Am i good enough to start performing at restaurants?

Tiziri

New member
It's a safe bet that every one of the dancers you mentioned, Esmerelda, logged a lot of hours learning and perfecting their technique in the traditional structure. Even the ones who've branched out quite a bit from the tree budded there.

Whether or not some of the dancers you admire may have invested time and energy in reading up on dubious pseudomysticism and wishful-thinking revisionism would be a case-by-case matter, but odds are that even those who did spent far more time in class honing their skills.
 
lol the only thing about pseudomystisicm is that it's only pseudo until you've studied the actual science behind it and then it's very much part of an enriching reality.

All this debate about style it reminds me of a joke about the disdain between various religious denominations.

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.


There's still a lot of bitchiness in this thread and people wonder why I was being rude, when people lower the tone in the way they have been doing throughout this thread by throwing pure judgementalism around it sets the standard and sets a precedent for behaviour. And these are people i'm expected to admire and consider role models. I admire the people in this thread who have responded constructively. I talked about my belief system of the spiritual nature of dance as a way to let you into my world, I showed a great deal of vulnerability by opening up my world view to outsiders thinking you'd be able to be respectful of my beliefs.

Being bitchy and critical and dismissing proven science as psuedo anything is not a good way to teach, to inspire. I'm really not inspired to learn traditional belly dance if this is how people turn out after years of training. What makes my opinion any less valid than anyone elses, especially when i've taken the time to study the books, study the research and study those aspects of cultures others choose to stick their head in the sand and dismiss without ever really getting deeply into it.

Sacred belly dance is the way forward for me, that doesn't mean I like gothic lol you people do seem to have an over attachment to labels it would seem, not that there's anything wrong with that but attachment to labels might give security but it also hems in creativity.

Like i've said if people want to continue having a constructive conversation then that's fine, i'm open to that, i just wish the majority were open to it as well.

As Arthur Schopenhauer once said:

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
 

Zumarrad

Member
What makes my opinion any less valid than anyone elses, especially when i've taken the time to study the books, study the research and study those aspects of cultures others choose to stick their head in the sand and dismiss without ever really getting deeply into it.
Oh my GOD have you read a word anybody here has written to you?

A lot of us HAVE studied the cultures *in great depth* We have studied the books. We have studied the research. At the risk of sounding arrogant, some of us are at the *forefront of the research*. Multidisciplinary approaches to bellydance study at an academic level are the hot new thing these days and people are doing powerful and valid work... work that finally problematises and seeks to transcend the goddess fantasies, the racism, the cultural theft... work that combines qualitative and quantitative research strategies on the ground with complex theoretical analysis and exploration. I wrote an MA about it. Many others are taking it many steps further.

Have you read anything published since you were born? About belly dance? Have you read anything *about bellydance*? Ever?
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Zum, at this stage it's pretty obvious she's a troll. Just put her on ignore and enjoy this otherwise excellent thread.
 

Roshanna

New member
Esmerelda, in light of the discussion here so far, I am left wondering - why are you interested in dancing in restaurants?

This is a genuine question, as you don't appear to enjoy the style of dancing that is required for a restaurant performer, and your spiritual motivations for dancing don't seem to fit with a job where you would be primarily an entertainer.

Restaurant work has very specific demands, and there are actually plenty of professional dancers who don't do it because they find it stressful, poorly paid or creatively limiting. Most restaurant gigs involve 10-minute sets of fairly upbeat music, during which you have to dodge between tables and around waiters whilst attempting to engage with and entertain all the tables of diners, some of whom will be appreciative and lovely, whilst others will be anywhere between indifferent and downright horrible (e.g. loudly commenting on your body as if you couldn't hear). You get changed in toilets or dirty storerooms full of onions. Sometimes you end up waiting for ages after the show to get paid. Sometimes owners, staff or patrons can be creepy and sleazy.

It can also be fun and rewarding if you have the right type of personality to cope with it - I personally find that the positives outweigh the problems for me most of the time. But it's not particularly easy or glamorous work. To enjoy it, you need to really enjoy engaging with people, entertaining, and creating a party atmosphere, and have a thick skin to cope with all the inconvenience, waiting around, insults, stress and the rest. It's not an environment that allows for spiritual, introspective dancing, or for unusual artistic experimentation.

The types of dancing that you seem to be drawn to and enjoy (theatrical fusion pieces inspired by mysticism and the ancient world) don't work well in a restaurant setting - they are more suited to being performed on stage or as part of a theatre production. With this in mind, if you aspire to perform, you will probably have a better experience and a better response from the audience if you aim to dance at a bellydance community event like a hafla or open performance platform.
 
Ah ok so you see a troll as being someone with their own opinion and if its not the same opinion as yours then that person is considered a troll i get it now. (facepalm)
 
Esmerelda, in light of the discussion here so far, I am left wondering - why are you interested in dancing in restaurants?

This is a genuine question, as you don't appear to enjoy the style of dancing that is required for a restaurant performer, and your spiritual motivations for dancing don't seem to fit with a job where you would be primarily an entertainer.

Restaurant work has very specific demands, and there are actually plenty of professional dancers who don't do it because they find it stressful, poorly paid or creatively limiting. Most restaurant gigs involve 10-minute sets of fairly upbeat music, during which you have to dodge between tables and around waiters whilst attempting to engage with and entertain all the tables of diners, some of whom will be appreciative and lovely, whilst others will be anywhere between indifferent and downright horrible (e.g. loudly commenting on your body as if you couldn't hear). You get changed in toilets or dirty storerooms full of onions. Sometimes you end up waiting for ages after the show to get paid. Sometimes owners, staff or patrons can be creepy and sleazy.

It can also be fun and rewarding if you have the right type of personality to cope with it - I personally find that the positives outweigh the problems for me most of the time. But it's not particularly easy or glamorous work. To enjoy it, you need to really enjoy engaging with people, entertaining, and creating a party atmosphere, and have a thick skin to cope with all the inconvenience, waiting around, insults, stress and the rest. It's not an environment that allows for spiritual, introspective dancing, or for unusual artistic experimentation.

The types of dancing that you seem to be drawn to and enjoy (theatrical fusion pieces inspired by mysticism and the ancient world) don't work well in a restaurant setting - they are more suited to being performed on stage or as part of a theatre production. With this in mind, if you aspire to perform, you will probably have a better experience and a better response from the audience if you aim to dance at a bellydance community event like a hafla or open performance platform.
Yes from being on this forum i have now got a clear picture of what it would be like to belly dance in restaurants, I have been told that i should start dancing in restaurants to gain experience performing and because the people who told me thought i had talent to do so. But i guess i am more suited to the theatrical dance as my style doesn't fit the restaurant performing criteria.

I shall look into on stage performance as im very creative and i think that dancing in restaurants would make me feel limited in my dancing.
 

Roshanna

New member
Ah ok so you see a troll as being someone with their own opinion and if its not the same opinion as yours then that person is considered a troll i get it now. (facepalm)
No. We all have our own opinions.
However, constructive discussion does require:
- the ability to distinguish opinion from fact, and 'something some person said once' from things for which there is actual, physical evidence
- the willingness to consider and engage other points of view rather than simply dismissing them

Of course, coming to a bellydance forum to talk to a group of bellydance performers and teachers, and proceeding to insult bellydance, baladi, and the very idea of bellydance classes also does not help.

I don't enjoy confrontation. I would like for you to learn more about this dance, love it as we do, and enjoy dancing for yourself and maybe one day for others. We don't take any pleasure in arguing. It's stressful and exhausting. But I am not surprised that people are losing patience.

This forum isn't just 'some random people on the internet', all of us are people who love bellydance, and many have been dancing and learning for decades or lifetimes. Many here (though not me, I'm just a local teacher & beginning pro) are world experts on this dance. If you come in here and argue that you know better, based on a few months of DVD study and some books on mysticism, then that is not going to endear you to anybody. But if you listen with humility and willingness to learn to what others have to say, and engage constructively with the community here on this topic or others, then the fact that you've started off on the wrong foot here will soon be forgotten.
 

Roshanna

New member
Yes from being on this forum i have now got a clear picture of what it would be like to belly dance in restaurants, I have been told that i should start dancing in restaurants to gain experience performing and because the people who told me thought i had talent to do so. But i guess i am more suited to the theatrical dance as my style doesn't fit the restaurant performing criteria.

I shall look into on stage performance as im very creative and i think that dancing in restaurants would make me feel limited in my dancing.
I'm glad you've considered this. Restaurants aren't a good place for a beginning performer, general public audiences can be pretty harsh if you don't have the skills yet. The best place for a new performer is absolutely at haflas, where the audience will be other dancers who will appreciate and enjoy the skills you've got whilst being forgiving of any newbie mistakes :)
 
I am not insulting belly dance how can i insult it when its my passion, i am just sharing my view on it im not forcing it on anyone. I dont think i know better im just standing my ground as it seems people are turning their noses up over my opinions of belly dance and being ignorant to what im trying to say, just trying to share my world and how i see it. I am willing to learn what others say but only when they co-operate in a non-negative tone then i will listen. I haven't studied mysticism for months i have studied it for years, I may be studying it a different way than people on here but that's not to say its not right what im learning, at least have an open mind as to what im saying and dont just shut it off, Im not the one that's coming across as the know it all.

For me it is right, its my path, for you it may not be right because you are on a different path but at least be open rather than dismissing it, as i am open to the advice you are all giving me, i am not just dismissing it and being angry that you have a different view point, just sharing my opinions and views.
 

mahsati_janan

New member
I am not insulting belly dance how can i insult it when its my passion, i am just sharing my view on it im not forcing it on anyone. I dont think i know better im just standing my ground as it seems people are turning their noses up over my opinions of belly dance and being ignorant to what im trying to say, just trying to share my world and how i see it. I am willing to learn what others say but only when they co-operate in a non-negative tone then i will listen. I haven't studied mysticism for months i have studied it for years, I may be studying it a different way than people on here but that's not to say its not right what im learning, at least have an open mind as to what im saying and dont just shut it off, Im not the one that's coming across as the know it all.

For me it is right, its my path, for you it may not be right because you are on a different path but at least be open rather than dismissing it, as i am open to the advice you are all giving me, i am not just dismissing it and being angry that you have a different view point, just sharing my opinions and views.
Your spiritual path has nothing to do with belly dance. You are objectively and provably incorrect in what you have said about belly dance. That is why people are disagreeing with you. I honestly don't care if you dance to worship a deity, connect with the universe, have visions, or whatever you like, but I do care that you insist on calling it belly dance when it is not. You need to learn to separate those things knowable/provable and those things unknowable/unprovable. It is not an opinion that this dance form was not based on a ancient temple dance. It is a well-researched and accepted piece of history. We are not being rude by telling you so; we are trying to help you to understand why the false history you have learned is both actively incorrect and harmful to the cultures and performers of this dance form.

I am going to disengage from this thread because there doesn't seem to be any point in discussing this topic with you. You have demonstrated no respect for the hard-won knowledge of the dancers and researchers here, no respect for the dance form itself, and no respect for the cultures involved. I truly hope that you someday decide to learn more about this dance. I wish you the best of luck in your spiritual practice. However, based on your posts here, you are not a belly dancer and certainly not a professional.
 
Your right it's time to bring this thread to a close, ive already made the distinction to myself that what i'm doing with my art isn't belly dance, it's sacred belly dance, i'll be sticking to that distinction from now on so as not to step on anyones toes. If anyone asks about my style I'll make sure to explain the distinction between the two styles of dance so that traditional belly dance doesn't get tarnished by the sacred belly dance brush. Sacred belly dance is a dance based on the sacred sciences that i've learned so much about. A re-envisioning of an ancient time fused with modern culture. A fantasy dance.

After all it is fantasy where all creativity begins, the computer we type on, the house we live in, the clothes we wear. It all started inside someones imagination before they carved it out and engineered it into reality. I'll leave the traditions to the past and focus on building into reality a vision that I have for the future. My own personal dance I can call my own, how exciting :)

Wish you all the best of luck in your studies and your dancing, see you around.
 

Tiziri

New member
lol the only thing about pseudomystisicm is that it's only pseudo until you've studied the actual science behind it and then it's very much part of an enriching reality.

As Arthur Schopenhauer once said:

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
No, I said pseudomysticism, and I stand by that. I am a Muslim Sufi. I therefore have nothing against actual mysticism; I'm also fairly well-versed in it in both theory and practice.

This is also when I read someone talking about "the actual science" behind it I raise my eyebrow, to put it mildly, unless one is actually talking about quantifying the body's reaction to altered states induced during such practices.

However, I'm inferring by the sources you seem to be drawing from that you're reading the works of not just Hall, but people like Crowley, and those who followed after him who often took his (and his colleagues') writings on ancient mysticism as writ, and well-researched authoritative writ at that, as opposed to self-serving revisionism leavened with a healthy dose of ugly and often-racist subtext (The "Book of Thoth"? Which one are you referring to?) These are not authoritative and credible sources on ancient mystical traditions, anymore than the Necronomicon was.

Likewise Kabbalah, which I'm guessing you've drawn your info about from the same sources. Modern practices (and that includes the early-20th century brand which people like Crowley went on about) of "Kabbalism" don't bear that much essential resemblance to the ancient traditions that are still practiced today by descendants of the people who developed them; there are those who have the intellectual and moral authority (as in it is their cultural practice and they are knowledgeable about it) to say so who consider it an appropriation.

Finally, I wince, and will always do so, at anyone who implies there is some authenticity disconnect between ancient Egyptians and their modern descendants.
 
Lmao the fact you brought up Crowley just proves that you have no idea what I was talking about. Research the people mentioned...no more, no less. Maybe start off with Manly P Halls audio programs that you can download offline...will add the understanding necessary to take the pseudo out of the mysticism and add more substance to a belief and way of being that you appear not to have a lot of faith in.

And yes to what you said about

"unless one is actually talking about quantifying the body's reaction to altered states induced during such practices."

Do you honestly believe this hasn't been studied in depth in a scientific capacity? It's been going on for over 30 years at least if not longer. Never heard of Dr James Hardt I take it then. When I talk about science, I mean science, I did say this would require multi-disciplinary training to understand.

The builders of the pyramids were masters of these arts. Engineers today still couldn't recreate the building of the pyramids to the same accuracy and skill as our ancients did. Research some Graham Hancock, he's an archeologist who funded his own projects and found some startling information about pre-history.

So the egyptians had hieroglyphs, hierosonic singing bowls as can be found in various museums. Incredible knowledge of astronomy and the stars. "Hiero" means sacred by the way. sacred glyphs, sacred sound, is it really such a large leap to believe they didn't have sacred dance.

BTW, trolls can be identified easily on forums by the fact they make personal attacks on peoples character and they don't add any useful insight or opportunities to learn, if you'll read through this thread again it becomes pretty obvious who the real trolls are.
 

Munniko

New member
I am not insulting belly dance how can i insult it when its my passion, i am just sharing my view on it im not forcing it on anyone.
You can easily be insulting to other people even when it is your passion. A good example is I am half Okinawan which is more commonly thought of today as being Japanese. While in a Japanese class there was a girl who loved Japan/Japanese and so she joined my study group and proceeded to ask "What was the homework in Jap class." I proceeded to tell her please do not use the word "Jap" because it is a racial slur and makes me very uncomfortable and she told me "Well it is the expression I use to shorten Japanese so I'm going to keep using it" :think:

she saw nothing wrong with using a racial slur to my face after I told her it made my uncomfortable that was against the Japanese people, but she really enjoyed the culture and the people. You can clearly be insulting when you love something.


Also trolls aren't that easily identifiable because they are evolving with the times and sometimes don't make such obvious attempts and just continue to bait people by using well known "wishstories" about the subject. I think I'm still here because it is in my nature to enjoy reading arguments in my free time:dance:
 
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Tiziri

New member
This has sunk to the level of wretched.

I'm not going to engage anymore in this...tripe...It would feel too much like poking you with a stick.

(Yame, Darshiva, I don't feel she's a troll, just breathtakingly arrogant and ill-informed, which is a particularly unfortunate combination. That being said, she's shifted the goalposts so much they're no longer on the field, so...)
 
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Aziyade

New member
Lmao the fact you brought up Crowley just proves that you have no idea what I was talking about.

His narcissism and political differences with the rest of the Golden Dawners aside, Crowley was not an idiot. Although I do see he's appreciated more on this side of the Pond.


Research the people mentioned...no more, no less. Maybe start off with Manly P Halls audio programs that you can download offline...will add the understanding necessary to take the pseudo out of the mysticism and add more substance to a belief and way of being that you appear not to have a lot of faith in.
That's always the best way to research something. Find people who agree with you and stick to those sources only. Hey, whatever floats your cloud...

For what it's worth, Kabbalah is a JEWISH system of achieving one-ness with God. We had it long before Western occultists co-opted it. Long before the English witches decided Tarot was the mysterious "Book of Thoth." Long before theosophy, the Golden Dawn, Scientology, and the cult of Ramtha.

Also, probably 90+ percent of the people on this discussion board could not care less about your personal beliefs about mysticism, and telling them to "research it" does not prove any points, or make your case any stronger.


And yes to what you said about

"unless one is actually talking about quantifying the body's reaction to altered states induced during such practices."

Do you honestly believe this hasn't been studied in depth in a scientific capacity? It's been going on for over 30 years at least if not longer. Never heard of Dr James Hardt I take it then.
You mean James "I sell a biofeedback course to make yourself happy for ONLY $15,000" Hardt?

There is a world of difference between legitimate body/mind science (biofeedback, stress reduction) and people looking to make a quick buck on other people's fears and insecurities. But hey, Hardt's program is still cheaper than the full course of Scientology, so again ... float ... cloud.


When I talk about science, I mean science, I did say this would require multi-disciplinary training to understand.
So where are your PhDs from then? I'm just curious.


The builders of the pyramids were masters of these arts. Engineers today still couldn't recreate the building of the pyramids to the same accuracy and skill as our ancients did.
I know obvious troll is obvious, but really?

Really?

REALLY?


Omg -- did you actually go to college? I mean, like, attend class and all? Or did you just skip the basic engineering and mechanical classes. And history classes. And any critical thinking classes. ?

Hey gang, in the UK do you not have universities that try this stuff? I know locally a lot of universities here recreate this "ancient wonders" as senior engineering projects. IU had a stonehenge for a while in the 80s which was pretty cool. (My school just built a giant trebuchet, which wasn't as cool. Impressive, but not as cool.)


Research some Graham Hancock,
:lol::lol::

LMAO. Seriously. I spit coffee.


he's an archeologist who funded his own projects and found some startling information about pre-history.
Oh honey, Graham's a sweet guy, but he's not an archaeologist. He majored in English and Sociology and was a reasonably successful journalist before he started doping and went off the deep end. He jumped on the "Holy Blood Holy Grail" bandwagon and realized that books about "popular mysteries" sold better than travel books.

Graham Hancock - RationalWiki
Graham Hancock
Hancock (Egypt specifically)


He's no more a legitimate scientist than Von Daniken or Velikovsky, or Dan Brown for that matter.


So the egyptians had hieroglyphs, hierosonic singing bowls as can be found in various museums. Incredible knowledge of astronomy and the stars. "Hiero" means sacred by the way. sacred glyphs, sacred sound, is it really such a large leap to believe they didn't have sacred dance.

We've already told you they had sacred dance, which has been researched extensively, and the results published in the book by Lexova, which you've apparently dismissed.



Look -- everybody comes to dance for their own reasons. You've decided that you want to make it a part of your own spirituality and that's fine. But when you attempt to twist the universe around to fit your own demands to "justify" or "prove" your personal conclusions, well that's where you look like a fool, and continue to prove yourself the fool by not realizing that.

You can BELIEVE whatever you want -- you can believe in the tooth fairy. Just don't go on a discussion board with dentists and start accusing them of not doing research when they look at you askance and say WTF are you talking about.

Some people still BELIEVE you can "catch" AIDS by being friends with a gay person. Having the belief, and having even some quacks who write books about that belief, doesn't make the belief true or the theory sound or that it should be taken seriously at all.

(There's a good reason why pseudo-science is self-funded. Get my drift?)
 

Aziyade

New member
Dear forum members:

I KNOW I KNOW -- -I'M SOORRY!!!!!! I just saw the Hancock reference and couldn't help myself.


:shok:
I mean, as a science writer I dealt with some astonishing ignorance at times, but this just boggles my mind. No offense UKers, but I thought this kind of thing was a product of the failure of the American educational system. Part of me feels slightly less at ease knowing that there are other parts of the world with just as bass-ackwards thinking.



Can we move this whole thread to the wishtory thread? It seems to fit better in there.
 
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