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  1. #11
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    I think there's an expiration date on certain types of paying gigs - performing for a man's 21st birthday party, for example. Or performing for a bachelor party of young men. Or performing for a frat party. For such gigs, I think the dancer needs to LOOK young enough to be in the reproductive years, regardless of what her true age may be. But, that's what hair dye and skin moisturizers are for!

    I've noticed that people who have belly danced a lot over the course of many years tend to look younger than other people of similar age and social class. I suspect that all the exercise is excellent for skin health. I think belly dancing is the fountain of youth!

  2. #12
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    yes, I totally agree that its a fountain of youth so to speak. Randa kamal and Dina look younger than their counterparts. and so forth and so forth.

    and yes, unless he REALLY likes older woman, yeah i geuss you would have to pass for younger for a 21st birthday but I wouldn't feel comfortable doin a gig like that anyways hehe

  3. #13
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I did a 21st in my mid-40s - but it was a gag gig. A young Law Clerk was called back to the court at lunchtime where I ambushed him and all his co-workers (including lawyers and a judge) popped up from the seats to watch.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    The ultimate question is why do you wish to belly dance is it because you like , it feels good, or perhaps you want to make money from it or you just want to strut your stuff for others, with no cash reward forthcoming?

    Why do you dance and why do you want to continue dancing ?

    Me I am a mid forties unmuscled male dancer with serious confidence issues and not because of my appearance, I dance, because I love it, but maybe haflas only for I have no designs whatsoever for stardom, I will leave that for dancers with egos to match their skill or not.

    One has to question their motives in what they do to arrive at the truth and there act accordingy.

  5. #15
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    A lot of belly dancers look so much younger than they are, it definitely makes a difference when people dance a lot, keeps them healthy I can't believe the belly dancers' ages in the clips Shan posted! I hope I look that young and would be that fit when am their ages!

  6. #16
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Who you calling "crone," honey?

    Samia Gamal was fifty in this clip: Samia Gamal 1972 In Color - YouTube

    Tell me this lady is too old at 92 to dance or be sexy: Unbelievable Ginger Rogers Salsa Performance. She's 92 Years Old! - YouTube

    The belly dancer starting at 1:23 is 60. Pregnant Woman & 60 Year Old Belly Dancing - YouTube

    This gal is 75. The dance starts about 1:30 Sa 75 godina ple?e salsu - YouTube

    Another lady with gray in her hair mature belly dancer - YouTube

    Feeling a little better about your encroaching decrepitude? I might mention I am 58 and not anywhere near the eldest around this place.
    Reviving this thread because I was about to ask exactly this question. Your video clips haven't made me feel any better, though.

    When I was 59, I still looked pretty good. In fact I look back and think of it as the pinnacle of my "career" (I'm a perennial student), because I did several gigs at old folks' homes that year, and danced in three troupe numbers at the end-of-year hafla, including a short solo.

    Fast forward through spinal surgery and a few personal setbacks, and I'm saggy, baggy and almost 65. I can't believe how far my looks and body have deteriorated in 5 years!

    I want to keep dancing, but I'm really questioning whether I can continue to belly dance. I know I'll get a chorus of disagreement, but I do think all that stuff about "ageless goddesses" and "it doesn't matter what you look like" is just wishful thinking after a certain age.

    For a while, I thought I could keep dancing because I'd found a troupe of mature women - but it hasn't taken many community fairs to realise that the general public regards us with bemusement. To them, we're a bunch of fat old biddies wearing too much bling. The kindest comment I've heard is "they dance so well for their age".

    I know what you're going to say - don't let a few nasty people put you off. The thing is, though, it's not just a few - and anyway, when I see photos of us, they're right. We do look ridiculous in our drag-queen make-up and pretend-young hair.

    I've started going to flamenco again (which I danced years ago). Age doesn't matter in flamenco - in fact the older the better - but I do miss my bellydance.

  7. #17
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    The alternative to quitting something you love would be to decrease the bling, go easy on the make-up, wear a full dress instead of bedlah to cover that aging body, and dance gently instead of twisting old bones and joints into backbends and Turkish drops. What is pretend-young hair? Careful where you tread: I have thigh length hair I wear in a single braid.

    That being said, I understand where you're coming from, Oz, and yes, I know we are not all Samia or Ginger. I retired from performing three years ago and from teaching last year. I will be 63 later this month and my body simply doesn't move like it used to. I was tired of arthritic hurting for two days after a class, and frankly, when one has danced at a high level of proficiency, it's frustrating to return to a lower level of ability.

    And THAT being said, I'm teaching a middle eastern dance OLLI class for people over 55 in two weeks featuring Golden Era video clips and my former students. A student who took over as teacher for the fall semester and I are teaming up to do khaleeji for the class, a gentle style that doesn't hurt unless we get too enthusiastic tossing hair around. She is ten years younger than I am but also contemplating retirement due to physical problems. A second former student is teaching the spring semester; she is 25 years younger than I am and I hope she will have a good run for it.

    I miss dancing. It was a huge part of my life and of my identity for over 40 years and I've not found anything to take its place. I suspect I never will.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  8. #18
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    The alternative to quitting something you love would be to decrease the bling, go easy on the make-up, wear a full dress instead of bedlah to cover that aging body, and dance gently instead of twisting old bones and joints into backbends and Turkish drops. What is pretend-young hair?

    That being said, I understand where you're coming from, Oz, and yes, I know we are not all Samia or Ginger. .
    Pretend-young hair is scraped-back hair (because most older women wear their hair short, so it's not long enough to allow softness) with a ponytail tacked on. Some of the troupe members, who are Egypt fanatics, have home-dyed their hair jet black and wear it long with bangs (like Cher in her early days). it's not the most flattering look against 60-year-old faces.

    You're right, what I'd really like to do is change how I dress for dancing, but then, where do I dance? If I'm going to be part of a troupe, then I need to wear what they wear, I don't get much choice. If the teacher does allow me to wear something that's substantially different, I'll stick out like a sore thumb. I wish I could persuade my "oldies" troupe to buy some beautiful beledi dresses (we mainly dance beledi), tone down the make-up and lose some of the coquettish attitude - but it's not my troupe, plus I'm a relative newcomer.

    Maybe the solution is to start up a group of my own, but I'm chicken! I don't really want to teach, anyway, although I've been told often enough that I should.


    The reason I'm finding it so hard to let go, is that I didn't even discover belly dance until I was 50. So those performances (when I was 59) felt like I was just hitting my stride, and the next minute it's over.

    By the way, that video is NOT Ginger Rogers, and if they're willing to lie about that, I wonder how old she really is?

  9. #19
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I can certainly understand your hesitation, Oz. Starting a troupe is a big commitment... but so is giving up belly dance. Alternatively, you can do gigs at old folk homes and solos in haflas without a troupe.

    Um, if your group isn't wearing beledi dresses to dance beledi, may I ask what the dress code is? (Please tell me it is not two piece costumes with mermaid hems or goth veiling with bindi.)

    Not Ginger? Why those CADS! If you can't trust information on the internet, what can you trust?
    Last edited by Shanazel; 03-11-2018 at 04:28 AM.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  10. #20
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Um, if your group isn't wearing beledi dresses to dance beledi, may I ask what the dress code is? (Please tell me it is not two piece costumes with mermaid hems or goth veiling with bindi.)
    LOL, actually, we don't perform beledi (which is one of the things I find frustrating). The teacher feels audiences at community fairs won't understand beledi, so she has a 20 minute set which consists of a saiidi (cane) dance, a veil number, a Hakim pop song, and two other songs where we head into the crowd and improvise. The dress code is black skirt, black lace body stocking, bedleh in a bright colour - which sounds OK but in fact, the effect of a bright bra and belt against the black just serves to highlight figure flaws, IMO.

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