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  1. #1
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    Default "Belly Dance is the Art of Seduction."

    Yes, once again I made the mistake of reading youtube comments. Someone had commented on a dancers face not showing enough expression, and someone else called him or er a hater, and said belly dance is the art of seduction.

    Problem one: When a dancer smiles, and flirts with her eyes, that's part of being seductive is it not? I actually feel pushed away by dancers who don't smile and act like they're human beings on stage, not robots.

    Problem two: A lot of the pros today were belly dancing children once, and children belly dance today. Do you find children seductive? I know I don't, and I've watched plenty of child performers who were wonderful dancers, and not at all seductive.

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    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Ha! They've obviously never seen a proper Paso Doble or Tango, and then there's the Rumba... ok, Latin dance is just sexy.




    Smiling or flirting with the audience isn't seduction, ^THAT^ is seduction.


    2) Of course children dancing isn't and shouldn't be seductive. If it there is a problem it's with the teachers (I'm looking at you all the jazz/hiphop teachers who's child students dance like Beyoncé) and parents.

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    Member AyaKara's Avatar
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    I think of it as seductive in a different way . . . not sexual, but more playful. Even in more sultry & slow-paced BD, I've only ever seen it portrayed sexually in movies.

    BD is for celebration, after all! My dad & I actually had this conversation the other day when my mom asked if I was going to have a secret night life ( ). He said that BD is traditionally a celebratory dance & that it's misunderstood in our sexually-sensitive culture (which, I'm SO proud that he knows this when I haven't spoken to them about the history of BD yet!).

    We'll just have to keep showing the world as BD continues to spread that we're not a bunch of strippers

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    Seductive in the sense that belly dancers are "invaders of the heart," the translation of the word Ghawazee (or so I've read). Sensual, yes, sexy, yes, flirtatious, sometimes. You don't have to TRY to be sexy when you are belly dancing, it's just part of the package. But it's not literally about seducing someone to be your lover by dancing for him or her. It's about a woman being powerful and expressing herself to the music. And people find that attractive, mesmerizing, charming, entertaining, etc. Don't all good performers seduce their audiences - actors, singers, musicians?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    Ha! They've obviously never seen a proper Paso Doble or Tango, and then there's the Rumba... ok, Latin dance is just sexy.




    Smiling or flirting with the audience isn't seduction, ^THAT^ is seduction.
    That dance was so beautiful, thanks for posting.

    I get your point about Latin dance being sexy, Lord knows sometimes the Dancing with the Stars people often wear less than us!! The only thing I would point out is that dancers of styles such as Tango deal with the same frustrations as we do. I have a friend who did Tango for years, and everybody would assume it's just a sexy dance of seduction. Whereas it's actually like bellydance: It's not afraid of sexuality (it's part of being human, after all), but it's about the passion of life. I didn't actually find that dance you posted especially sexy or seductive, it was intensely emotional.

    I just get frustrated that people make the sex-related comments about dancing in general (also related to the whole "men who dance are gay" cliché). Yes! The dancers are sexy! I'm oftentimes attracted to performers who dance wonderfully! But I keep it to myself because it is most often not what he/she is dancing about. Dance can express every part our human experience, and sexuality is only one part of that.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Dance is more about passion than about seduction. The greatest passion may exist in the absence of physical union, fueled by unresolved longings. Think of Casablanca: would explicit sex between Elsa and Rick have made the film more passionate? Would sex following a tango be a climax (no pun intended) or an anti-climax after such passionate expression of longing?
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Dance is more about passion than about seduction. The greatest passion may exist in the absence of physical union, fueled by unresolved longings. Think of Casablanca: would explicit sex between Elsa and Rick have made the film more passionate? Would sex following a tango be a climax (no pun intended) or an anti-climax after such passionate expression of longing?
    Eggzactly. My mom comes to see me a lot and if I was being seductive, I would definitely hear about it! So I passed the Mom Test, and that can be tough!

  8. #8
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophia Maria View Post
    That dance was so beautiful, thanks for posting.
    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sophia Maria View Post
    I get your point about Latin dance being sexy, Lord knows sometimes the Dancing with the Stars people often wear less than us!! The only thing I would point out is that dancers of styles such as Tango deal with the same frustrations as we do. I have a friend who did Tango for years, and everybody would assume it's just a sexy dance of seduction. Whereas it's actually like bellydance: It's not afraid of sexuality (it's part of being human, after all), but it's about the passion of life.
    I posted that video as a bit of a tongue in cheek response to what I think is a rather silly reaction by some people. To give a serious response though it's all about where any dance is performed. Ballet isn't respectable because it's hundreds of years old (though it helps), it's respectable because we have entire plays/ballets that are treated as high art and shown to a "discerning public". Before that it was no different then the chorus girls who perform on Broadway etc. They weren't the stars they were the pretty icing there to make the "real artists" look better, the cheesecake. Said dancers have all the same stories and reputations that are assigned to belly dancers.

    The simple fact is that unless you have reached the level of "high art" it is assumed, and usually rightly so, that you cannot support yourself on the income from working nightclubs or in a chorus line. Now days the stereotype is the actress/waitress. In belly dance it's not uncommon for dancers to have degrees and work in law or some other high level profession, I assume because of the fact most belly dancers start learning once they are already in college, but since we don't advertise the fact the other stereotypes still take precedence.

    The oldest of those stereotypes, and one that was quite true and probably still is in some places, is that dancers who performed in nightclubs or chorus lines or even in theaters supplemented their income by having "patrons" or admirers who would "gift" them with money or expensive items. It was not a platonic relationship either. Have you ever seen the movie Gigi? Not a performer but I love the line in it about how he will "keep her beautifully", it's so expressive of how it was. We complain about how such jobs weren't respected by society and forget that there is a good reason for that, the people weren't respectable. It's not like now days where we will separate the person from the job, the person was the job and people cared what they did when they weren't working.

    All the same as much as things have changed they still stay the same. Those parts of our society haven't really gone away. Contemporary dance styles such as hip-hop (or pretty much any club dance style) has been overly sexualized and people know it. Heck we complain about it. These are the styles being performed in the same venues we do! Belly dance is being mainstreamed as a part of a popular culture where it is assumed that people into the "lifestyle" will think nothing of one night stands with "beautiful people" and your "skillz" just increases your chances. What separation between performance and person? There success is all about the individual as a brand and not as a performer.

    All of this adds up to as long as a dance is performed predominantly in nightclubs, as backups, or in low end theaters it will continue to face the same stereotypes as every other performer who performs there as well. If it's not true then ignore them and move on. It's not worth your time to contradict them unless the person is willing to listen. And really, would you want to see belly dance turned into "Swan Lake"? I don't. So the cost is that there are people who will see it as less then "high art"? Oh freaking well, I can live with that

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Dance is more about passion than about seduction.
    This right here! This is the perfect expression of what I feel dance is.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne View Post
    I posted that video as a bit of a tongue in cheek response to what I think is a rather silly reaction by some people. To give a serious response though it's all about where any dance is performed.
    Yup! I understood completely, I just thought I'd throw my two cents in.

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