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  1. #11
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Thanks Roshanna for your mine of information.

    The bellydancers I actually know with Morris connections are Egyptian style performers, and ones following the more ghawazee and fellahin techniques. Buts its interesting what you have experienced with Tribal dancers, and how Morris dancers are more aware of the Tribal dance style than the others. Perhaps Tribal lends itself more to the 'pagan' feel that event organisers or participants might be looking for at events that also include Morris sides? - (And I hasten to add, before anyone objects, that being a Tribal dancer, or a Morris dancer, is no indication of one's spiritual path).

  2. #12
    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roshanna View Post
    Morris is inherently really sociable, whilst learning bellydance can easily not be a social activity at all, unless the dancers in your community go out of their way to make it so. This is different if you're in a troupe, of course, in which case there's probably more in common, although my experience of being in bellydance troupes and dance companies is that it's still less sociable than being in a morris side because the social element is very ad-hoc or optional, whereas in morris it's institutionalised as something everyone does every week unless they have some reason to need to leave early.
    My bellydance classes have always been social activities, with people hanging on to chat afterwards, swapping engagement details, or introducing new people. Without the social side you don't get the haflas or other events that go on. Are the teachers and performers in your area so focused on the business aspect that they see everyone as either 'cash income' or 'potential rival'? Perhaps bellydance needs to take a leaf out of the Morris book.

  3. #13
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvet View Post
    Buts its interesting what you have experienced with Tribal dancers, and how Morris dancers are more aware of the Tribal dance style than the others. Perhaps Tribal lends itself more to the 'pagan' feel that event organisers or participants might be looking for at events that also include Morris sides? - (And I hasten to add, before anyone objects, that being a Tribal dancer, or a Morris dancer, is no indication of one's spiritual path).
    I think it's because tribal groups tend to go for, and be well suited to, the same types of performance opportunities as morris sides, i.e. outdoor, daytime events without a formal stage space - and where you have enough dance time that you need a large repertoire of dances, which is easier for ATS/ITS dancers than for troupes relying on choreography. ATS/ITS groups also sometimes dance at folk festivals (usually as the only non-English dance group except for maybe some Appalachian cloggers...!), where they are seen by a lot of morris dancers.

    And because ATS dancers come in groups and like to dance in the same kinds of environments, they can easily slot into the folk dance ecosystem as a sort of honorary morris side, and be invited as a 'side' to morris dance outs and ales.
    Last edited by Roshanna; 04-29-2016 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #14
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvet View Post
    My bellydance classes have always been social activities, with people hanging on to chat afterwards, swapping engagement details, or introducing new people. Without the social side you don't get the haflas or other events that go on. Are the teachers and performers in your area so focused on the business aspect that they see everyone as either 'cash income' or 'potential rival'? Perhaps bellydance needs to take a leaf out of the Morris book.
    I think it's more everyone, including the teachers, being busy and overcommitted, to be honest. People do chat a bit before/after classes, and there are haflas and occasional organised social outings, but there isn't the same culture of everyone getting to know everyone else and all regularly going out together after class. It's the difference between going for a coffee with people a few times a year, and going to the pub with them every week...

  5. #15
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Perhaps we're the exception that proves the rule but most of my dancers go out for dinner every Wednesday after class plus participate in the two informal end of semester haflas I throw at my house. The others come to dinner as they are able: one gal lives thirty miles from here so has to leave promptly after class to get her son home and to bed; another teaches dance classes before attending mine and she is usually pretty whacked by 8:00. I'm pretty whacked, too, but it's important to hang out with students who have also become my friends.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  6. #16
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    The troupe I used to belong to would go out together 2 to 3 times a month, either to Checkers or Big Truck Tacos. We also found excuses for haflas every chance we could, and at the end of every month, everyone brought a bottle of alcohol and a box of cookies for after class (my friend and I brought sparkling grape juice, since we were the only two non-drinkers in class).

  7. #17
    Member Roshanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    The troupe I used to belong to would go out together 2 to 3 times a month, either to Checkers or Big Truck Tacos. We also found excuses for haflas every chance we could, and at the end of every month, everyone brought a bottle of alcohol and a box of cookies for after class (my friend and I brought sparkling grape juice, since we were the only two non-drinkers in class).
    That sounds lovely that's how I'd like it to be socially if I ever start teaching again!

  8. #18
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    From the beginning of my teaching career, I've made a point of teaching belly dance as a social dance. Even the soloists have their do-wops, on stage or off in the wings- no one performs alone.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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