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  1. #21
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    I agree with Ai'sha.

    I don't know why this is even controversial -- I've been involved in different types of theatrical performance for many years and it is pretty universally agreed that if you put a performer in front of an audience in an outfit that is really unbecoming, or otherwise startling in appearance, that it distracts from the performance. Which is NOT what you want.

    Yes, of course, community standards vary -- the savvy dancer will accordingly choose a costume that doesn't distract from her performance AND will be appropriate to the type of audience and setting. There's a pretty wide range to choose from in any of these areas.

    Otherwise, one has to ask, what's really the focus here? A dancer on an ego trip or apparently clueless as to the unpleasant distraction she's making? Or her performance?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Ok but choosing to hide certain parts yourself is different I guess. I almost never wear make-up in real life, even though I know it can make me look slightly better, I just don't want to.
    What I mean is, what if a woman likes her own chubby body and loves revealing costumes, but others say she's disgusting and she should wear something else because she doesn't have the "perfect" figure (whatever that may be)?
    What if I like my own pale belly and decide to wear a belly showing costume and others are disgusted because they prefer tanned skins?
    Tastes differ, and some persons may like to see heavier women in revealing costumes. But ofcourse if you choose to hide something yourself you're free to do so, but let it be one's own decision.
    It's always going to come down to your own choice unless you are in a troupe that requires conformity for a certain performance.

    There is also the thing that if you are going to be on a stage it can take a ton of makeup just so people can see your facial characteristics and expression.

    People are always going to have an opinion though and you have to take that into consideration when you choose to costume and present yourself. You may love (or at last not mind) certain things about yourself that you don't necessarily want to play part in a performance. That's were the theatrics come in and it's a good idea for anyone who aims to perform to get as wise as possible about what promotes what image.

    I'm sure we've all seen someone like this but at the last show I attended there was a gal who was by any definition fat but she had perky fat and she wore a revealing costume and looked fabulous and brought the house down - attitude can take you a long way .

  3. #23
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    I think so long as the costume fits well, you can get away with quite a lot (not quite anything but quite a bit). A large breasted dancer who wear a well-fitting beaded bra and looks secured in there so you are not distracted as to whether or not she could fall out (she may know she's taped in there but you don't and if you don't, it can be distracting) can show all the cleavage she wants, likewise if a more coluptuous dancer wears a well-fitted revealing costume and its more-less made for her she can get away with that too as it will be made to fit her (and we hope all costumes we make we make to fit us well), as in being the right size and appropriate style. (ex. no one really looks good in those belts that look like a small tin can - cat food sized - I think you know what mean. I'm not describing it very well). I have a friend who is quite voluptuous and she made this slinky one-shouldered number that had she found it in the store probably wouldn't have worked but because she made it to her measurements and body type it worked beautifully.

    I think its perspective too, non-dancers are generally going to see this differently from dancers. I think dancers have a lot more latitude for differences in body type and costuming than most of the general public and yes we have to please our audience but they need to learn those lovely societal lessons about beauty coming in all shapes and sizes and a good way for them to get this is for us to wear costumes that fit well.
    I'd definitely say an ill-fitting costume on anyone distracts terribly from the dance.

  4. #24
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    From a guy's point of view. I always wanted to be 6 foot 1, full of muscles and built like a brick sh** house....but I'm 5'9 and never saw 150 in my life. On top of that, I'm built straight up and down like a bean pole.

    My first costume was a nightmare. My only example was Sergio who always wore the shirtless vest look. His costumes looked great on him, so when I went to Egypt the first time, I had one made for me. It looked like crap on me! I realised that for one thing, I don't have a broad chest like Sergio, and since I don't even have enough ass to fix a sick man a bowl of soup, the pants just hung on me like some old lady drapes. To make matters worse, I got sick and lost 10lbs so the belt made a shelf big enough to rest a tea cup on. It was bad! Very, very bad.

    For many years I wore a shirt under my vest because the ribs in my chest didn't match. I've since gained a lot more weight and muscle, but I still don't have a very broad back and I still can't fix that bowl of soup!

    Even though I can go shirtless now, that look really doesn't suit me. I don't look dignified, I look naked and incomplete. Wearing the net shirt though brings all the colors together, accentuate the muscles in my chest and hides the bit of tummy I have. I also put an elastic in my belts and decorate the vest in a V shape to make my upper body look wider. Sometimes, the standard look just doen't fit us, even when we are in good shape according to societal standards.

  5. #25
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    Sad Showing skin.......

    I want to add, that I do not have too many problems with clothes in general, ( I am 5'3" tall 135 Lbs, bra size is 34 c, waist is 28" hips 38" I am 53 Y.O but, I have noticed belly dance clothes sellers Discriminate and advertise this beautifull costumes at a beautifull price, and then they offer the same costume in a different size at a different price, no too many of us are looking like their models or like Barbies, it is hard even for me to find a good fiting costume, and I not even fat but I am not a Barbie either, so the average looking dancer have to paid more for not been "beautifull" and that is not fair, mi point being that some times the dancer have to wear whatever she can grab because not all of us can sew, I can sew but, lets be honest we don't want to sew a costume any time we have a performance. I stop criticizing long time ago, maybe I love this dance so much that I dont duell to much on clothing when I see a performance, but for the good name of the dance lets try to use good judgement when it comes to costuming. Marie:

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarik Sultan View Post
    ........, and since I don't even have enough ass to fix a sick man a bowl of soup, the pants just hung on me like some old lady drapes.
    - A bit sideways of topic but a serious question - how do you (any of you) keep your pants on when you don't have an ass??? I don't either and I've shimmied some things off *embarrassed*

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Dear A'isha, I didn't ask for an apology, I just wanted to know if I understood you right and I'm happy you explained your opinion some more.
    (Also thanks to the other people)
    I agree that flattering costumes are the best for everyone and it depends on what you look like if something is flattering or not. I just got upset because somehow the statements made sounded a bit like "beautiful people can get away with everything and ugly people should hide their uglyness"
    Imagine it's just difficult, because a dancer might think a costume looks good on him/her while let's say 50% of the audience thinks the opposite. I think no-one likes stretch marks, but with some features it's just difficult. A slightly overweighted dancer might think she looks good in a belly revealing costume, while some audience members might think she's "way too fat and should hide that ugly belly".
    I'm not saying you should just wear whatever you like, but for me the most important thing is the costume is authentic for the dance style performed, and if I think someone is slightly too overweighted or would have looked better in something else, others might have another opinion.

  8. #28
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    [ I just got upset because somehow the statements made sounded a bit like "beautiful people can get away with everything and ugly people should hide their uglyness"
    Imagine it's just difficult, because a dancer might think a costume looks good on him/her while let's say 50% of the audience thinks the opposite. I think no-one likes stretch marks, but with some features it's just difficult. A slightly overweighted dancer might think she looks good in a belly revealing costume, while some audience members might think she's "way too fat and should hide that ugly belly".
    I'm not saying you should just wear whatever you like, but for me the most important thing is the costume is authentic for the dance style performed, and if I think someone is slightly too overweighted or would have looked better in something else, others might have another opinion.[/QUOTE]


    Dear Moon,
    The unfortunate fact of the matter is that people who have lovely bodies actually DO look better in mosrt costumes than people who do not. ( Do NOT read this to mean slender, because I actually think that Sofia Loren and Bridgette Bardot had better bodies than today's ultra-thin stars.) Having been a person who had a lovely body and now has the one I am in, I am in a position to talk about this with both experience and honesty.
    Having said that, I think that there is a wide range of costuming out there today, that was not available when I first started dancing. Even the most professional dancers out of Egypt are now seen in a very wide variety of costumes. There is indeed something for everyone. BUT, people have to have the good sense and good taste to acknowledge what looks best on THEM, without worrying what everyone else is wearing. Would I love to be able to still wear cute little bra/belt ensembles?? YES!!!! Will I do so?? NO!! Not with THIS bod anyway!! Aside from that that, I try to dress in costuming that is age-appropriate as well. I am no longer a Sweet Young Thing and so I can no longer dress the part without looking silly. However, I can still make choices to dress in garments that will enhance the dance and let me be the best representative of the dance form that I can be at this time, in this body.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  9. #29
    Super Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Having been a person who had a lovely body and now has the one I am in, I am in a position to talk about this with both experience and honesty.
    A'isha
    Oh, lord, to have my twenty-four year old body in conjunction with my 51 year old mind- what havoc I could wreak then.

    It is true that society as a whole perceives smooth and slender and young bodies as more beautiful, and that these bodies have the advantage when the hiring is done for professional shows. I think it is short sighted and sad, but there is it, and there is nothing I can do about deeply ingrained societal prejudices, especially when I share some of the same prejudices, alas.

    When you dance professionally, it is a job with requirements and standards that must be met, and if you can't meet the industry standards, you are just SOL. I have my BS in agriculture, but despite years of experience (including teaching at a university) I can't teach plant science at the local community college because they require an MS. I have 30 years of dance experience, but I don't have the body, the face, (or the finesse!) to become a headliner for BDSS or even a restaurant in Denver, for that matter.

    So, my place in the world is I grow a great garden and I teach wonderfully flawed women to dance and to love themselves while they do it. These are women who for the most part never intend to dance in public beyond the occasional hafla or student night, and my most important and valued job is to convince each one of them that she is beautiful: every bone, every lump, every stretch mark, every wrinkle, every scar that replaces a lost breast. I have heavy dancers bulging in bedlah and skinny dancers in heavily padded bras above their protruding ribs, and the applause for each is generous and enthusiastic, leading me to bless and believe in audiences who look beyond the superficial to dancer's true beauty.

    Lucky me! I love teaching better than I ever did performing.

  10. #30
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar
    Having been a person who had a lovely body and now has the one I am in,...
    Oh how rediculous! You still look good! I saw it with my own eyes from the pictures on your website.
    However I admire the fact you dress appropriate for your ages. In fact I admire all women who age in a classy way instead of trying so desperate to look younger.
    I still agree everyone looks best in what suits him/her best, but I also think opinions may differ about what looks good on certain people. And I don't like sleazy costumes, even not on terrific bodies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel
    and my most important and valued job is to convince each one of them that she is beautiful: every bone, every lump, every stretch mark, every wrinkle, every scar that replaces a lost breast. I have heavy dancers bulging in bedlah and skinny dancers in heavily padded bras above their protruding ribs, and the applause for each is generous and enthusiastic, leading me to bless and believe in audiences who look beyond the superficial to dancer's true beauty.
    That's wonderful. I wish all audiences were like that.

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