Am i good enough to start performing at restaurants?

Aziyade

New member
Shira, in answer to your question, I have never had a student act like this, or demand I prove myself "worthy" of further engagement.

I have students now who don't believe in vaccinations, but none of them have marched into my classroom and demand I read Mercola or consult the I Ching in order to have an educated opinion.

I know I've been harsh because I'm appalled at the astonishing lack of professional ethics being observed by someone who wants to consider herself a professional. You know, my first mentor is a fantastic dancer and when I asked her if I was ready to go pro, she said NO. I am SOOOOOO glad she did -- because she gave me a list of things that needed to be considered before I put myself out there in competition with the dancers in my region, and a lot of them I had no clue about. I wasn't ready to work with a live band -- I didn't know the music. I wasn't ready to deal with the business end of it, I wasn't ready physically for a 20 minute set, I wasn't ready for accidental improv because of the layout of the dining hall, and I wasn't ready to represent my art form.

Thank the stars I had her -- because when I did go pro, I really felt like I had not only a good base of what it meant to be a pro, but also the respect of other dancers and teachers, some of which also referred me out to their clients. I also felt capable of being the kind of cultural ambassador I wanted to be.

I don't think your question applies in this context.
 

Zumarrad

New member
My favourite riposte in any disagreement is "you're all haters because I, I mean my friend, is prettier than you!"

I think the OP has forgotten that the initial conversation here went:

OP: "Am I good enough for restaurant work? Here is my video."

ODers: "No. Not yet. You have some good technique though and show all the makings of a good dancer. Your affect is a little flat and that will need work .... The music is not really the right kind of thing for ME restaurant work. Do some more work with your teachers and you will go far!"

OP: "Well DUH I am hardly going to perform properly while dancing into the mirror GHOD. And I don't take classes because there are no classes in my area. Besides, only white people will be watching me dance so it doesn't have to look ME. This music calls to my spirit. Anyway I refuse to listen to anything you say unless you can back it up with video of yourselves dancing better than me."

ODers: "Um there are classes in Manchester. Lots of them."

OP: "Bellydance classes don't teach what is important! I know this even though I have never been to one. Also baladi is awful. I prefer raqs sharqi. And Pharaonic dance. Oh look at those people dancing in this club, the standard is so poor they obviously don't care about the reality of bellydance so it's OK right?"

ODers: "Um, that's what bellydance is. That club looks like a typical club."

OP: "You're all wrong.... read various mystics on the internet.... I have done more research than anybody on this forum so I know best."

ODers: "Actually many of us have been researching and performing this dance for decades, so you're not actually right about that, and all mysticism aside, you need to pursue knowledge about the actual dance form..."

OP: "Puhleeze, don't talk to me till you've read stuff about sacred Egyptian dance. No no not that Lexovna crap. No mainstream research for me. You are all fools and dupes."

*degenerates from there*
 

Kartane

New member
Just...Wow...When I looked at the board this morning, I had intended to come home from dance practice and post a note about how Esmeralda must be a good friend in order for someone to care about her enough to jump on here and come to her defense...but this is just beyond the pale. I hope you realize The words bitch and f*** have been used by no one on this board but you and your friend.

I really hope that in a few months or a year, you can both come back to this thread and understand the help and wealth of information that has been offered here. Until then...I have nothing left to say because it is clear to me that anything I say will fall on deaf ears. I am sorry for that, as I see potential in Esmeralda's dance. Maybe someday both of you will take a step back, re-read this thread from the beginning and actually gain from it the information which has been so freely offered. Until then - good luck.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
If the op is still reading this thread, and if she is actually interested in learning why we've been saying what we have about bellydance, there is a nice, non-threatening thread here that discusses the whys & wherefores of what makes bellydance bellydance that she may find interesting.

The exact same topic, but due to a different approach in the initial post, the whole conversation takes a very different tone.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
MizzNaa wins the internet!

And to Esmeralda: could you tell your sock to stop swearing?
I infracted CrimsonLuna, and if EsmereldaDancer1987 doesn't stop using the "b" word, I will infract her, as well. I will NOT tolerate such language any longer. This forum has rules about profanity, and if she can't carry on a debate without using such language, she will be banned.

"Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers to."
---K, from "Men In Black 3"

I've only been in here for the last few days to check Music and B&F; WHAT have I come BACK to?!?!? :confused:
 
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Farasha Hanem

New member
And it would pay you to mind this yourself. Please mind your language and the name calling. Heated debate is encouraged. Disagreeing with others loudly is encouraged. Throwing derogatory slurs around is another thing entirely. And you of all people! You call yourself a spiritualist and yet deride wiccans with your slur!
Too late, I infracted her. >.> Slinging around the "F" word in anger at people crosses the rules.
 

Tiziri

New member
I lose patience when the overwhelming evidence of someone's words points to a lack of good faith. There was enough of that for me somewhere around the middle point of this thread. As for Alleged Supportive Lurkers, their separate identity can't always be confirmed by checking IP addresses, thanks to the ubiquity and ease of use of things like anonymizers and proxies. Just saying.

SeeJaneDance, you hit it on the head: There's still so much "mystery" surrounding belly dance (this, in hindsight, is not what she said at all, but she went into the Orientalist visions that were skewed by racism and ignorance, and that's what I'm mostly referencing) Yeah, that sums it up really well: "the exotic mystery" of these things. I don't see how it could be viewed as anything other than appropriation [ETA: I'm not saying bellydance is appropriative, or even that different takes on bellydance are appropriative. I'm saying that insisting that revisionist histories and claims like the ones that were made here by the OP are appropriative, and when one insists that it's the One True Way in the face of the evidence, there's less excuse. I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep and am not so coherent.]

If challenging sources and claims that distort, and even make a mockery of, the practices of others (especially others who are or have been marginalized, especially if there's an old and ignoble history of the distortion) is construed as attacking someone's spirituality (or philosophy, or style, or whatever), then I don't know how one judges whose claims and needs take precedence. That's an interesting question in and of itself.
 
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Jane

New member
Victorian orientalism and Eastern mysticism did have some crossover. Those ideas about mystic belly dance came from outside of the culture of origin though. "Mysterious East" stuff.

The relatives on my dad's side will FTFO if the Kabbalah is even mentioned, and heaven help you if you try to mix Kabbalah in with Western Esoteric Tradition. Sh1tstorm. Even straight studies of it within the context of Judaism are loaded and make people uncomfortable.

Make the distinction between who believes what, and don't get aggressive about matters of faith. Fact is not faith.

Point is, people in a restaurant just want to eat their food, talk to their companions, and be entertained. They are not there for a religious experience, they are more interested in the tasty kebabs.
 

Jane

New member
The kebabs at the Turkish place here are very good. It's the Imam fainted that makes you pass out and go to food heaven :lol:
 

Yame

New member
My favourite riposte in any disagreement is "you're all haters because I, I mean my friend, is prettier than you!"

I think the OP has forgotten that the initial conversation here went:

OP: "Am I good enough for restaurant work? Here is my video."

ODers: "No. Not yet. You have some good technique though and show all the makings of a good dancer. Your affect is a little flat and that will need work .... The music is not really the right kind of thing for ME restaurant work. Do some more work with your teachers and you will go far!"

OP: "Well DUH I am hardly going to perform properly while dancing into the mirror GHOD. And I don't take classes because there are no classes in my area. Besides, only white people will be watching me dance so it doesn't have to look ME. This music calls to my spirit. Anyway I refuse to listen to anything you say unless you can back it up with video of yourselves dancing better than me."

ODers: "Um there are classes in Manchester. Lots of them."

OP: "Bellydance classes don't teach what is important! I know this even though I have never been to one. Also baladi is awful. I prefer raqs sharqi. And Pharaonic dance. Oh look at those people dancing in this club, the standard is so poor they obviously don't care about the reality of bellydance so it's OK right?"

ODers: "Um, that's what bellydance is. That club looks like a typical club."

OP: "You're all wrong.... read various mystics on the internet.... I have done more research than anybody on this forum so I know best."

ODers: "Actually many of us have been researching and performing this dance for decades, so you're not actually right about that, and all mysticism aside, you need to pursue knowledge about the actual dance form..."

OP: "Puhleeze, don't talk to me till you've read stuff about sacred Egyptian dance. No no not that Lexovna crap. No mainstream research for me. You are all fools and dupes."

*degenerates from there*
This post is a perfect summary of this entire 18-page thread.

Sorry but there is no mistaking this person for a misguided student.

This is someone who:
1. wants to perform professionally without ever taking a belly dance lesson
2. refuses to take lessons even though it was already pointed out to her very helpfully that there ARE lessons in her area
3. bashed every single person who helpfully and respectfully gave her advice (which she ASKED for) on this thread, by page 2, by questioning credentials and calling us all BITCHY and judgmental

This is all before all the wishtory discussion even started. This is when I called her a troll, and I defend my choice of words and resent being accused of calling her "names" for using the word "troll." This is exactly troll-like behavior, and things like the posting of controversial views on belly dance, the continued disrespect and insult towards the members of this forum, flouncing, and sock-puppeting only reinforced that idea by making it obvious to me that this person is most likely just purposely trying to aggravate everybody by touching upon all the hot buttons imaginable.

I didn't want to contribute to this thread anymore because I don't like to feed trolls, but I think Shira's response defending the OP as if she was a poor, innocent, misguided student warranted a response. She is not innocent, she is not misguided, and she refuses to even be a student.

Let us not mistake what has happened on this thread. And to answer Shira's question regarding how I would respond if this were a student of mine: if a student of mine called me bitchy for giving her a very helpful and well-worded correction or advice regarding professionalism, she would have been kicked out of my class.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
This post is a perfect summary of this entire 18-page thread.

Sorry but there is no mistaking this person for a misguided student.

This is someone who:
1. wants to perform professionally without ever taking a belly dance lesson
2. refuses to take lessons even though it was already pointed out to her very helpfully that there ARE lessons in her area
3. bashed every single person who helpfully and respectfully gave her advice (which she ASKED for) on this thread, by page 2, by questioning credentials and calling us all BITCHY and judgmental

This is all before all the wishtory discussion even started. This is when I called her a troll, and I defend my choice of words and resent being accused of calling her "names" for using the word "troll." This is exactly troll-like behavior, and things like the posting of controversial views on belly dance, the continued disrespect and insult towards the members of this forum, flouncing, and sock-puppeting only reinforced that idea by making it obvious to me that this person is most likely just purposely trying to aggravate everybody by touching upon all the hot buttons imaginable.

I didn't want to contribute to this thread anymore because I don't like to feed trolls, but I think Shira's response defending the OP as if she was a poor, innocent, misguided student warranted a response. She is not innocent, she is not misguided, and she refuses to even be a student.

Let us not mistake what has happened on this thread. And to answer Shira's question regarding how I would respond if this were a student of mine: if a student of mine called me bitchy for giving her a very helpful and well-worded correction or advice regarding professionalism, she would have been kicked out of my class.
This!

As I mentioned in another thread, I only started reading this thread again yesterday at work. The last time I read it, it was still a baby thread, with Dunya's initial advice being the last post. I sat down during first break to enjoy the forum for 15 blessed minutes, and felt like I'd walked into a maelstrom! As I read it throughout the day on lunch and last break, it didn't get any better (talk about breaking someone's serenity :rolleyes: ). I kept my little thumbs quiet and didn't join in while I was at work, because I didn't want to make things worse by typing out a hasty (and angry) answer (especially after the slap in the face to MizzNaaa and HER culture). By the time I got home, things had deteriorated even more.
I'm sorry for all those who were insulted, even though I know you are strong enough to stand up for yourselves. I still send you cyber hugs. Hopefully this young woman will stop looking at things from just her viewpoint, reread this whole thread, and learn a little humility so that she can be open to truly learn, and not just for spite.
 
Right i wasn't going to even bother posting again but i want to just make it clear, I did not mean to offend people i was NOT trying to insult your culture or belly dance in general. When i said about the drunk woman again i was referring to DINA, the one with the big boobs that i was in fear of them popping out to say hello lol The other dancers you showed me however i liked. I want to mention also that i really like Soheir Zaki now to me that looks like belly dance.

But when i saw Dina and she was dancing Baladi i got a bit put off it, so you can see why i got confused and abit like what? :shok: And if i responded rudely i do apologize, its very hard to hear someone picking at your dancing when it took a lot of courage to post on here and come on some of it was a bit harsh. I was told by my friends i should start to dance in restaurants to get myself out there so i decided to ask on here from people who actually dance in restaurants just to get a feel of it.

I now know that yes i am not yet ready, i did not say i will not take classes i said there aren't any close to where i live. I tried to just share my views on it so you can see how i learn as its different to other people.

Also on a forum it is very easy to take things the wrong way as it is just in text and we are not talking in person. I felt i was being attacked for my beliefs and being laughed at so obviously i am going to defend myself. I was not saying you are all wrong im sorry if it came across that way, was just trying to show you what i believe in and share my views. Like i said i did take your advice i did listen.

Also that is my friend who joined, that was not me making another account im not that sad.

I still do believe that there is something deeper about belly dance than just for entertaining, i see dancing as a dance of the soul, to me anyway just to make it clear i am not saying i am right and you are wrong its just my personal belief.
 

CrimsonLuna

New member
Right i wasn't going to even bother posting again but i want to just make it clear, I did not mean to offend people i was NOT trying to insult your culture or belly dance in general. When i said about the drunk woman again i was referring to DINA, the one with the big boobs that i was in fear of them popping out to say hello lol The other dancers you showed me however i liked. I want to mention also that i really like Soheir Zaki now to me that looks like belly dance.

But when i saw Dina and she was dancing Baladi i got a bit put off it, so you can see why i got confused and abit like what? :shok: And if i responded rudely i do apologize, its very hard to hear someone picking at your dancing when it took a lot of courage to post on here and come on some of it was a bit harsh. I was told by my friends i should start to dance in restaurants to get myself out there so i decided to ask on here from people who actually dance in restaurants just to get a feel of it.

I now know that yes i am not yet ready, i did not say i will not take classes i said there aren't any close to where i live. I tried to just share my views on it so you can see how i learn as its different to other people.

Also on a forum it is very easy to take things the wrong way as it is just in text and we are not talking in person. I felt i was being attacked for my beliefs and being laughed at so obviously i am going to defend myself. I was not saying you are all wrong im sorry if it came across that way, was just trying to show you what i believe in and share my views. Like i said i did take your advice i did listen.

Also that is my friend who joined, that was not me making another account im not that sad.

I still do believe that there is something deeper about belly dance than just for entertaining, i see dancing as a dance of the soul, to me anyway just to make it clear i am not saying i am right and you are wrong its just my personal belief.
Well said :)
 

MizzNaaa

New member
@Es,

Whether or not you meant for your comments to be insulting to the dance (disregarding the whole culture thing) you were, and that was pretty much my undoing with this thread.

If you are willing to push all this past drama behind us, so am I. I stand by my word, I don't think my criticism of your dance was harsh; it was blunt, yes, but blunt is the only way to go if you want to move forward and get better, especially that I stressed (along with our friends here at OD who participated in this thread) you have it in you. For somebody who was in now way exposed to my culture to be able to learn to move the way you do ONLY with the help of DVDs, that says something about how much you WANT to learn.

So we gave you pointers, from what I saw in your video, you failed at certain very important aspects of dance. For a beginner, you're good, for a professional who wants to start performing, you're not. As I said, you are a beginner and there is nothing wrong with being a beginner; I'm not saying you're a beginner as an insult, I'm saying you're a beginner as a fact.

Stick around, learn the culture nuances, ask questions, and take classes, watch DVDs and immerse yourself; that's the way to go if you want to be truly a remarkable bellydancer.

I respectfully disagree with anybody who's telling you that you should ask around and see the quality of dance in your area, and try to be better than what's offered only. If the BD culture/dancing in your area stands at the beginner level, then be the first to take it to the pro level, be educated so when people come approach you with the rabid misconceptions that your media spreads about our culture, our dance and it's origin, you can set them right and be part of the positive movement trying to fix that degrading image about me, as an Egyptian and a middle eastern, and the way I dance.

If you have no interest in being like that, or being a part of that and you want to stick to just having fun, then that's fine. But as a professional you have a responsibility towards the dance and the culture you borrowed.

That's just my opinion about that though.

And yes, there is something more than social dance about BD, moving your body like that does make you feel good about yourself, doesn't it? I know it does that to me, and that's okay, it's a trait BD shares with a lot of other dances.

At any rate, good luck with your dancing, and if you have any more questions (and are willing to listen), feel free to ask.

EDIT: On a completely unrelated note, why do you guys keep calling the forum OD? It's called Bellydanceforums...wouldn't it be called BDF? *scratches head* xD
 
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Aziyade

New member
EDIT: On a completely unrelated note, why do you guys keep calling the forum OD? It's called Bellydanceforums...wouldn't it be called BDF? *scratches head* xD
The main landing page for the site is OrientalDancer.net. The forum has its own address now, but I think a lot of us still associate it with the main OD site, so we call the discussion board OD too. I guess. ???
 

Roshanna

New member
Right i wasn't going to even bother posting again but i want to just make it clear, I did not mean to offend people i was NOT trying to insult your culture or belly dance in general. When i said about the drunk woman again i was referring to DINA, the one with the big boobs that i was in fear of them popping out to say hello lol The other dancers you showed me however i liked. I want to mention also that i really like Soheir Zaki now to me that looks like belly dance.

But when i saw Dina and she was dancing Baladi i got a bit put off it, so you can see why i got confused and abit like what? :shok: And if i responded rudely i do apologize, its very hard to hear someone picking at your dancing when it took a lot of courage to post on here and come on some of it was a bit harsh. I was told by my friends i should start to dance in restaurants to get myself out there so i decided to ask on here from people who actually dance in restaurants just to get a feel of it.

I now know that yes i am not yet ready, i did not say i will not take classes i said there aren't any close to where i live. I tried to just share my views on it so you can see how i learn as its different to other people.

Also on a forum it is very easy to take things the wrong way as it is just in text and we are not talking in person. I felt i was being attacked for my beliefs and being laughed at so obviously i am going to defend myself. I was not saying you are all wrong im sorry if it came across that way, was just trying to show you what i believe in and share my views. Like i said i did take your advice i did listen.

Also that is my friend who joined, that was not me making another account im not that sad.

I still do believe that there is something deeper about belly dance than just for entertaining, i see dancing as a dance of the soul, to me anyway just to make it clear i am not saying i am right and you are wrong its just my personal belief.
I am really glad you've had a chance to reconsider this and step back from all the drama. And I'm happy to hear that you like Soheir Zaki - she's one of my favourite dancers :) Dina isn't to everyone's taste (and neither are her costumes!), but she has a very distinct style all of her own, some people love her and some people hate her ;) She's super famous in Egypt though, so it's good to be aware of her whatever you think of her dancing.

I'm also glad you're looking into taking classes. I've heard really good things about Tracey Gibbs/Taste of Cairo, and I'd definitely go to her classes if I was in your area.

If you have more questions about bellydance stuff, I suggest you start new threads to ask, as this one has become a bit of a disaster. We'll be happy to answer, and recommend DVDs/books/music etc, we're mostly very nerdy about bellydance and like having the chance to tell anyone who will listen about our obsession :lol:

PS, I think one reason it felt to us like you were ignoring the advice here is that you didn't usually reply to the 'nice' posts, only the ones that upset you. So even though you may have been reading them and paying attention to the advice, we didn't have any way of seeing that. If you respond to the good things as well as the bad things in a thread, then the people being helpful will be able to tell that their help is appreciated :)
 
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