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  1. #11
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    I have nothing against young girls doing belly dancing as long as it is done tastefully and age appropriate. Kids have so much stresses the way it is these days...Why not let them be kids for as long as we can. There is no hurry for them to grow up.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    I dont take students under 13.....
    But i dont realy have a problem with young girls dancing its so normal in the middle east,
    But for sure the body,s must be covered that has to be a must i think
    Than dancing and dancing is 2....the way has to be playfull and cute
    so for sure there is a thin line where it is to much or to less
    It has to be obvious that she is a child and not yet a woman in the way she is moving and yes deep in my heart i think it is realy for adults and kids must do like folk like mentioned above
    I dont take under 13 years because to teach children is differant than adults and i know from my self that i can be a bit strickt in class and push sometimes more than what small ones can take ,and i will be worried they go home in tears..have a nice day everybody, Lydia

  3. #13
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    I really agree that itís a fine line. Some of the stuff Iíve seen on YouTube is just disturbing. I also agree with marriku about sticking with the folks dances.

    On a positive note, I saw one group of girls dancing that I thought was really age appropriate, but it was removed by the user. Basically the girls wore peasant skirts, hip scarves, long-sleeved choli tops that only showed about an inch of skin, and headbands. The choreography was not full-out belly dancing (no undulations, etc). I would describe it as Middle Eastern-ish. They did little things like putting one hand behind the head and the other out to the side and turning in a circle to the beat, Egyptian head slides, etc. The closest thing to recognizable belly dance was the move where you sidestep and do a sharp hip lift while holding your hands in the basic position. The crowd was very enthusiastic and it was just fun to watch.

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    I definitely believe that it comes down to presentation - the moves used and the costuming. I was very iffy about it when i'd heard there'd be a kids performance at my first show with the old studio but when i saw it i didn't have a problem with it at all.
    Kids in the shows were always dressed in harem pants, worn on the waist, not the hips and with only a small slit from the ankle to mid-calf.The tops were those handkerchief styled-diamond shaped ones - not with strings to tie but broad bands of cloth so that there was still quite a bit of cloth covering their backs. They had puffy sleeve type things on their arms as well. so add some sparkly edging and shiny colourful, material and they were pretty much covered and looked like kids,but still felt like they looked like bellydancers.
    There were no sensual moves in the choreography - it was pretty much as midoria described hers above. one or two hip lifts, some simple veil work - but none of it "sultry". No undulations, no chest shaking, no oumis, no popping and locking. it was beautiful - the parents were happy, the kids were happy, the crowd loved it.

    i think it's much harder to deal with the almost teenagers and early teenagers because they WANT to look like grown-up belly dancers or for the older ones they want to look sensual. I prefer then for the sake of performances that they do folkloric styles, even if they begin to learn the other stuff in class.

    i agree that there is too much in this world that is ugly and forces children to grow up much faster than they should. they should never be put into a position where there is even the slightest potential for exploitation.

  5. #15
    Member Khaira's Avatar
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    Hi!


    I totally agree with Maariku! Folkloric oriental dance is perfect for children: energetic, fun, educational and does include hip technique. And ofcourse the costumes are covered.
    A young friend of mine from Latvia is a perfect example of this. After getting familiar with folkloric styles she has grown to be a very sweet and modest cabaret dancer. Folklore is good for beginning for children!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    i think it's much harder to deal with the almost teenagers and early teenagers because they WANT to look like grown-up belly dancers or for the older ones they want to look sensual.
    I sooo agreee (though I have had a few be modest)... the serious girls who stick with it & actually perform w/ me tend to be super modest... but the 16-21 year olds usually start out with me being (or trying to be) way to..... well..... sexy... or their young idea of it.....(eeekkkk think MTV )
    these either fall by the wayside, or if they stick with it, really start toning it down... (I NEVER point fingers... but the girls love when I do my "this is "elegant" & this is "not" "undulation (camel) demonstration... I do a camel w/ great posture & knees together.. & then the "stripper... where is the pole??? " version & after the 1st demo 90% are better!!!!)... I actually find BD classes to be a great outlet for young women to channel their budding sexuality, with those who stay, I notice that alot of times even OUTSIDE of class they stop wearing soo much make-up & don't dress soooo in a "you are NOT going OUT in that skirt!!!" way...
    my very best young dancers ALWAYS are almost waist high skirt WITH "harem" pants under & choli type tops....
    in fact my star student (JUST 21, 2 wks ago) has had the curviest figure since 12!!! ... FINALLY we see JUST a bit of cleavage.. & I personally think that the line of her moves would look better if her belt was a bit lower (or she needs a form fitting baladi dress w/ a low hip line)... but she is not ready for that yet... & I cannot help but be sooo proud of her.... & I think she is setting a fine example for my younger students.
    I just LOVE my young students

  7. #17
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    I think that it depends on the style of clothing the children wear. A lot of cultures have dances that involve the hips and the way it's viewed also depends a lot on the culture. Children in different forms of African dance will do many dances that in American culuture we may find offensive. My MIL lives in Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and we have quite a few Ivorian videos that have kids doing dances that involve butt bouncing, undulations, etc. and NONE of them are done in a sexual or inappropriate manner and they all look like kids, but I could totally see a Westener judging them or looking at it as a more sexual dance when it's totally not and no one from that culutre sees it that way. Again, this is where I think cultural sensitivies come into play.

    There is a very cute video of a girl age 10 at Tribal Fest that I just adore. I hope the link will work: YouTube - Chelsea performs @ Tribal Fest 6
    I have shown it to my son, who is 9 and loves to dance. What I love about the video is that she is dressed like a kid and the movements are very age appropriate even with her hip and chest popping.

    I think that we live in such a highly sexualized culture with MTV and pop stars dressing like porno stars that we sometimes get oversensitive forgetting that some folkloric and some cultures dance in ways that are perceived differently than they are here.

    That said, I am a mother of a daughter as well and don't think it's appropriate for young girls to dance around in bras and such, but I don't really see the harm in learning belly dancing. I mean, if kids put their feeling it in, then theoretically the dancing should be done in a sweet and innoscent way. It is adults who sexualize things and relate it to sex. JMHO...

  8. #18
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Chelsea wasn't belly dancing, but she sure the heck was doing some kind of dance and I loved every second of it. Thanks for the link, SBG!

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I believe Maria Aya once said she preferred to keep younger girls in the folkdance classes, saving belly dance for a more mature period in their lives (correct me if I am wrong, Saint-Sin!)
    You are right Shanazel

    Bellydance is an art, but also have many sensual elements in it (not saying sexual which is also very common when missdone etc).

    We started the kids class with Ghawazee and Raqs al Assaya this year and zills !! and they are doing just great, they love it, and they dont miss at all the 2 piece costumes, the veils etc
    Also this covers all the thoughts of the parents regarding bellydance and what people say blah blah.
    We are having great fun in class and its one of my beloved classes in the week

    Maria Aya

  10. #20
    Member nicknack's Avatar
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    I think Assaya and zills are great choices for kids, just as long as no stick fights ensue I had one teacher who did some one off workshops at local schools and she centred it all on cane dance, the boys loved that as much as the girls.

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