Not sure if this is usefull to you Khanjar, or even an answer, but anyway;
As a male dancer in th UK myself, the more I’ve made myself seen the more accepted I realise I am. I’ve been very fortunate to have had open-minded and generous teachers, and met some really supportive students. But it’s taken a lot of time and effort, and I’ve had my wobbly moments of wanting to give up.
I've been surprised to come across (admittedly amongst a minority) the sexist view that “men don’t/shouldn’t/can’t bellydance”, and found this view exists more within the bellydance scene than it does out of it. When I tell people, both men and women, that I bellydance, I get surprise or disbelief, but while they might find it peculiar or slightly amusing, I have never had a non-belly dancer suggest that I should not be pursuing a hobby that gives me so much pleasure. Only belly-dancers seems to have an issue with it, and it really knocked me back when I encountered it.
Fortunately people can change their minds, and I know that some have altered their opinion due to my perseverance, and hopefully seeing my genuine enthusiasm for the dance.
Frustratingly though, now that I’m starting to feel I fit in, getting more confident, and feeling more accepted, other dancers are having difficulty identifying for themselves where I fit in. An increasing number of people want to tell me that I should dance in a particular “masculine” way. I find this amusing, but slightly annoying, as, regardless of how I do dance, I thought belly dance was about finding your own expression, and not fitting in to someone else’s concept. I also find myself becoming a show piece – “let’s see how a man would do this” – as if I have some secret knowledge or peculiar ability to impart.
But still, one minute I feel I fit in, but then a glance, a word, action or thought can suddenly make me wander – do I really belong here? Belly-dancing has the big stereotype in the West of being for the young, thin, flexible, pretty female floating about in the not-a-lot-left-to-the-imagination outfit, which, even if we all know is wrong, we still know is out there. This affects both men and women, but whereas women (regardless of size, shape or age) automatically fit one part of the stereotype, for Western men it’s more difficult.
Self-doubts about my own ability and self-image, the judgements of others, whether imagined or not and whether ignored or not, coupled with the judgements I put on myself can be very limiting and frustrating, if not down-right depressing. And increasingly I realise that it's all just my own hang-ups; nobody's really judging! But I think that this can affect everyone, regardless of gender. I keep telling myself "The only person stopping me is ME."
I dance because I love the music, and I love the movement. When they go together well, the emotions can be overwhelming, and even if you’ve only ever experienced that once, you know the potential is there whenever you dance. I guess that’s why it’s addictive for me. It’s a very personal way of expressing yourself within a supportive social scene, and I’d hate to think that I, or anyone else, couldn’t indulge in it.
I hope you can get back to it soon, Khanjar. Even if you can’t attend the classes, you can play the music, watch youtube and dance at home. We all need to do what we love. Are you still in contact with your old class? Perhaps you can go to their next hafla and perform?
I’m really glad you still dance around the smithy; just don’t drop anything hot or heavy on yourself (or the radio).