no respect for trade union's decisions about working conditions, not enough decent venues to perform (bad-reputation night clubs do not count), no community-mentality, no interest in ethnography/anthropological research on the dance which is traditional in the area, no interest in improving skills (just to say "i attended that workshop" and that makes you better by just saying it), no interest in forming equitable groups of dancer, like dance troupes etc. The most difficult thing to do under those conditions is to be involved in team projects. It is almost impossible unless you want to be bossy yourself, or to be... bossed in the worst manner possible.
 

AndreaSTL

New member
Just me, I am my own worst enemy.
Bah! Surely there is someone you can hate on :shok: :lol:

It's both comforting and disheartening that worldwide we have the same issues. Locally there are the following problems:
-Finding a teaching venue. There are plenty if I want to start my class at 9:00 PM or want to be paid $10/hour, though.
-Dancers performing for free or undercutting.
-Dancers performing & teaching who really shouldn't be (newbies and flat out bad dancers).
-No live music other than some random drummers.
-Mistrust (earned and unearned) and/or unethical behavior.

I'm all for friendly competition. I think that new people should be allowed to come in and challenge the home girls. However, they need to do it ethically. Without competition we tend to be happy with the status quo and don't stretch ourselves. It's a necessary thing, but you can't have a win-at-all-costs mentality.
 

Jane

New member
No negative self talk Khanjar! Our thoughts become our reality. Stay positive my friend!
 

Jane

New member
My community lacks an ethnic population from the lands of dance. It's created a large hole in the "straight" belly dance community here. In my state it's almost exclusively ATS, fusion, and "I do my own thing." I don't mind the other spin off styles (labeled correctly of course), but regular belly dance is almost dead here, which I do think is a shame.
 

Dunyah

New member
My community lacks an ethnic population from the lands of dance. It's created a large hole in the "straight" belly dance community here. In my state it's almost exclusively ATS, fusion, and "I do my own thing." I don't mind the other spin off styles (labeled correctly of course), but regular belly dance is almost dead here, which I do think is a shame.
This to me is so sad. I am so grateful that real Egyptian, Turkish and American Cabaret style belly dance are still alive and well in my community and that we can go see a show once a month. Wish you could come out and visit here!
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I'm thrilled to say that my problem is that I'm new to the area and locals are understandably wary of the new shiny. I am, however, slowly winning them over. After the glut of problems I faced in my old town (and the fact that I managed to single-handedly restore bellydance's rep there just in time for me to leave) I feel competent to rise to the challenges this new town brings.

For lack of music/instructors/etc, invite them over from nearest major capital city. It's not hard, it's just expensive. But if you want it badly enough, you will find a way to make it happen. That's how the areas that don't have the problems came to not have them. ;)
 

khanjar

New member
Bah! Surely there is someone you can hate on :shok: :lol:
Yeah there is, the same usual narrow minded males and usually males in authority that seem to think I should not be belly dancing and how they must protect the ladies from the likes of me, for I just must be a pervert to be to be in a belly dance class. But I am trying to ignore this stuff as it is very damaging but it happened recently but thankfully I was not being observant but one of the ladies told me I was getting a somewhat differential look, the sort they thought I should know about, I just said yeah I am used to this in discrimination UK. The trouble is every time I perceive this stuff I do get negative about my dancing and question is it really worth it.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Sweetie, any time you find yourself questioning your ability as a dancer, take it up with your teacher. She'll put you back on track - whether it's to bolster your confidence or to spend some extra time working on the things that need work. Don't let the general public determine your sense of worth as a dancer.
 

Amulya

Moderator
I think one of our biggest local problems is the lack of a solid M.E. music band. If we had one, everybody would want to dance with them, and they would be a focal point for the community. Instead the local ME-ish bands play a lot of other kinds of music and seldom have events that feature dancers, and there's also the "drummer's girlfriend" problem, where the featured dancer is not exactly the best dancer in town.

(Sorry if I sound whiny!)
Maybe start one :) if you can find dancers who have a musical background or other people who are interested in such a thing. Maybe can start out with drummers first.
 

Amulya

Moderator
Yeah there is, the same usual narrow minded males and usually males in authority that seem to think I should not be belly dancing and how they must protect the ladies from the likes of me, for I just must be a pervert to be to be in a belly dance class. But I am trying to ignore this stuff as it is very damaging but it happened recently but thankfully I was not being observant but one of the ladies told me I was getting a somewhat differential look, the sort they thought I should know about, I just said yeah I am used to this in discrimination UK. The trouble is every time I perceive this stuff I do get negative about my dancing and question is it really worth it.

Is that still going on :shok: I remember the discussions on Bhuz where males were not allowed in any class anywhere (and that's 8 years ago, or maybe even 10!) That's just sexism really :(
 
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