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  1. #11
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimona View Post
    I suggest you read the whole study (link posted above by Kartane), not just the abstract of it.
    Thank you for merging the threads Daimona. I wasn't criticising the study. Reading the abstract alone, it was clearly a study of females, although the title "Belly Dance as an Embodying Activity" certainly wants me to be included, and I would like to feel I gain the same benefits for body image that the women in the study are suggested as getting. The study acknowledges that both men and women can feel body dissatisfaction generated by social ideals.

    The full study does answer my demographic question though. The bellydancers were, as a mean, 14 years older than the undergraduates. But no indication (or did I miss it?) of what bellydance was being practised, and the study is aware that the 'body positive' bellydancers might be self selective (ie they were drawn to bellydance because they already had a positive body image).

    I think a longitudinal study would be interesting, and I still wonder whether the conclusions that the study draws would morre apply to class students (who do it for fun, and only as fun), rather than dancers who concentrate on it for performance/money.

  2. #12
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Any scientific study has its strong and weak sides.


    I would like to include men as well, both in a separate study and in an inter gender study (could you say it like that?), because I believe that belly dance could be good for everyone whatever gender the dancers are.

    If there are enough males engaging in recreational belly dance to get get statistically good results, I don't know why they shouldn't be included in such a study for males as well.

    And speaking of statistics: I don't know what is the common numbers required in psychological studies, but from a statistically point of view, even 213 participants is on the short end to get statistically reliable results. In general scientists all over the world usually works with too small numbers.


    It is mentioned that the majority of the belly dancing style practiced in Australia is Middle Eastern.
    In Australia, the most common form of belly dance is Middle Eastern, with some Tribal Style elements, and classes are promoted on the basis of fun and fitness (bellydanceoz.com).
    Last edited by Daimona; 09-12-2014 at 06:19 PM.
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  3. #13
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvet View Post
    Thank you for merging the threads Daimona. I wasn't criticising the study. Reading the abstract alone, it was clearly a study of females, although the title "Belly Dance as an Embodying Activity" certainly wants me to be included, and I would like to feel I gain the same benefits for body image that the women in the study are suggested as getting. The study acknowledges that both men and women can feel body dissatisfaction generated by social ideals.

    The full study does answer my demographic question though. The bellydancers were, as a mean, 14 years older than the undergraduates. But no indication (or did I miss it?) of what bellydance was being practised, and the study is aware that the 'body positive' bellydancers might be self selective (ie they were drawn to bellydance because they already had a positive body image).

    I think a longitudinal study would be interesting, and I still wonder whether the conclusions that the study draws would morre apply to class students (who do it for fun, and only as fun), rather than dancers who concentrate on it for performance/money.
    The study was done in Adelaide so the specific styles are Egyptian as well as Fat Chance-based tribal fusion. The reason why women were mentioned in the article and not men? Because the sample size of responses from men was too small. This is Australia we're talking about. I know of a total of four male bellydancers in the country and have only been approached by one male to learn bellydance in the entire time I have been teaching. Dance isn't something aussie males do. Getting upset at the lack of representation is futile. If you would like the study to be male-inclusive, conduct one yourself using the male dance contacts you have as a starting point.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    I wasn't upset about the lack of male representation. I just wondered how the study's conclusion might, or might not, be applicable to male bellydancers. As there are no male specific studies around (for the reasons already given) then I either do this, or pretend that studies about bellydance aren't applicable to me.

  5. #15
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Oh, okay. It came across differently to me in your post so thanks for clarifying.
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  6. #16
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    The group they used was small and only from two dance schools in the same country, no, even in the same area, that would really affect the data outcome. I'd like to see a more world wide approach and professional dancers included.
    Though the outcome doesn't surprise me, I have seen same thing in Holland, but only amongst students, performers and teachers generally don't talk openly about this topic, so I have no idea. For teachers there isn't really as much pressure to look a certain way, but for performers there is.

  7. #17
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvet View Post
    ...pretend that studies about bellydance aren't applicable to me.
    I don't understand what you mean. I don't feel they are applicable to me as an individual either. They may raise discussion points but they don't describe the individual's experience, they can't tell me what belly dance does for me or you or anyone else. If their sample is representative of belly dancers and college students in general then the most they can say about the individual dancer is a probability of scoring better than a random college student. And I don't give a hoot how much better my or your or anyone else's body image is likely to be than Ms College Student.

    What they do do is describe populations, so it's more relevant if someone is using this politically eg to lobby for more support for belly dance classes because look here is evidence that they are a Good Thing, who knew?! In which case yes, the evidence here technically only applies to women, but only because the evidence for men is difficult because of the numbers. IMO anyone using it to push the case for women only classes would be twisting it to fit their own agenda.

  8. #18
    Member Kartane's Avatar
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    I have not participated in the conversation since my first posting as I am finding it nearly impossible to hold my inner snark in check. This is a study that might help a lot of people see belly dance differently, as it did the people who started it with an expectation that Belly Dance would be a 'negative' to dancers, because they had grouped it with 'exotic' dance in their minds without understanding what our art form actually is. The change in their perception alone makes this a positive and important study despite the statistical issues and age differences noted by others.

    I, myself, do not find it difficult to extrapolate that positive findings among one group of participants in the activity might as easily apply to others groups. Granted, this is subjective and not backed by empirical evidence. But saying that a study about apples has no value because it does not include pears derails the vital conversation about the potential positive repercussions of the study overall.

  9. #19
    Member Afrit's Avatar
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    Curious to know if a similar study has been done with Salsa. My experience suggests there is a dance form that would destroy any positive feelings you habour for your body!

  10. #20
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Salsa bad for body imagine? I have only done a few salsa classes but couldn't see anything that would be bad for body imagine. I'd think ballet would be, I saw first hand how it ruined the body imagine of the sister of a friend: she hadn't been accepted into ballet academy because her legs were 'too short', it also reflected directly onto my friend, because she also had 'short legs' and didn't fit the rest of the criteria even though she didn't want to enter ballet accademy.

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