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  1. #11
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Add me to the "love your blog". Welcome to the site, I hope we hear more from you!

  2. #12
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    Good for you! Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the first lady you met- I'm glad she didn't put you off dancing. Most of my teachers have been voluptuous beauties, and they are some of the most fabulous dancers.

    I did have one teacher who made the larger ladies stand at the back because she said they 'blocked her moves'. I left that class in a hurry! 'Teachers' like that don't deserve students like us!

  3. #13
    Member LilithNoor's Avatar
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    Welcome, fellow plus-size belly dancer.

    I've been dancing for nearly five years, and I love how confident it makes me feel, and how welcoming the majority of the community are to people of all shapes and sizes.

    I'm glad you didn't let that first 'teacher' put you off, and found someone who could show you what dance is really all about.

  4. #14
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default Misty, welcome to the bellydance universe!

    a) THank you for not being stuck with that ignorant teacher - if a teacher says an overweight woman cannot bellydance, well she knows nothing about the dance...
    b) THank you for not giving up and for getting to embark on the bellydance trip! I hope you enjoy the ride!!!
    c) I love your mum!! A great mother for a great daughter!
    d) Just like in everything else in life: in bellydance, seek always a second opinion!

  5. #15
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Hi MistyDawnHips, and welcome to the forum!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with that first teacher. On one hand, she seems to be strict and organized with her teaching which is a rare but great thing. On the other hand, it's totally ridiculous of her to say you can't belly dance because you are overweight. There are plenty of amazing belly dancers who are overweight.

    Your weight and body type will affect the way certain moves look on you, but doesn't usually affect your ability to do those moves in the first place. Of course, to dance optimally one must be fit and healthy, but fit and healthy looks different on different people. I know people who are overweight and MUCH more fit than me. You need to worry first and foremost about your health, not your weight. If you aren't healthy, then a great way to get on the right path is to start physical activity, especially something like belly dance which is low impact and so much fun... Anyone who discourages you from that isn't someone you want to associate yourself with, anyway!

    Thankfully, I think it's rare to find teachers with that kind of attitude. Also, if this is how she sees things, then it's best that you do not take classes with her anyway. In a way, it's better that she is upfront about her prejudice. What if you ended up taking classes with someone who thought these things, but didn't say anything? She'd probably end up treating you like you're less than the other students, and you'd end up in a less than ideal environment.

    I'm glad you found another teacher in the end. Each time you hear someone make a comment like the one from that first teacher, take it as a challenge. Prove them wrong. Yes, you CAN belly dance. Just keep at it, one day these people will eat their words.

  6. #16
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    On another note, it's not unreasonable for a teacher to require form-fitting attire. It's important for the teacher to be able to see what you are doing so s/he can correct the technique.

    With that said, I think it's possible to see the movements in attire that is less unforgiving than body suits and tights and the like. In the beginning especially, many students are self-conscious so it's best not to be too strict about it.

    I remember when I first started out, I was extremely self-conscious about looking too thin so it was nice not to be pressured to wear something too form-fitting. But just remember that you don't want to hide so much that your teacher can not see and correct your technique.

  7. #17
    Member Meera's Avatar
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    I really liked reading your blog post, it was great! You know I have tried many different dance classes including hip hop, jazz, ballet and modern (i didn't stick with any of them though :P) but I think Belly dancers are more accepting out of all of them. I had a ballet teacher tell me that I shouldn't do it because the ouffits look weird on Indians :P

  8. #18
    Junior Member akewa's Avatar
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    Awsome Misty. Welcome to the forum. You are not alone as there are many of us goddess sized gals here. You just keep on dancing.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yame View Post
    On another note, it's not unreasonable for a teacher to require form-fitting attire. It's important for the teacher to be able to see what you are doing so s/he can correct the technique.

    With that said, I think it's possible to see the movements in attire that is less unforgiving than body suits and tights and the like. In the beginning especially, many students are self-conscious so it's best not to be too strict about it.
    This definitely. Everywhere I've studied has said leggings / yoga trousers and a t-shirt or top is fine, especially for beginners classes. I don't think there's a need for beginners to invest in and wear a particular wardrobe, also it can be offputting. I think it's fine to stress the need to see how the muscles are moving, but it's best not to be too proscriptive in how that can be achieved and important to be be sensitive to peoples' discomfort.
    Last edited by Daimona; 02-09-2012 at 10:29 PM. Reason: fixed the quote-code for you

  10. #20
    Senior Member LadyLoba's Avatar
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    I liked your blog post a lot too. That first teacher was unfair. Obviously, there's nothing about you that prevents you from belly dancing...because youre doing it! Maybe she personally only likes to see belly dancers who look a certain way....but to me...that makes a bad teacher and an unprofessional business person. If she's offering belly dance lessons she needs to be giving belly dance lessons to anyone who is willing to put in the time, effort, and money to take them and keep her personal tastes that have nothing to do with the actual classes out of it. But we all know that in any field there are going to be people who cant behave professionally. Good for you for not just assuming everybody in your area was going to have that problem and finding a truly good teacher.

    I dont think anyone thought, as you feared "Look at that little fat girl trying to dance. How sad." My only thought in that direction as I read your story was "Look how unprofessional and flat out rude some people can be. How sad." as i read about the first teacher.

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