Belly Dancing Home Alone: New group on Facebook for dancers in isolation.

KhezlaDurr33

New member
This group I just started today is for dancers in isolation, going it solo at home -- whether because of geographical location, inconvenient class times and locations, or by choice. This has been my situation for many years in St. Louis, and it would be nice to have some interaction with others in the same situation.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
It would be far better if your group were ANYWHERE but facebook. There are tons of people, myself included, who will not touch that site with a 10 foot Assaya.
 

KhezlaDurr33

New member
It would be far better if your group were ANYWHERE but facebook. There are tons of people, myself included, who will not touch that site with a 10 foot Assaya.
I don't understand why. All the local belly dance schools post their events on FB as well as class info which are always scheduled for a time when I can't get to them or else a location too far in this metro area. Can you suggest additional places to post my group when a goodly amount of ppl would actually see it?
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
To keep it short, I'd suggest first, YOUR OWN dedicated website - and if that isn't an option, a publicly accessible site such as groups.io as but one example. If you feel compelled to be on facebook, have the group someplace else and promote it on facebook. Then everybody with an interest can participate.

I have lots of interests. Belly Dancers seem to be joined at the hip with "that site", everybody else knows better and avoids it.
 

KhezlaDurr33

New member
To keep it short, I'd suggest first, YOUR OWN dedicated website - and if that isn't an option, a publicly accessible site such as groups.io as but one example. If you feel compelled to be on facebook, have the group someplace else and promote it on facebook. Then everybody with an interest can participate.

I have lots of interests. Belly Dancers seem to be joined at the hip with "that site", everybody else knows better and avoids it.
Hope you can enlighten humble little me. If belly dancers are joined at the hip w/ FB, wouldn't that make it a good place to get belly dancers' attention regarding a new belly dance group? And why does everybody else "know better" and avoid it? There's a lot I don't understand, and these are honest questions, you seem to have a lot of knowledge.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Get their attention there? You probably have to, Belly Dancers seem to treat it like a religion. Host it there? I wouldn't. You gotta do what you gotta do - I'm well known for my utter detestation of that site. The problems with facebook and so-called "social media" are well known, but are the least of the problems as far as I'm concerned. Their "real name" policy alone is enough to keep a lot of people away.

As but one example, I belong to a group that collects old National sewing machines. It was hosted on yahoo groups for many years. Yahoo groups shut down last year, so the question went out to the group: "Where do we move to?". The overwhelming response was "ANYWHERE BUT FACEBOOK". Half of us wouldn't have followed the group otherwise, it ended up at groups.io .

Your mileage may vary and all that.
 

KhezlaDurr33

New member
Get their attention there? You probably have to, Belly Dancers seem to treat it like a religion. Host it there? I wouldn't. You gotta do what you gotta do - I'm well known for my utter detestation of that site. The problems with facebook and so-called "social media" are well known, but are the least of the problems as far as I'm concerned. Their "real name" policy alone is enough to keep a lot of people away.

As but one example, I belong to a group that collects old National sewing machines. It was hosted on yahoo groups for many years. Yahoo groups shut down last year, so the question went out to the group: "Where do we move to?". The overwhelming response was "ANYWHERE BUT FACEBOOK". Half of us wouldn't have followed the group otherwise, it ended up at groups.io .

Your mileage may vary and all that.
Is there any charge for groups.io? Great response, btw.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
There are a lot of Facebook groups that have discussions and they're more civilized than Bhuz ever was. I would recommend them for those in "isolation." There are some things on Facebook that are actually beneficial for dancers. And also on the flip side, there are tons of dancers who are on Facebook and, like me, find it a positive move to be there.

I don't understand why. All the local belly dance schools post their events on FB as well as class info which are always scheduled for a time when I can't get to them or else a location too far in this metro area. Can you suggest additional places to post my group when a goodly amount of ppl would actually see it?
 

Tourbeau

Member
I am not on Facebook, either, but I understand your situation. FB seems to be the main place for dancers to congregate, but it does have some drawbacks.

  • If you are not currently associated with a teacher or troupe, it can be difficult to assimilate on FB, so you may not think of it as your kind of dance resource. Maybe the local teacher doesn't teach the style you like, and you can't just join her group because you're not in her class. Maybe you had a falling out with the local dance community and want to lay low. Maybe the local FB pages are closed, and you can't find them or don't want to jump through their hoops to join. (I can't tell if my city's FB group still exists. Years ago it was closed and you had to "prove" you were a "real" enough dancer to join it by having a web site.). Maybe you had a bad online dance experience somewhere else and simply retreated from the internet BD world. These "free floaters" are the people you are most likely to benefit from reaching, but they're also unlikely to be looking to get much from FB, since they may not be connecting well online already.
  • What demographic are you aiming for? Older/semi-retired dancers may not be very active on social media. Younger dancers may not be using FB as much as Instagram or other sites.
  • If you are an open FB group, you will attract garbage posters and weirdos. If you're closed, it's difficult for people to find you. Some lurkers who have a legitimate reason to be there but don't want to out themselves may be scared away by a private group, because you can't preview the quality of it before joining. I heard one workshop-famous teacher say she wasn't comfortable participating in public forums--a combination of not wanting to give her knowledge away for free and not wanting to expose what she didn't know.

I think FB is probably your best choice in terms of general recruiting, but it's not a great choice for the loners and stragglers, because they're the ones who get discouraged about feeling like they haven't found a place to belong first (and that assumes you're not talking about the ones who are in therapy or self-treating their social anxiety/depression/loneliness by trying to balance "Get out there! Meet people! Make friends by taking up a hobby like dancing!" with "Research shows that social media makes depressed, lonely people feel worse!").

I mean, I'm probably your target audience. I started dancing in 1999, but things went off the rails for me in 2009. First, I injured my leg and required two surgeries. By the time I got that managed and was ready to come back dancing, my family dragged me sideways for seven years with three elderly relatives one after another that had no one else to care for them.

Now, here I am. The local dance scene isn't what I remembered. Nobody is teaching the style I want or sponsoring workshops I want to take. I'm too old to be scrumming for (what few) gigs there are (that I don't really want anyway (you can keep the hookah lounges, boozy bachelorette parties, and make-Uncle-Fred-a-sultan-on-his-birthday jobs)). Some students only want to work with a teacher who is plugged into lots of performing opportunities, and whatever street cred I had before doesn't mean anything to students who haven't been dancing long enough to remember me. It's difficult to stay motivated to practice the skills I had, much less push to master new ones.

And I'm not on FB, because I don't want to be. I think FB accounts collecting hundreds of friends you barely know are phony, I don't understand why you'd want to put your entire life online for others' amusement, and I find the level of constant surveillance creepy.

But obviously others love FB and can't live without it.....
 

KhezlaDurr33

New member
I am not on Facebook, either, but I understand your situation. FB seems to be the main place for dancers to congregate, but it does have some drawbacks.

  • If you are not currently associated with a teacher or troupe, it can be difficult to assimilate on FB, so you may not think of it as your kind of dance resource. Maybe the local teacher doesn't teach the style you like, and you can't just join her group because you're not in her class. Maybe you had a falling out with the local dance community and want to lay low. Maybe the local FB pages are closed, and you can't find them or don't want to jump through their hoops to join. (I can't tell if my city's FB group still exists. Years ago it was closed and you had to "prove" you were a "real" enough dancer to join it by having a web site.). Maybe you had a bad online dance experience somewhere else and simply retreated from the internet BD world. These "free floaters" are the people you are most likely to benefit from reaching, but they're also unlikely to be looking to get much from FB, since they may not be connecting well online already.

  • What demographic are you aiming for? Older/semi-retired dancers may not be very active on social media. Younger dancers may not be using FB as much as Instagram or other sites.

  • If you are an open FB group, you will attract garbage posters and weirdos. If you're closed, it's difficult for people to find you. Some lurkers who have a legitimate reason to be there but don't want to out themselves may be scared away by a private group, because you can't preview the quality of it before joining. I heard one workshop-famous teacher say she wasn't comfortable participating in public forums--a combination of not wanting to give her knowledge away for free and not wanting to expose what she didn't know.

I think FB is probably your best choice in terms of general recruiting, but it's not a great choice for the loners and stragglers, because they're the ones who get discouraged about feeling like they haven't found a place to belong first (and that assumes you're not talking about the ones who are in therapy or self-treating their social anxiety/depression/loneliness by trying to balance "Get out there! Meet people! Make friends by taking up a hobby like dancing!" with "Research shows that social media makes depressed, lonely people feel worse!").

I mean, I'm probably your target audience. I started dancing in 1999, but things went off the rails for me in 2009. First, I injured my leg and required two surgeries. By the time I got that managed and was ready to come back dancing, my family dragged me sideways for seven years with three elderly relatives one after another that had no one else to care for them.

Now, here I am. The local dance scene isn't what I remembered. Nobody is teaching the style I want or sponsoring workshops I want to take. I'm too old to be scrumming for (what few) gigs there are (that I don't really want anyway (you can keep the hookah lounges, boozy bachelorette parties, and make-Uncle-Fred-a-sultan-on-his-birthday jobs)). Some students only want to work with a teacher who is plugged into lots of performing opportunities, and whatever street cred I had before doesn't mean anything to students who haven't been dancing long enough to remember me. It's difficult to stay motivated to practice the skills I had, much less push to master new ones.

And I'm not on FB, because I don't want to be. I think FB accounts collecting hundreds of friends you barely know are phony, I don't understand why you'd want to put your entire life online for others' amusement, and I find the level of constant surveillance creepy.

But obviously others love FB and can't live without it.....
Thank you for your comprehensive and very perceptive comments! Great job!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
My job requires me to keep up the organization's FB page. In order to do that part of my job, I had to have a private page which I created using a fake name. When I first entered the Weird World, I sought out BD pages whereon I encountered toxic levels of "I'm more PC than you", long rambling soliloquies re: cultural appropriation, and not much substantive dance discussion. Exit, pursued by a bear, and disinclined to return.
 

KhezlaDurr33

New member
That is minor compared to what some of these ppl can do to you in person. My dance school got embezzled after the embezzler and her partner in crime worked behind my back for several months to steal my class students for private lessons with them - while they were on my payroll and after I paid for the advertising to fill the class and paid for the room to hold the classes. Dancing at home alone is not all bad -- but it would be nice to have some other dancers to talk to in the same situation.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
My job requires me to keep up the organization's FB page. In order to do that part of my job, I had to have a private page which I created using a fake name. When I first entered the Weird World, I sought out BD pages whereon I encountered toxic levels of "I'm more PC than you", long rambling soliloquies re: cultural appropriation, and not much substantive dance discussion. Exit, pursued by a bear, and disinclined to return.
Hopefully, FB won't cotton onto you using a false name. My #1 rule for internet usage is that I *NEVER* use my "real" name on publicly accessible parts of the Internet. That right there rules out "that site" and others like it.

But yea, I hear you about the toxic levels of "I'm more PC than you..." - THAT stupendous steaming stack of stinking steer stool was endemic on Bhuz, and I'm hearing through the grapevine on FB as well where I'd expect no less. I called out more than one person on Bhuz about it back in the day as I have ZERO tolerance for it.
 

KhezlaDurr33

New member
No, bc the embezzler had destroyed a lot of the records but what was left was clearly embezzlement. She did an incomplete job of covering her tracks after making off with I don't know how many hundreds of dollars, probably close to $1,000. However -- a man she was having an extramarital affair with who helped us fight city hall to get an ordinance changed so my students could perform in public was a bank executive. He gave her a job at the bank working for him. It was the same bank where my company checking acct was. I notified all my vendors not to accept any checks with her signature, and informed the bank in person about the embezzlement. Within less than a week, she no longer had a job there. At time my life reads like a TV sitcom. Guess I should get around to writing that book.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Hopefully, FB won't cotton onto you using a false name.

Initially (so to speak) I used initials and a last name. Got a notice from FB saying it appeared I was possibly using a fake name because the site required full first names. Ergo, I supplied not only a full first name but a full second name as well, followed by a surname. FB has remained satisfied for almost 6 years now.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
That's what an Internet security guru once told me - if you absolutely MUST use facebook and/or similar sites, lie. They're far worse than you think they are.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I never use my real name except for LinkedIn. A lot of this is due to my paycheck job. Apparently the industry I'm in doesn't think too highly of Middle Eastern Dance, or Polynesian either. I am friends with hundreds of people but that's partly due to networking and also mostly due to learning what's going on in general in the bellydance world. A lot of it I skip through but also in this day and age, bellydance is more in the valley than on the plains so now there aren't many opportunities for very good workshops. The ones that are, are either too far away or require you to sign up for a three or four day workshop, which is very expensive. (I will also add that Polynesian workshops are all about this format too.)
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
...or require you to sign up for a three or four day workshop, which is very expensive. (I will also add that Polynesian workshops are all about this format too.)
All of the "big festivals" here in Florida are this way - I'm actually thinking of flying back to California for Carnival of Stars - it would be cheaper AND I'd get a 7 minute dance spot, not a 3-1/2 or 4!
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
All of the "big festivals" here in Florida are this way - I'm actually thinking of flying back to California for Carnival of Stars - it would be cheaper AND I'd get a 7 minute dance spot, not a 3-1/2 or 4!
That's a nice amount of time allotted for very experienced dancers.
 
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