Men have unfair advantage in bellydance?

Duvet

Member
Many years ago when I attended belly dance classes regularly there was one guy, and at first i was surprised by it. Thinking how could a man shimmy his hips or chest? What about chest lifts, there's nothing to lift? Silly thoughts, really. But as the class continued I realised that he was no different from the rest of us. We were all pretty much beginners and most of us weren't anywere near to shimmying anything since we were so stiff.

I actually had the same thoughts myself about chest lifts - it must be soooo much easier if you actually had something to lift. :)

Interestingly I saw Khaled perform last year and do some amazing shoulder shimmies. Afterwards I heard two women say that he could only do them so well because he was a man, and had different chest muscles.

I find it interesting that on the one hand some people say that men can't belly dance because they have a different physique. And then hear that they can bellydance so well exactly because of that different physique. So practise, dedication, motivation and commitment has nothing to do with it??:lol:
 

Duvet

Member

If I could back up the clock twenty years I might be learning how to dance. If I could back up the clock thirty years I think I definitely would, and not just for fun. To Erikosaurus, the fun is in the achievement.

I'm 42 this year (jumping in with the "confession of our ages" theme) and I wish I had started bellydancing twenty-years ago too, but regretting what I haven't done doesn't mean I can't give it a go now. You're never too old to start something new.
 

Aniseteph

New member
I actually had the same thoughts myself about chest lifts - it must be soooo much easier if you actually had something to lift. :)

Haha LOL, no it really doesn't work that way. An inch of chest lift is an inch of chest lift whether or not anything is coming along for the ride.

Interestingly I saw Khaled perform last year and do some amazing shoulder shimmies. Afterwards I heard two women say that he could only do them so well because he was a man, and had different chest muscles.

:rolleyes: How much testosterone-enhanced brute strength does it take to do teeny tiny shoulder shimmies? Or are you guys hiding a whole special extra set of shimmying muscles that we don't know about... :think:
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
:rolleyes: How much testosterone-enhanced brute strength does it take to do teeny tiny shoulder shimmies? Or are you guys hiding a whole special extra set of shimmying muscles that we don't know about... :think:
Nuts - it took me quite a while to be able to do them - the necessary muscle was totally undeveloped on one side, and barely there on the other!
 

Kelmar

New member
I'm pushing fifty now. The outside is very well-preserved, but I'm having hip pain lately. Some people need hip replacement in their fifties and I fear I will be one of them.

(This is a bit late reply to this, sorry, still catching up on the postings on this thread..... @_@ )

I'm sorry to hear that you have hip pain, but I will point out that my instructor is past his 50's now and still moves way better than any of us younger students in class. :lol:

So don't let your age get to you!
 

Kelmar

New member
Nuts - it took me quite a while to be able to do them - the necessary muscle was totally undeveloped on one side, and barely there on the other!

Shoulder shimmies give me heaps of trouble still. My hips keep wanting to come long with the shimmy ride as it were.... >_<
 

Erik

New member
Thanks, Kelmar! :)

It hasn't bothered me for a couple of weeks. Not the most outrageous pain, but when you've never had any pain there previously it can be disturbing. I also have a knee that I injured twelve years ago and occasionally it will hurt very much. So, it isn't just the years. It's the mileage. ;)
 

khanjar

New member
Hey Erik, bad knee pain here too, due to stretched anterior cruciate ligament, bursitis and a partially gnawed through cartilage due to the stupidity of my younger days, but the solution to knee pain to lessen the pain is to build the musculature around the site to support the injury. Curiously shimmies actually help in that area and when the knee is twinge-ing a bit a spell of shimmy practice calms things down. Oh and the other knee is starting to give me a bit of gip these days too, doc is suggesting arthritis of the osteo variety, and am not even fifty yet !

Of course I realise as we age we ain't getting any younger, so now it is more important than ever to develop a regime to keep ourselves mobile longer as age tries to reduce our mobility and I for one do not wish to become a p.i.t.a to others as is often when that occurs, popularity takes a nose dive and all the unwanted wants is to not be a burden any longer.
 

Erik

New member
Thanks, khanjar. Maybe I'll give it a try sometime. Sorry to hear about your knee injury. Knees are major. My father messed up one of his knees playing football in college and it gave him problems for the rest of his life.

In 2000 I was working my old job, trying to get the product on the shelf, turned on my right leg as I always did, but that time I heard something go crunch. It didn't hurt right away but later the pain became so unbearable that I couln't put any weight on it. Never went to see a doctor but I got a knee brace which helps. I just try to be careful with it. Although it never hurt again as badly as the initial injury, I have noticed that a change in the weather seems to make it act up.
 

khanjar

New member
Thanks, khanjar. Maybe I'll give it a try sometime. Sorry to hear about your knee injury. Knees are major. My father messed up one of his knees playing football in college and it gave him problems for the rest of his life.

In 2000 I was working my old job, trying to get the product on the shelf, turned on my right leg as I always did, but that time I heard something go crunch. It didn't hurt right away but later the pain became so unbearable that I couln't put any weight on it. Never went to see a doctor but I got a knee brace which helps. I just try to be careful with it. Although it never hurt again as badly as the initial injury, I have noticed that a change in the weather seems to make it act up.

Knees though designed to move in one plane only, do have a limited amount of sideways twist, if you perhaps over extended that limit, sure, damage could be created, and with that I do wonder at a lot of modern footwear that almost sticks one to the floor, fine for sports where they were designed to function, but everyday life, I wonder.

But to understand what you might have done in terms of damage, you have to understand the structure of the knee, look at that, whats involved in the action you describe and you may find you don't have to suffer and limit yourself, because what's in there can be sorted and my guess is cartilage and/or the bursa's. If cartilage, it can be sorted via arthroscophy, a twenty minute keyhole surgery job under local anaesthetic, walking stick for a couple of days then it get's better thereafter. Bursas, well they being fluid filled sacks that cushion shock sometimes become inflamed due to too much shock, mine were just blasted with a steroid to quieten them down

I got bursitis and cartilage problems because I managed to get a soccer player's injury, a stretched anterior cruciate ligament and if was not soccer that did it, what did it was volunteer mountain rescue, where carrying some bod off the hill, on loose ground my leg slipped and that was it, the knee went, odd when it happens to soccer players, it is usually the result of a sliding tackle, so am guessing the body knowing what it's doing then through sliding- chaos only to stop in a place not expected, so not prepared for and damage ensues. It will never heal, I now that, so the trick is to keep mobile and there maintain the musculature and through exercise develop a supporting structure, which the body automatically does when it recognises something is stuffed.

Oh yeah, and in case I didn't say it before, bellydance movement helps, so Erik if you can't get to class find some online tuition and get boogeying, it will do you good.
 
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Duvet

Member
I'm pushing fifty now. The outside is very well-preserved, but I'm having hip pain lately. Some people need hip replacement in their fifties and I fear I will be one of them.

I was approached on the weekend by a man in his 70s, asking about bellydancing. He said if he was 10 years younger he would have started classes. 10 years younger would still make him 10 years older than you, Erik. The regret doesn't diminish with time.

I also know an Irish Set dancer who is in his 60s and has had two hip replacements. But the way he can move his hips is incredible - if he took up bellydance he'd put all the dancers I've seen to shame, male or female!
 

Erik

New member
Thanks Duvet and khanjar.

What I'm really most passionate about is making films. It was my dream since I was a kid. If I had only put my inheritance away and let it grow I would be a millionaire now, but oh no, I couldn't wait that long, and I made bad investments and trusted people I shouldn't have. Not all of these were scam artists. Some were well-intentioned but they didn't succeed.

Yes, I could still write a screenplay and look for a producer, but I won't. I fear that my vision will be subject to a committtee rewrite (seen too many films butchered that way), and possibly a dunce for a director, and the finished result will have me wishing I had not bothered.

Perhaps you guys remember the thread last year about the woman who asked if she was too old to dance at the age of 53, and I gathered she was asking about a professional career. By then I had seen enough to know it wasn't one of those easy yes-or-no questions, and it would be cruel to build up someone's hopes unnecessarily. I would not be interested in giving the time to learn except with professional aspirations. If male dancers can start later and have longer pro careers, then yeah, I'd call that an unfair advantage.

There are other things I wish now I had taken an interest in earlier in life. I would have studied some kind of engineering, but it isn't tearing my heart out that I didn't. I had the chance. No one to blame but myself. So need to weep for me. It isn't really a regret, but just another musing about a path not taken. :)
 

khanjar

New member
Life is full of regrets, and it is a fact as we get older we regret more, but regretting solves nothing and only creates heartache. But the grass is always greener until you get there, so what choices have been made to steer you from your path might have been for good reason, even though it doesn't look that way when looking back. Then there is the thing as we mature we find things we enjoy and wish we had taken it up when we were younger, but we wouldn't when we were younger because in most cases it took until we were older to realise what we like. So the moral is, you want to do something, just do it, start now and enjoy yourself as the past is gone and resides only in memories, fantasies and versions of good times. You are never too old until you are dead.

With some the achievement is the journey not the end result, because an end result is just that, an end.
 
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Darshiva

Moderator
There's no reason why you can't take up dancing later in life & perform well into your twilight years. It's just a matter of understanding that performing would be mostly peer-related because public performance has a short shelf-life.
 

kaza26

New member
there are no fair or unfair advantages...its just something different!


 
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