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Thread: Elder-Bellies

  1. #31
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    putting the hag in hagallah

  2. #32
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaj View Post
    Darling Eshta..how old are you if you don't mind me asking..and quite !!!!
    it made you giggle
    My point exactly we older dancers don't want to be giggled or sniggered at!

    To tell truth I don't like cutesy names some people give to their groups. whatever age they are.
    Bellybooties,sillyshimmies etc
    Ah well I just had my humour gene extracted perhaps .
    I admit I am just too serious in loving this dance.
    signed Buspass Bootie
    LOL Yup, I'm definitely young enough for you to 'dismiss' me as a silly giggling girly if you so choose, as I'm sure from your wisdom & experience that you are old enough for me to 'dismiss' you as "old" if I so choose!

    Age is always going to be a double edged sword in this dance. I've seen young dancers and thought 'meh, how very nice', I've seen 'older' dancers who have made my jaw hit the floor - any of you know Vashti (of London)? Every time I see her I always say that I want to be like her when I grow up as a belly dancer! That said, I can't stand the statement that goes something like: "anyone younger than x doesn't have anything worth dancing about." Oh yeah? I've met 60 year olds who haven't had the life experience I had had by 16, so forgive me if I don't buy into it!

    We have so many "daughters of isis", "desert roses", "nieces of nefertiti", lots of troupes taking themselves very seriously. However there is room in our dance for the troupes of women who want to get out there & perform, who would define themselves as 'amateur", who often get overlooked when it comes to the performance opportunities because they are not the hot young things writhing in hipscarves that the GP might expect. I would prefer a troupe of "elderbellies" to a troupe of "high priestesses of the temple of the sacred pigeon" any day!

    But my dear Bagpuss, your brief post touches on so many points - the point of bringing humour into the dance unnecessarily does undermine it and it can be extremely annoying. It's such a "British" style of coping with something a bit weird and wonderful, don't you think? A bit "carry on" like?

  3. #33
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    ...there is room in our dance for the troupes of women who want to get out there & perform, who would define themselves as 'amateur", who often get overlooked when it comes to the performance opportunities because they are not the hot young things writhing in hipscarves that the GP might expect. I would prefer a troupe of "elderbellies" to a troupe of "high priestesses of the temple of the sacred pigeon" any day!
    Agreed. There's nothing wrong with a group of dancers defining themselves as mature and wanting to take their classes slow and steady, especially if the alternative class is more geared to the younger set who maybe want different things from the class. And if they want a humorous name that's up to them (yup, it isn't much worse than some of the sisters of the desert whatever type names ).

    I just wonder about using it on the poster that is presumably meant to attract new students. It's fine for the existing students to identify themselves as elder bellies, but by using it on the poster the teacher has put a label on the future students too. If you don't see yourself as quite elder yet, or don't think age is an issue, it sends out a very excluding message. IMO.

  4. #34
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    It's fine for the existing students to identify themselves as elder bellies, but by using it on the poster the teacher has put a label on the future students too.
    Very well put.

  5. #35
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    These women chose to form the group AND chose their own name. Naturally, they want to attract students who are like-minded with similar attitudes, so why would they not put the name on the poster? Anyone who is offended by their decision to celebrate their age (and have a gentle laugh at themselves) need not apply!

    One of the Sydney belly dance schools has a mature-age group and I know they'd be bemused by the attitudes expressed in this forum. Yes, some 60- and 70-year olds can keep up with a mainstream belly dance class, but some have restricted movement and so feel more comfortable - and safer - among older people with similar challenges. I don't think we have the right to tell them they can't have their own group if they choose, or to criticise them for having a sense of humour.

    I'm 55 and if there was a performance group of menopausal women who can see the funny side of getting old, I wouldn't hesitate to join them!

  6. #36
    Senior Member AngelaJP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellydance Oz View Post
    These women chose to form the group AND chose their own name. Naturally, they want to attract students who are like-minded with similar attitudes, so why would they not put the name on the poster? Anyone who is offended by their decision to celebrate their age (and have a gentle laugh at themselves) need not apply!I'm 55 and if there was a performance group of menopausal women who can see the funny side of getting old, I wouldn't hesitate to join them!
    Very well put!

    One of the Sydney belly dance schools has a mature-age group and I know they'd be bemused by the attitudes expressed in this forum. Yes, some 60- and 70-year olds can keep up with a mainstream belly dance class, but some have restricted movement and so feel more comfortable - and safer - among older people with similar challenges. I don't think we have the right to tell them they can't have their own group if they choose, or to criticise them for having a sense of humour.
    In the classes I attend, other students complain that it's too fast while others that it's too slow and boring and this puts the teacher in a predicament. It's sad that we don't have beginner, intermediate and advanced classes segregated in our city, unlike those in the capital. Others may feel inferior if all the classmates are much better and want to advance faster. What I do here is choose the teacher as they have different styles and levels but sometimes the time of their session doesn't coincide with my free time.

  7. #37
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Well as Groucho Marx said "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member!"

  8. #38
    Member Bellydance Oz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelaJP View Post
    In the classes I attend, other students complain that it's too fast while others that it's too slow and boring and this puts the teacher in a predicament. It's sad that we don't have beginner, intermediate and advanced classes segregated in our city, unlike those in the capital. Others may feel inferior if all the classmates are much better and want to advance faster.
    I agree it's much better to split into beginner, intermediate and advanced so that each level can be taught - and challenged - at an appropriate level. However, I do think mature dancers have different needs.

    For instance, my knees won't cope with an advanced flamenco class any more, but I would be bored silly in a beginners' class. I still have the technical and theoretical knowledge, it's just that my body can't do what it used to. What I really need is a class which offers choreography that's interesting and complex enough to satisfy my mind, while not overtaxing my joints.

    A beginner couldn't keep up with a class like that mentally, whereas a young dancer would find it too gentle - not a good enough workout. So I can readily see why a group of mature dancers might feel the need for a class tailored just for them.

    Oh, and by the way - there is a dance school called Underbelly. It's in Melbourne:
    Trisnasari
    Last edited by Bellydance Oz; 09-17-2008 at 06:12 AM.

  9. #39
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I loved the hags in haggalah and the zimmer shimmy sounds wonderful, just don't do sai'idi with them. (ouch).

    As I grow older (and I'm 'only' 44!!) I'm enjoying laughing at myself, I think it's partly because of increased acceptance of my oddities and peculiarities. If a bunch of women wants to call themselves WobblyBobblyBits, - why not let them?! It's not the end of the world, it's funny and it's only a name!!
    If you wouldn't join them - well, don't, it's not compulsory. If it was something imposed on them and intended to be derogatory, that would be different. Given it came from them and is a gentle prod at propriety, well girls, let 'em!
    In the end, a class is about a choice. If it doesn't suit you, then don't go.

  10. #40
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    LOL Yup, I'm definitely young enough for you to 'dismiss' me as a silly giggling girly if you so choose, as I'm sure from your wisdom & experience that you are old enough for me to 'dismiss' you as "old" if I so choose!

    Age is always going to be a double edged sword in this dance. I've seen young dancers and thought 'meh, how very nice', I've seen 'older' dancers who have made my jaw hit the floor - any of you know Vashti (of London)? Every time I see her I always say that I want to be like her when I grow up as a belly dancer! That said, I can't stand the statement that goes something like: "anyone younger than x doesn't have anything worth dancing about." Oh yeah? I've met 60 year olds who haven't had the life experience I had had by 16, so forgive me if I don't buy into it!

    We have so many "daughters of isis", "desert roses", "nieces of nefertiti", lots of troupes taking themselves very seriously. However there is room in our dance for the troupes of women who want to get out there & perform, who would define themselves as 'amateur", who often get overlooked when it comes to the performance opportunities because they are not the hot young things writhing in hipscarves that the GP might expect. I would prefer a troupe of "elderbellies" to a troupe of "high priestesses of the temple of the sacred pigeon" any day!

    But my dear Bagpuss, your brief post touches on so many points - the point of bringing humour into the dance unnecessarily does undermine it and it can be extremely annoying. It's such a "British" style of coping with something a bit weird and wonderful, don't you think? A bit "carry on" like?

    you missed my point..no one accused you of being silly. I am saying the name made you giggle..I giggle, you giggle , we giggle...what I am saying is why put yourself or your older, your younger dancers up as a butt of giggles?
    if you want to take my comments this way, be my guest.

    The names you give to your troupes are nothing like the silly examples I have illustrated.They are romantic and serious sounding:
    but bellywobbles, shimmyshakes ( oops) are silly and provoke the wrong impression of belly dance.That 's if we want to be taken seriously.
    Use Exotic names, historical names is not what I am talking about. My dancers are Awalem al Wadi...a bit daft some might say but the town the class is held in is edged by sand dunes and all my students consider themselves wise and high class

    You see a group with a name like wriggle hips and off you go thinking it has gotta be comedy act..well sometimes it is!
    And don't think I don't think comedy hasn't place in belly dance..of course it has but it needs more skill than serious.

    As to age, it has little to do with it as you are probably a far more successful dancer than myself. I have two small classes in 2 small towns and I am never going to get the places you are. But I am happy to perform in troupes and pass on what I now to others. I am not "going places" because of my age. I will continue to support and promote younger dancers who will achieve far more than me so I don't expect to be the butt of jokes or sneered at for my efforts.And this will be made more likely by calling myself Miss Ancient Belly Wobbles .
    As you get older, you'll see how you become invisible, unworthy, the butt of jokes but hey...no one will ever dare be like that on terms of race,religion etc.

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