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  1. #21
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adiemus View Post
    Chryssanthi - by 'radiation' do you mean the power of the personality that shines through a 'performance' .
    Yes, this is what I mean. Is there a proper English word to express this?

  2. #22
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Hey ladies, let a professional dancer who has been making a living out of dancing (performing and teaching) for more than 20 years now (this mean me) tell you one thing: YOU CAN ONLY BECOME A PROFESSIONAL, IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH ENGAGEMENTS (this means audience who wants to see you dancing) AND ENOUGH STUDENTS TO BE ABLE TO EARN ENOUGH MONEY TO MAKE A LIVING OUT OF THE DANCING!!!! It is that simple! It doesn't depend on your decision to become a pro or not, it depends on what kind of work you do and on how many people find your dancing (and teaching) appealing. Of course the better the quality of your dancing, the better you chances. But on the other hand, hey, this is BUISNESS!!! If you live from dancing, you are not only a dancer and teacher, you are also a business woman, organizer, PR-person and manager (and in some cases even your own bodyguard). You have to be able to handle all of this at the same time. And you have to be able to handle the stress and pressure which is connected with it. So, as I already said, it is good to start slowly as a hobbyist, if you are successful enough become a semi-professional and if you go on been more and more successful drop your job and become a full professional. Everything else is unrealistic.

  3. #23
    Member LLAIMA's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyBellyGirl View Post
    Well, I think people have a right to become a "professional" whatever and for whatever reason even if it is just about ego.

    Hey curlybellygirl, I can see that you sensed my frustration, of course is not towards you. I just had an opportunity to vent.

  4. #24
    Member LLAIMA's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Aniseteph;57096]I don't disagree with freedom, perhaps I misunderstood.


    But in belly dance it seems to be extremely common for people to get away with NOT making a good job of it, for a public that doesn't know any different. Performing or even teaching. How good a teacher you can be if it's all about you and not about your students?

    I agree a lot of people perform for the buzz it gives their ego. That's entirely normal - but IMHO seeking that buzz should never become more important than integrity about what you are doing.

    It couldn't have been explained any better than that.

  5. #25
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Default Clarification on ballet

    Clarification on ballet, from a former dancer:

    Women who aspire to be professional ballet dancers simply CANNOT begin in their twenties -- men can be the exception and can begin training later, but they are USUALLY limited to partnering and character roles (exceptions often occur in New York!)

    Classical ballet requires several years of training, just to form the body so that it's capable of doing the EXERCISES -- and then those exercises train the body to do the dance. Because of this, dance students must begin serious training early -- usually around age 8-9. For the major companies, pre-professional students begin apprenticing at around 16-17, and most corps dancers are hired at ages 18-22. Regional companies will often hire college grads (20-somethings) as apprentices, but the pay is commensurately less. Many dancers retire out in their 30's, due to injuries or competition, or they join part-time repertory companies (that's what I did.)

    There are ALWAYS exceptions of course, and the NYCB and ABT are full of them -- but remember these kids go to specialized middle and high schools for dancers, just like in "Fame."

    Ballet as a profession is limited to those with specific training and who can be competitive in the workforce. Ballet as a recreational activity is open to ANY AGE, but with an understanding that you will have structural impediments to some of the exercises and movements.

    Going Pro for anything (tennis, playing tuba, bellydancing) means spending a great deal of time learning and rehearsing it. You can probably start MOST things at an older age and still expect to achieve a certain amount of success with them -- but you will always have competition from those who are younger or who have been doing it longer.

    You have to ask yourself, "Am I content to be a local/regional professional or do I want to be a Superstar type pro, traveling the world and performing?"
    Each will take a different approach to training.

  6. #26
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    Hi all,

    I consider myself a professional belly dancer. In Canada and Hawai'i it WAS entirely how I made my living (though I did some other fun things on the side in Hawai'i because I wanted to). However, since I moved, I haven't been doing that because I am new here. Yet I still consider myself a professional dancer (I do get paid gigs and all). I am also definitely heavier than the average TV or film star. I do agree that it takes years of training (I still feel like a baby in this dance, so much left to learn) to become a professional, and a LOT of drive to do this. I hope one day again to earn my entire living from the dance.

  7. #27
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    If you mean semi professional..getting paid for regular restaurant and party gigs, then many dancers I know are well in their 40s and older here in the UK. they are the experienced and savvy dancers. A local restauranteur has asked me just this year ( as I said on the late starter thread) and I am 60 BUT for me personally it's a no-no. I "scrub up well" as we say, I have good posture, few wrinkles and am shapely but BIGger than your average dancer .I don't think that I am suitable. A more slender and glamorous professional will get away with a lot more at my age. I perform happily in theatre, at festivals and haflas and have been paid for gigs ( ladies's pamper nights, pop videos, weddings) but even together with teaching, I could no way make a living at this dance and much younger dancers are in the same boat.
    No way is someone over 35 going to be hired by BDSS. I saw Miles C wrinkle up his nose in disgust at the sight of less than perfect specimens doing this dance at Raks B. His audience were happy with us old dears but not he...ooo no...
    But there are outlets for us oldies and we can still entertain. If you are in your early 30s, lucky you get some good training and you'll maybe earn enough to buy those costumes from gigs.But hang on to the day job. Under 30 ( with some considerable skill) and you may even get a chance to dance "over there".
    The only full time professionals I know here in the UK not only perform and teach but trade, run residentials and holidays and they are few and far between.

  8. #28
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    Also, Aziyade, isn't it true of ballet as well that certain body types will have a harder time becoming a professional even if they start training at a young age? I did ballet briefly and one of my friends was going to The San Francisco Ballet and was actually kicked out of the school because of her body type (hippy already at a young age). She went on to study at another school, but I remember what a hurtful situation it was for her.

    I actually went to a high school modeled after the NY School of Performing Arts. We had educational classes during the morning and after lunch your art form for 3 -4 hours a day and sometimes longer depening. I was not in dance. Some of my friends have danced in large companies in NY and I know that especially for the women of color with largers butts and hips, it was a constant battle with weight and body issues -- not just in ballet, but across the board in most forms of dance (although none were doing BD ). I was going to transfer to dance from my focus (visual arts), but was so freaked out by how stressed the girls were and how hard it seemed that I got scared to even go that route knowing I would have mountains to climb.

    And now I find myself here in my late 20's and in love with dance again. I realize that being a pro is a combination of business savy and dancing ablility and general people skills. Right now, for me, it is just a hobby, but one that I take seriously because I would love to see where it might lead.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    No way is someone over 35 going to be hired by BDSS. I saw Miles C wrinkle up his nose in disgust at the sight of less than perfect specimens doing this dance at Raks B. His audience were happy with us old dears but not he...ooo no...
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't the bellydance superstars in the early to mid-30's age range? A couple of the dancers I have seen looked much older than that, and I honestly don't see a problem unless this Miles guy seriously thinks that they are going to stay young forever. The way you look plays an important factor in your career as a belly dancer, but it isn't measured by the same standards as ballet. It is true the younger you start the better, most Egyptian dancers start young, many start as professionals in their teens. But that doesn't mean they go off and commit suicide the moment they hit their late thirties. Fifi Abdou didn't reach the height of her career and she wasn't even famous until she became 40 years old. I hate to see people adding rules and age restrictions that shouldn't be there....

  10. #30
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    My understanding was that the initial age range to be able to audition for BDSS was under 23 and now it is currently 18-40, or at least that's what I recall reading in their '07 casting announcement on Tribe. I also read an article somewhere else, The Gilded Serpant perhaps, that talked about the process of auditioning for BDSS. It also had pictures of who was picked and the majority of the girls had a similar look to them (IMHO) and all appeared (at least in the picutures) to be younger, but not like teenage young.

    I don't know if for BDSS age is specifically important and it just seems that overall look is what's most important (especially body type), but then they are really a show and not really a bellydance company, so really more of a variety show or act which would for sure lean towards a more mainstream sense of esthetic.

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