I don't know

cathy

New member
Dear A'isha

I agree there is plenty of discrimination against women here in the USA.

I don't think I have an negative or narrow view of sexuality or of Oriental dance. I just don't agree with you that they are essentially connected. And also I disagree that this dance is about femaleness per se. Though I agree that intelligent, well-rounded people generally make better oriental dancers.

I don't doubt the depth of your appreciation for this dance and did not mean any insult.

Cathy
 
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Yshka

New member
Dear Cathy,

Just a few questions. Why do you think sexuality and Oriental dance are not connected? Are you telling me a person dancing, feeling good and being the beautiful person that he/she is is not sexy? Wow.

You say MED is more than sexiness and that A'isha doesn't see it that way. IMO she has not said that MED is all about sexiness. I think one's take on this has to do with their idea of sexuality. If you take 'sexy' the shallow way, then MED is not about "being sexy", it's not sexual entertainment. It is not cheap or sleazy. Then again, if you view sexuality differently you'll see it does have a place in the dance. When a person dances, feeling great and showing it, when she emotes to the feeling of a song, when her moves respond flawlessly to the music, that is sexy. When Maria Aya dances baladi wearing bright yellow kitchen gloves, THAT is sexy!!!
Some will say a dancer wearing a skimpy outfit and a pornstar expression is sexy, but for a different reason:rolleyes:.

Then there's the sexual/sensual discussion. I'd said in another thread the dance is not sexual, but sensual. I realised that somehow when discussing the dance with outsiders, I say it's not sexual, but sensual. Then again when talking to educated dancers etc. I'm finding myself admitting there's certain sexuality present, because they KNOW where this sexuality is found and what to look for (does that make sense?).
I have recently discovered the place of my own sexuality in dance and it feels very comfortable. I feel both sensual and sexy when I dance, it is a part of me. I am figuring out how I feel about this. This however does not mean I dance sleazy, nor that I cannot do it's cultural context justice anymore, ect..

I've been toying with a theory about the ME lately: 'bellydancing' in public is seen as indecent. Could this be because sexuality is very personal thing? Like saying yes, it is a part of the dance but no, you have no business looking at my wife's/daughter's personal being? I don't know if it's true, but it just might be. In the west sexy is defined very differently (western-media inspired sexy).
An Arab friend of mine dances freely with her female relatives and friends, sexuality is part of her life and doesn't remain unspoken, though she doesn't parade it around publicly either.

I am a BOB in keeping this dance from being sleazy-sexy. Plus I feel the dance is not the same without cultural context. Sexuality exists in every culture as part of man, the way people handle it just differs.
By the way, what do you think is "wrong" with the cultural context the dance originated/remained in? What do you mean by 'appreciating the dance in and of itself'. Just moves without context? Than it's not MED anymore..
 

cathy

New member
Dear Yshnka,

I think Oriental dance has tremendous potential depth and can be presented and interpreted any number of ways—witty, sly, joyful, dramatic, graceful, funny, moving, cute, powerful, vulnerable, and yes, sexy. I don't want to see it limited or have any potential qualities put into a hierarchy.

I totally agree with you that a person dancing, feeling good and showing it, responding flawlessly to the music, is very beautiful. Whether or not this is sexy in my opinion is in the eye of the beholder and depends on your definition of that word. (And BTW I have had several exchanges with A’isha on MEDlist about this already). Any physical activity can strike a viewer as sexy. This dance can be sexy, as can walking down the street. I don’t like anyone assuming that because I’m doing either, I should be evaluated for my sexual attractiveness. Whether or not I feel or try to portray sexuality in the dance should be up to me, and then up to the viewer.

What I disagree with is the assertion that Oriental dance is *about* sexuality or the two are *necessarily* connected. I think this limits the dance itself, and limits me as a dancer and a person. I don’t like the implication that I must convey sexuality in order to be a good dancer, that my sexuality is necessarily tied up in the way I dance, and/or that I am in denial if I think the two are not *necessarily* connected.

When you write “I have recently discovered the place of my own sexuality in dance and it feels very comfortable. I feel both sensual and sexy when I dance, it is a part of me” my response is that’s great! But if you didn’t find sexuality in the dance I wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with you or that you were doing the dance wrong or had misinterpreted its nature.

I also have no problem with A’isha or any other dancer, female or male, interpreting music or dance or sexy, either feeling that way about it, or wanting to be seen that way (as long as it is not sleazy as I think we all agree.) What I have a problem with is being required to interpret it this way, being told that if I don’t see Oriental dance as essentially about sexuality then I am narrow-minded.

I hope I have made this difference clear.

I wasn’t there myself of course, and I haven’t done a lot of reading or research on the subject, but I don’t doubt that the first people to put Raks Sharki onstage were considered scandalous or that “feminine charms” were a component of the presentation at that time. I just don’t think that this means the art requires me to exhibit “feminine charms” or to “use my femaleness” to be a good dancer. Men can be just as good at it—of this there is no doubt in my mind. Tarik Sultan is one of the best dancers I have ever seen. So I disagree with A’isha when she writes “the dance is about all aspects of femaleness.”

Badia Masabni may have “used her femaleness” as A’isha writes, but that doesn’t mean we are all required to. I think our skills, talents, and worth as people and as dancers should be evaluated as people, not men or women. This is a big complex subject but I think part of discrimination against women is labeling them sex objects and judging them as being sexy or not far more often and in more punitive a way than men generally are.

Consider acting in Shakespeare’s time. All the parts—male and female-- were played by men, because only men appeared onstage in his day. That doesn’t mean that women can’t play Shakespeare just as well as men do today, or that the only valid way of staging Shakespeare is with all-male casts. (And BTW I am not trying to call into question whether or not Shakespeare or his plays were or are sexy just as I was not trying to call into question whether or not the blues is sexy. I am using these examples for how art can arise and carry forth under a set of conditions but not all those conditions are necessarily essential to the art at all times.)

Likewise, the first two times we know that MED was presented in the US, it was at exhibition fairs. Sol Bloom presented his Algerian village in the Midway outside the Chicago World’s Fair, and he deliberately advertised it as “exotic” and scandalous in order to drum up business. That doesn’t mean that midways, sideshows, and cultural exhibitions are the only appropriate venue for MED today in the US, or that anyone need portray this dance as exotic or scandalous.

Lastly, you wrote “By the way, what do you think is "wrong" with the cultural context the dance originated/remained in? What do you mean by 'appreciating the dance in and of itself'. Just moves without context? Than it's not MED anymore.”

Thanks for asking. What I meant was—in the countries of origin, traditional values included and in some places still include women wearing the veil, women not being able to travel alone in public, women not being allowed to drive, many fewer women working outside the home, and homophobia. True, misogyny, homophobia, and racism existed and exist here too. I don’t want to get into an argument about where it is worse, though I will say I wouldn’t want to have to cover my face or have to be escorted everywhere by a male relative. I think the traditional values in the countries of origin made it more difficult for the first people who staged Raks Sharki, and made them seem more scandalous. We today in the US do not have to deal with as much of this as they did then. (Though I agree when you say there are certainly people out there who are uncomfortable with the idea of this dance in public here and now.)

I think we can appreciate Raks Sharki without buying into the misogyny including without buying into ideas that women (or men) onstage, doing a dance that includes hip and torso articulations, are necessarily (please note this word “necessarily”) doing a dance “about” sexuality or femaleness or necessarily trying to be sexy.

I did not mean moves without context, or lack of appreciation for the culture of origin.

Whew. Cathy
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dear A'isha

I agree there is plenty of discrimination against women here in the USA.

I don't think I have an negative or narrow view of sexuality or of Oriental dance. I just don't agree with you that they are essentially connected. And also I disagree that this dance is about femaleness per se. Though I agree that intelligent, well-rounded people generally make better oriental dancers.

I don't doubt the depth of your appreciation for this dance and did not mean any insult.

Cathy


Dear Cathy,
For some reason, a couple of the posts we wrote seem to have disappeared...???

Anyway, there is nothing in this world that has life that is not sexually connected. This dance IS about femaleness and Badia Masabni herself would probably agree with that statement. Sexuality is a very important and complex aspect of the dance and it cannot be separated out as if it does not exist.

As for you referring to me as a person who is shallow enough to see the dance only as a sexual vehicle, yeah, I resent that. I think it is pretty clear that I see the dance as more than what you implied. I am happy that you meant no offense and my comment in response to that was to show that I too, could draw some pretty wrong conclusions from your post, but chose instead to look at the sum of your writing to see that there is more to you than that.
Can we agree to disagree but still respect the other's integrity in the dance? I know I respect yours!

I need to add after reading your last post that sexuality is not something one can edit in or out when walking down the street or doing any other activity. It is a thread that is there always.
And acting sexy is very different than actually being sexy!! Sexy is not something that strips around a bar pole or shoves its breasts in our faces, but an underlying essence that is there, like the cells in our bodies and like the fact of life itself.
I also do not recall saying that men cannot do this dance and I am one of the biggest supporters of men dancing belly dance. However, I think that they do have to realize that the dance is not a macho pastime. There are many dances in the Middle East and other parts of the world that are gender essenced and still the opposite gender can participate fully. They can do the technique and capture the spirit of the dance. Feminine essenced dance has no bearing on what sex can or cannot do the dance. I humbly and proudly coached one of the best dancers I have ever seen, and he is male. He was totally aware that the dance is female in its essence and spirit and also recognized that he did not have to be at all frilly in order to do the dance.

I think you also did not really address that the same sorts of things were going on in this country as far as women's behavior goes, when Bloom brought the Algerian dancers here. Someone said something about not mentioning even legs or arms in polite company at that time in America. The dance was scandalous both here and there. Again, we are just sort of used to blaming the Muslims instead of looking at our own behaviors. Time plays a factor in what is considered scandalous but by your definition,it would seem that you think people feel the same about "belly dance", though I do not find that to be true in my personal experience.
Regards,
A'isha

Dear Yskha,
I want to thank you for a lovely post. I feel that it has added a lot to this discussion. I hope to see you dance some day!!

Regards,
A'isha
 
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cathy

New member
Dear A'isha,

I don't disagree that one could see an element of sexuality in all life that cannot be separated out from any aspect of life. I don't try to edit it out of any activity including dance. But I don't want it be read in where it isn't either. I agree that acting sexy is different from being sexy.

We disagree on the issue as to whether this dance is necessarily moreso about sexuality than other dances or activities. I also disagree that this dance is about "femaleness."

I don't think I ever called you, anyone else, or the dance "shallow" or used that word at all. I honestly thought I was accurately portraying your point of view when I said you thought sexuality was a necessary and important component of the dance. I do realize that you see the dance as more than that.

I definitely respect your very long devotion to and engagement with the dance in all its aspects and I know you have been dancing and teaching a lot longer than I (and to be clear, I don't teach). Even though we disagree I respect your right to your own opinion and certainly respect your integrity. Thanks for saying you respect mine.

Best wishes, Cathy
 
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Yshka

New member
A'isha Azar said:
Dear Yskha,
I want to thank you for a lovely post. I feel that it has added a lot to this discussion. I hope to see you dance some day!!

Regards,
A'isha
Dear A'isha, I'm kind of in a rush right now and don't have much time to respond, but having read your post I wanted to say thank you! That would be an honor:cool:.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dear A'isha,

I don't disagree that one could see an element of sexuality in all life that cannot be separated out from any aspect of life. I don't try to edit it out of any activity including dance. But I don't want it be read in where it isn't either. I agree that acting sexy is different from being sexy.

We disagree on the issue as to whether this dance is necessarily moreso about sexuality than other dances or activities. I also disagree that this dance is about "femaleness."

I don't think I ever called you "shallow" or used that word at all. I honestly thought I was accurately portraying your point of view when I said you thought sexuality was a necessary and important component of the dance. I do realize that you see the dance as more than that.

I definitely respect your very long devotion to and engagement with the dance in all its aspects and I know you have been dancing and teaching a lot longer than I (and to be clear, I don't teach). Even though we disagree I respect your right to your own opinion and certainly respect your integrity. Thanks for saying you respect mine.

Best wishes, Cathy
Dear Cathy,
One of the biggest draws of the dancer today and always has been that hinting at the sexuality, that female charm presented on stage. This does not mean there is a for sale sign on it, but that the audience gets to see a whole human being interpreting a while gamut of humaness in the feminine context. THAT was the draw that brought customers to Badia Masabni's club.
To present this in the form of my more complex opinion, the thing that REALLY draws the audience to this dance, when the dance is performed by a truly skilled person is that what we get to see is not only the physical interpretation of that humaness, but we actually get to look at another person being completely who they are. Kama, to steal a Hindi word (love, both physical and spiritual) is a huge part of that experience for most human beings.
When women put this dance on stage for other people to look at, they were not only exposing themselves physically, but on every other human level as well. That was and is the real secret of the dance, I think. That kind of exposure is far scarier than merely taking off one's clothing or indulging in a bit of public autoeroticism.
Regards,
A'isha
 

cathy

New member
Dear A'isha

True you did not say men cannot do this dance. I'm happy to hear you coached a male dancer who turned out excellent. I still don't think this dance is "female in its essence."

I have a question when you write "dance is not a macho pastime" and "he did not have to be at all frilly in order to do the dance." Most people would use "macho" and "frilly" as opposites. If it's not macho but it's also not frilly, it sounds --well, it sounds almost nongender specific! Which I would consider refreshing.

I agree that the dance was viewed as scandalous here when Sol Bloom brought the Algerian Village to Chicago in 1892 and he capitalized on that, being the sharp businessman he was.

I am not sure how this is connected to your statement "we are just sort of used to blaming the Muslims instead of looking at our own behaviors." I wasn't trying to blame Muslims for anything, just contrasting the social norms of that place and time with ours. I welcome scrutiny of our own behaviors and attitudes. One of the reasons I've started commenting on this forum.

I also don't understand your point in this statement: "Time plays a factor in what is considered scandalous but by your definition, it would seem that you think people feel the same about "belly dance", though I do not find that to be true in my personal experience."

I agree that time plays a factor in what is considered scandalous. We have already discussed how I think the term "belly dance" had derogatory connotations when it first came into use, and still does today. I know you find it untrue in your personal experience. So on that I hope we can we agree to respectfully disagree.

Take care, Cathy
 

cathy

New member
Dear Cathy,
One of the biggest draws of the dancer today and always has been that hinting at the sexuality, that female charm presented on stage. This does not mean there is a for sale sign on it, but that the audience gets to see a whole human being interpreting a while gamut of humaness in the feminine context. THAT was the draw that brought customers to Badia Masabni's club.
To present this in the form of my more complex opinion, the thing that REALLY draws the audience to this dance, when the dance is performed by a truly skilled person is that what we get to see is not only the physical interpretation of that humaness, but we actually get to look at another person being completely who they are. Kama, to steal a Hindi word (love, both physical and spiritual) is a huge part of that experience for most human beings.
When women put this dance on stage for other people to look at, they were not only exposing themselves physically, but on every other human level as well. That was and is the real secret of the dance, I think. That kind of exposure is far scarier than merely taking off one's clothing or indulging in a bit of public autoeroticism.
Regards,
A'isha
Dear A'isha,

For the most part I totally agree with you here! Not so much about the "female charm" and hints of sexuality part, but definitely about the openness and love, the Kama.

Complete human honesty in expression and Kama is what I love to see and what I think is best in the dance, and in life. And I agree it's very difficult to achieve.

Myself personally, so far I have really only seen it fully realized in one dancer, and that is my beloved teacher Morocco. It's a life-changing experience to behold. Having seen it once I always need more. Luckily I will see her perform tonight!

I am happy that we do seem to agree on the deep essential nature of this dance.

Wishing you all the best, and dances filled with kama,

Cathy
 
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Aisha Azar

New member
Dance etc.

Dear Cathy,
In response to your thinking on the macho and frilly issue. I am not frilly, yet I am essentially female. I would venture to say the same abut Morocco. I have often noticed two responses in men who attempt to belly dance. They either think they have to dance in an imitation of the more frilly elements of the female persona, or they feel that they have to prove they are still masculine by playing up their maleness instead of letting the dance do its thing and recognizing the feminine aspects of their personality without putting on a gross imitation of women. Some men are able to do the dance while tapping into an essentially feminine part of themselves without some warped freak-out response about it. Aziz was the very best I have ever seen about doing a free-floating sexuality that was a true response to the nature of the dance. I hope that made sense.

Re the comment about blaming Muslims more. It seemed to me when you tried to put the dance in a context where it was only considered sexual because of the cultural patriarchal circumstance, and that seemed off base. The dance is sexual regardless of circumstance surrounding it. It has a sexual life of its own.
In having taken many courses in women's studies what I discovered is that Victorian women in the United States at least were incredibly objectified and that they had very limited freedoms, did not have custody of their children, did not go out of the house uncovered and some even did wear veils, did not vote or hold any jobs worth having for the most part, could not inherit property from their own husbands in many cases, and therefore had men petitioning to get their hands on property that should rightly have belonged to women. In the 1920s sometime, it became against the law to solicit a girl for prostitution who was under the age of nine. I could go on and on. This looks to me very much like what has gone on in Muslim countries and we are at the most maybe 100 years ahead of them in some ways and way behind in others.
When the term "belly dance" came into use, it carried as stigma. The dance was stigmatized,however, before it was called that. I may be wrong, but if I am reading your posts correctly, you see that stigma as specifically attached to the term "belly dance" and you see it as still very much an active stigma. I disagree that the dance has a stigma because of its name and feel that if you called it anything the stigmas of old would have been attached. I also feel that the dance has in fact outlived the stigma, which is now largely non existent.

Regards,
A'isha
 

Reen.Blom

New member
I think Oriental dance has tremendous potential depth and can be presented and interpreted any number of ways—witty, sly, joyful, dramatic, graceful, funny, moving, cute, powerful, vulnerable, and yes, sexy. I don't want to see it limited or have any potential qualities put into a hierarchy.
I totally agree with that statement - the dancer - is like an artist - can bring whatever expression, "message" in her dance! Also she has the choice of the costume - whether it is going to be overly revealing (I always think of Dina and her sleazy costumes...LOL And when you watch her dance one thing you cant take out of her- is her immense sex appeal, that sort of flair- "I am so sexy") but OTHERS can have different costumes and different feelings and emotions they put in the dance - this IS a matter of personal choice. To limit the dance to just "sexy" would mean to deprive the palette of so many colours.... :lol:
 
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Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc.

I totally agree with that statement - the dancer - is like an artist - can bring whatever expression, "message" in her dance! Also she has the choice of the costume - whether it is going to be overly revealing (I always think of Dina and her sleazy costumes...LOL And when you watch her dance one thing you cant take out of her- is her immense sex appeal, that sort of flair- "I am so sexy") but OTHERS can have different costumes and different feelings and emotions they put in the dance - this IS a matter of personal choice. To limit the dance to just "sexy" would mean to deprive the palette of so many colours.... :lol:

Dear Reen.Blom,
While costuming might be a personal choice, I do not think that how we dance is a real choice as such at all. We dance who we are, regardless of how we might LIKE to dance. On some levels, I did not choose to be an Egyptian style dancer;the style sort of chose me. It is the style that I have an aptitude for. I can only bring along what is inside me already, in order to enhance that style and permeate with it who I am as well as manifesting the character of the dance itself. I have a far deeper inherent understanding of this style than I do any other, though at first I studied several styles with equal enthusiasm. When I became a more seasoned dancer and began to have a deeper understanding of the dance, and myself in relationship to it, I realized that was where my real talent was. No, often we do not choose how we will dance. We instead dance who we are with actually very little conscious choice in the matter. Otherwise I would be able to dance Turkish and Lebanese belly dance as well as I can Egyptian!!
Regards,
A'isha
 

charity

New member
ai'sha,

one is more natural than the other. that does not mean in time and training you cannot accomplish the other two.

though one style may prevail, you can train your body with pattern and repetition. it may take more work but i think it can be done.

yet still i see what you mean. a style typically does convey more of who and how you are as a dancer than another.


reen
how very articulate of you. this is how i feel but it is so hard to express. i wonder if i can give you more points.
 

charity

New member
nope reen i cant. i have to spread some more rep around before giving anymore to you. i think that should be changed on this forum. i should be able to give to whoever, whenever. oh well.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Training, etc.

ai'sha,

one is more natural than the other. that does not mean in time and training you cannot accomplish the other two.

though one style may prevail, you can train your body with pattern and repetition. it may take more work but i think it can be done.

yet still i see what you mean. a style typically does convey more of who and how you are as a dancer than another.


reen
how very articulate of you. this is how i feel but it is so hard to express. i wonder if i can give you more points.




Dear Charity,
What I have found in myself and in my students is that training can only do so much. The person must have an inherent feel and sympatico for the dance style as well. While I do agree that I would eventually, if I had another lifetime, be able to do a good job of Turkish belly dance, I do not have the feel or soul for Lebanese style belly dance. In order for training of any kind to be effective in dance, one must have a sort of innate understanding of the nature of the dance as well. They must have something to build on in order to really do the dance holistically instead of just doing some movements. What has happened in many western countries, including or maybe even especially the U.S. is that we have begun to equate the entirety of the dance with movement only, and movement is in fact just one facet of the dance.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Aawww thank you Charity, sweetie pie! *blush*

Aisha this is actually wonderful thought that through dance you discover who you are!

That's why I love belly dance - it gives me a way to get in touch with myself spiritually as well as physically! :)
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance etc.

Aawww thank you Charity, sweetie pie! *blush*

Aisha this is actually wonderful thought that through dance you discover who you are!

That's why I love belly dance - it gives me a way to get in touch with myself spiritually as well as physically! :)

Dear ReenBlom,
I feel that a side effect of the the dance, when practiced for many years, is definitely that if we pay attention we do have a much better idea of who we are as human beings!
Regards,
A'isha
 

belly_dancer

New member
Dear Cathy,
One of the biggest draws of the dancer today and always has been that hinting at the sexuality, that female charm presented on stage. This does not mean there is a for sale sign on it, but that the audience gets to see a whole human being interpreting a while gamut of humaness in the feminine context. THAT was the draw that brought customers to Badia Masabni's club.
To present this in the form of my more complex opinion, the thing that REALLY draws the audience to this dance, when the dance is performed by a truly skilled person is that what we get to see is not only the physical interpretation of that humaness, but we actually get to look at another person being completely who they are. Kama, to steal a Hindi word (love, both physical and spiritual) is a huge part of that experience for most human beings.


When women put this dance on stage for other people to look at, they were not only exposing themselves physically, but on every other human level as well. That was and is the real secret of the dance, I think. That kind of exposure is far scarier



than merely taking off one's clothing or indulging in a bit of public autoeroticism.
Regards,
A'isha
(did not know how to "bold type" the part I MOST agreed with (though whole paragraph says"it"!!).... so I "separated it out")...
but yeah, talk about scary!!!!! my husband (the dare devil) once said that I was not a risk taker..... EXCUSE ME??????? baring your soul to hundreds??? much scarier than barreling down a mountian on a motorcycle !!!!!!
(wellllll.......)
but seriously.... on the whole "sexy" issue.... I think what is REALLY at play here are the different definitions/connotations of the word...
it is such a controversial word/issue...
but I THINK what all on this forum who are "for" sexy... are definitely against "sleaze" & most likely against sexUAL....
when I dance yeah, I am considered "sexy"... that is not my intention,..... but it just "is"..... I am also elegant/refined/etc..... & so far (15 years now) nobody has thought that I was "selling" myself... or dancing in a sexUAL manner (as in oooh baby I wanna F*@% you)....

I do understand some peoples frustations with the word.... & I did try for a while (good feminist that I want to be!) to convince myself that I was not "sexy" (& still use the sexual vs. sensual speech for "outsiders" & beginning students)... but the truth is... I am considered "sexy" (by men & women, & mostly in a "wholesome" way) when I dance....that is just the way humans are wired....
one observation that I have come to over the years is that.... instead of "sexy" energy.... perhaps what I am emanating is "creative" energy... & the most of the GP (having mostly had the creative energy beat out of them as children).... as adults, only experience "creative" energy during sex (the ultimate in creating something!!!)... so that may be why... (transcending most times/cultures...) artists/musicians/theater folk/ as well as of course dancers have been considered "suspect" in the "sexy" field....
for me dance & sex (as well as art /music etc) all fall under the umbrella of "creative energy"..... while maybe for most dance/art/etc fall under the umbrella of "sexual energy"

does that at ALL make ANY sense (daughter at side... waiting for computer... so excuse spelling/misunderstanding mistakes!!!;)

VERY interesting thread this has morphed into!!
PEACE !!!!!!
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc.

(did not know how to "bold type" the part I MOST agreed with (though whole paragraph says"it"!!).... so I "separated it out")...
but yeah, talk about scary!!!!! my husband (the dare devil) once said that I was not a risk taker..... EXCUSE ME??????? baring your soul to hundreds??? much scarier than barreling down a mountian on a motorcycle !!!!!!
(wellllll.......)
but seriously.... on the whole "sexy" issue.... I think what is REALLY at play here are the different definitions/connotations of the word...
it is such a controversial word/issue...
but I THINK what all on this forum who are "for" sexy... are definitely against "sleaze" & most likely against sexUAL....
when I dance yeah, I am considered "sexy"... that is not my intention,..... but it just "is"..... I am also elegant/refined/etc..... & so far (15 years now) nobody has thought that I was "selling" myself... or dancing in a sexUAL manner (as in oooh baby I wanna F*@% you)....

I do understand some peoples frustations with the word.... & I did try for a while (good feminist that I want to be!) to convince myself that I was not "sexy" (& still use the sexual vs. sensual speech for "outsiders" & beginning students)... but the truth is... I am considered "sexy" (by men & women, & mostly in a "wholesome" way) when I dance....that is just the way humans are wired....
one observation that I have come to over the years is that.... instead of "sexy" energy.... perhaps what I am emanating is "creative" energy... & the most of the GP (having mostly had the creative energy beat out of them as children).... as adults, only experience "creative" energy during sex (the ultimate in creating something!!!)... so that may be why... (transcending most times/cultures...) artists/musicians/theater folk/ as well as of course dancers have been considered "suspect" in the "sexy" field....
for me dance & sex (as well as art /music etc) all fall under the umbrella of "creative energy"..... while maybe for most dance/art/etc fall under the umbrella of "sexual energy"

does that at ALL make ANY sense (daughter at side... waiting for computer... so excuse spelling/misunderstanding mistakes!!!;)

VERY interesting thread this has morphed into!!
PEACE !!!!!!

Dear Belly_Dancer,
.... Why is it that we as dancers seem so , well...afraid... of the words "sexual" and "sexy", as if these were bad words???
I am a humanist as opposed to being a feminist and I have total permission to be sexy, sexual and even sleazy if I so desire.

Regards,
A'isha
 

belly_dancer

New member
Dear Belly_Dancer,
.... Why is it that we as dancers seem so , well...afraid... of the words "sexual" and "sexy", as if these were bad words???
I am a humanist as opposed to being a feminist and I have total permission to be sexy, sexual and even sleazy if I so desire.

Regards,
A'isha
I think most Americans are afraid of "sex" words!!
how is it for those of you in other countries???

as far as being a feminist... that is a "bad" word too!
I am ALL for "women's rights" but not over, or instead of, men's rights...
humanist is good.... or equalist.....
again, I think that so much of our miscommunication, is based on differing definitions of the same word....
Not to mention the weird trips our society puts on anything S-E-X!!!!
 
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