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  1. #1
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    Default Whats a bellydancers shelf life?

    Im not saying there is one but I am very new to bellydancing and I was talking to a pal of mine who is a tap dancer and has danced all her life but her performing career is virtually over at the ripe old age of 28!!! 28 is only 3 years away so its a good job Im not a tap dancer.

    I know its very rare to make a career or a living from belly dancing but if I wanted to perform and make a proper go of this what age do you have until.

    Im 25 but I do get away with looking about 21. I would still bellydance even if there was no future because i love it but I was just wondering what my options are for the future because I am prepared to work very hard.

    So ladies and gents in your opinions when are belly dancers in their prime and to what age do most perform to?

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    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatinah View Post
    Im not saying there is one but I am very new to bellydancing and I was talking to a pal of mine who is a tap dancer and has danced all her life but her performing career is virtually over at the ripe old age of 28!!! 28 is only 3 years away so its a good job Im not a tap dancer.

    I know its very rare to make a career or a living from belly dancing but if I wanted to perform and make a proper go of this what age do you have until.

    Im 25 but I do get away with looking about 21. I would still bellydance even if there was no future because i love it but I was just wondering what my options are for the future because I am prepared to work very hard.

    So ladies and gents in your opinions when are belly dancers in their prime and to what age do most perform to?
    For restaurants and clubs the only way an older dancer can do well is to scrub up well and look like the proper thing otherwise most employers will go for young, slim pretty. However I do know of older dancers who carry on dancing in those venues because they have charisma and skill and ..hides like rhinos
    Festivals, parties and theatre...don't stop me yet!
    I was hired to be on rock video at 56! and no it wasn't a joke.
    There will come a point when you have to hang up the bedlah ( mine have long been swapped for dresses and body stocking'd 2 pieces) and it's best to trade, organise, teach specialist workshops, do after dinner speeches and write yer memoires

    Having said that I have watched a performance platform video from the MADN organisation with a lady in her 70s dancing a folkloric piece in an approriate costume and it was one of the best performances on the tape. You can and should adapt routine, venues and costuming to suit your age and you will still be a valuable ( I hope) part of the community) but NO you are not going to carry on getting the restaurant gigs.

  3. #3
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I am 53 and still teaching. I gave up performing when I was about thirty or so. Been so long ago, I can't recall exactly when I retired, but I do know I still had a waist back then.

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    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I am 53 and still teaching. I gave up performing when I was about thirty or so. Been so long ago, I can't recall exactly when I retired, but I do know I still had a waist back then.
    So why did you stop?

  5. #5
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    well I guess Kylie is 40 and jlo and other celebs still looking amazing up to 40 now so I guess if you really take care of your body and looks maybe there is a future after 30?? what does everyone else reckon?

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    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Dear Fatinah,

    Quote Originally Posted by fatinah View Post
    Im not saying there is one but I am very new to bellydancing and I was talking to a pal of mine who is a tap dancer and has danced all her life but her performing career is virtually over at the ripe old age of 28!!! 28 is only 3 years away so its a good job Im not a tap dancer.
    Sugar Leonard, Sammy Davis Jr. Savion Glover, Gregory Hines.... all tap dancers who danced professionally way past the age of 28.


    I know its very rare to make a career or a living from belly dancing but if I wanted to perform and make a proper go of this what age do you have until.

    That depends on what you have to offer, If you are a ball of fluff who is entirely dependent on your looks, you might not last too long. If you are a dancer who has much to offer in the way of great dancing, good teaching, intense and wonderful performances, you might not work in clubs any more but there are plenty of opportunities out there for dancers who really have something offer, no matter what their age. This is true in other dance forms as well. Leonard Fowler, the ballet and New York jazz guy, was Artist in Residence at the university where I was costume designer until her was into his 70s and then after that he continues to teach at different studies. I will not tell you how old Morocco is, but she is not a sweet young thing by any means and she is still out there teaching and dancing her butt off. I am 55 and going strong.

    Im 25 but I do get away with looking about 21. I would still bellydance even if there was no future because i love it but I was just wondering what my options are for the future because I am prepared to work very hard.
    If you do right by the dance, it will do right by you for a lifetime.

    So ladies and gents in your opinions when are belly dancers in their prime and to what age do most perform to?
    Belly dancers are in their prime for a period of time that often depends on the dancer. I would say I was in my prime from about 30-45 as far as dance ability and being able to dance in any type of venue. I knew enough about the dance by then to do it justice, but was still looking pretty good as well, so I could easily dance in any club. Most older dancers do not work in clubs, but a few do. Mostly what happens as we age is that we have to create new kinds of venues, look more toward the concert stage and to other types of events. My dance company has a majority of members 40 or older and we dance mostly in full stage shows and more edcuationally motivated events. We spent a lot of May dancing at local colleges for intercultural week and other such events. We also dance at things like dance festivals and First Night, folk festivals and other things like that. I tend to send my younger dancers out to do birthday parties and other private events, but occasionally someone wants a more mature dancer for their party and then one of the older dancers goes out. I have learned also that we can create our own venues and twice a year we do events that are full stage shows the we self sponsor.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  7. #7
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    So why did you stop?
    The mental strain took a toll on me that I became unwilling to pay.

    Performing was a constant struggle between being an extreme introvert and the necessity of being on public display. I lived in a university town where everyone knew everyone else, and that meant my profession drew a lot of attention that spilled over into my personal life. I particularly hated being approached by men simply because I was a bellydancer- all they knew was my name and my approximate bra size but they thought that was enough for them to assume an acquaintance and ask for more. I was also tired of the long hours of practice, the pressures of the business end of dancing, the constant competing for jobs, and it was just time to do something else.

    How's that for too much information? Actually, now that I reflect on it, I was not even thirty when I retired, because I got married at 26 and rarely danced after that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    I'm 42 and I feel like I'm just getting started. Honestly, I feel like I"m no where near my physical potential either in dance ability or general fitness, and thus I plan on being in better shape and a better dancer 5 years from now.

    I feel young and I feel young in the dance.

    I think 50 is the new 30.

    I think we're just beginning to tap into the true potential of the human body.

    I have become very interested in how proper diet and exercise can slow/stop/reverse many of the effects of aging.

    I'm not afraid to consider a nip/tuck as various parts inevitably sag.

    Meanwhile, I don't think I look 42 so I don't think my looks are going to be a problem for a while (just MHO). Honestly, I just never think about when, why, or how I will stop performing.

  9. #9
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    I'm almost 60 (58 and 3/4 but I'm trying to get used to the idea of 60 so I can deal with it when it comes) I've just started but there are virtually no BD jobs in UK anyway. I plan to dnce for next 20 years or so though!!

  10. #10
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    There is no sell by date unless you are looking to be a paid performer for the general public. There are exceptions to the rule of course but most of the time they want the young fit girls.
    I gave up restaurants about 5 years ago in my mid thirties. I could still be doing it actually and get asked often but it was me who decided to quit.
    I detest it now. I had enough of getting changed in tiolets and putting up with bullsh!!

    These days I stick to festivals, theatre, Weddings and parties etc. I will play it by ear and see how it goes in the future.
    As regards to having a reputation amongst the belly dancing community in festivals etc. this is timeless.

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