My problem with this dance....

Tanglefoot

New member
...... is me , not the dance, for I love the dance, what I don't love is me and I don't love me because I don't know what I am. Yeah sure I am male but attracted to feminine pursuits including belly dance and recently Grandmother's sectrets by Rosina Fawzia Al Rawi brought that home to me, for I can feel what is being described but I am not female, I'm male albeit an XXY male, the Y being my unhappy appearance.

I have been learning bellydance six years now, twice a week a beginners class for technique practise and an advanced for new moves plus, but I can't dance in public despite wanting to and despite being urged to given my prowess because I am unhappy with myself through not knowing what I am in this bipolar world we all have to inhabit where one must be male or female and not just human and a dancer at that.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
At this stage this is a discussion you need to have with a good psych who is experienced in dealing with gender dysmorphia/identity issues.

Personally I think it would help to not think of yourself in terms of gender so much as in terms of being. However if you do feel the urge to identify with gender, intersex is probably appropriate given what you have posted on the forums.

At any rate, please know that the one thing you are is WELCOME HERE! <3
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
What Dar said!

I'm curious and hope you don't mind the question: What are the best things about you?
 

BigJim

New member
Please read the last 7 words you wrote.... that's what you are.... don't be scared to show people you can dance....
 

Amulya

Moderator
Yes thats what it is :) dance is dance, you don't need to define as male or female, just enjoy what you do
 

Tanglefoot

New member
My apologies for my outburst for I can get somewhat emo at times and yes really I should stay off the net when I'm like that but really it comes on sudden like, though I am at least aware things have been sliding for a while to go off on one, but I never seem to learn.

Yes, gender dysphoria, even diagnosed and it will be sorted this year as I have made a decision at last- yeah indecisive as well, but what happens with me when I dance, well there is a war going on inside, a war that might be looking like it's won now as I am since that outbust settling down a bit, to the point I am not screwing up as much in my classes and it has been noticed. But because of what has been going on I thought to quit this dance yet again and so I kept away from my advanced class for six weeks until I went back last week and was pleasantly surprised, even touched, the mob said they had missed me and were glad I was back... well, someone has to be the clown, but it was I always believed myself to be tolerated, not particularly wanted in this dance, but what the mob said affirmed my place in it, well at least at local level anyway and here from what you kind people have said and I do thank you.

I hope to be more active on here henceforth.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Well, you aren't exactly the first one to ever burst out about something on the forum. ;) Welcome back.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
To be accepted here you have to show a genuine love and respect for the dance. I don't think there's any doubt you do that.

I'm really glad that you are taking steps to be as genuinely you as you can be (and screw anyone who says otherwise!) it's a big, brave step to take, and one that will make you so very very happy. *hugs*
 

Kashmir

New member
Yeah sure I am male but attracted to feminine pursuits including belly dance and recently Grandmother's sectrets by Rosina Fawzia Al Rawi brought that home to me, for I can feel what is being described but I am not female
I cannot help you with your gender identification - but maybe I can help you with the dance. I'm sorry - contrary to people like Rosina Fawzia it is not a "feminine pursuit". It is a human pursuit. Many of my major teachers were (Egyptian) men - and they danced and danced well. It is about the music and the body - your body however it is put together. Once you start adding New Age Feminist Separatist Theology to the mix it becomes a fusion and loses its core. Just enjoy the dance (and if your own teacher is pushing the By Women for Women bullshit - maybe you could consider a new teacher!)
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I didn't take your post as an outburst, Tanglefoot. I did feel like you were hurting inside, though. When I said bellydance is for EVERYONE, I was meaning that it's for you, too, and that you shouldn't feel unwanted. As Darshiva said, you have great respect and love for this dance---what dancer worth his or her salt WOULDN'T accept you? You are very much wanted here, never forget that! :D
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Yes thats what it is :) dance is dance, you don't need to define as male or female, just enjoy what you do
This. I dance as myself - because that's all I can do. That's all ANY dancer can do. I don't worry about "masculine" or "feminine" - I am what I am (whatever that may be!) and can only dance as myself. Just let the rest go by...
 

Duvet

Member
You dancing is you dancing. Fears and identities are what you put into the dance from outside. It's not what the dancing puts into you. Stop thinking about the outside.

Dance with acceptance. Dance without identity.
 
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walladah

New member
Traditionally this dance is for all genders

and it holds for all mediterranean communities. THat dance in patriarchy, particularly oriental dance, is considered feminine, it is because patriarchy cannot think without binaries. And given that all peaceful and loving body activity is against patriarchy, all such things, from tenderness to dance, are considered "low status, feminine, dangerous, subversive, non-masculine". It is interesting though that binaries about dance are so much intense in non-mediterranean countries than the actual countries of origin of this dance. We have patriarchy, but men are allowed to bellydance. There are tensions of course, and different styles among men and women (maybe you should search them), but f.ex. in my family men were bellydancing too their traditional stuff, the way men bellydance in their community and no-one ever thought "this is not masculine".
 

Tanglefoot

New member
and it holds for all mediterranean communities. THat dance in patriarchy, particularly oriental dance, is considered feminine, it is because patriarchy cannot think without binaries. And given that all peaceful and loving body activity is against patriarchy, all such things, from tenderness to dance, are considered "low status, feminine, dangerous, subversive, non-masculine". It is interesting though that binaries about dance are so much intense in non-mediterranean countries than the actual countries of origin of this dance. We have patriarchy, but men are allowed to bellydance. There are tensions of course, and different styles among men and women (maybe you should search them), but f.ex. in my family men were bellydancing too their traditional stuff, the way men bellydance in their community and no-one ever thought "this is not masculine".
I am aware of the patriarchal bipolar mentality inherent in societies where religion still has a hold and I am thinking one particular religion, where it is society is bipolar in it's mentality where I have even said in the past society certainly western society has bipolar disorder as can be evidenced in even the world news we are fed, for something is either right or it's wrong, it's male or it's female and many other opposites when it is I know life isn't digital, it's analogue and I have always felt at odds with being forced to choose hence my indecisiveness and that through being given choices one is in fact being given digital choices of which are binary in construction. But as regards binary I identify as non binary and that through well what I feel about myself and the science of my being and that identity was motivated through the gender identity clinic I attend where I was amazed to be given a third choice with which to be identified with and given that third choice comes from an authoritative source, I am at last happy with my identity although others may see male but what others have to remember is no book can ever be judged by it's cover alone if at all.

As to how I dance, I just dance where it has been remarked by a teacher that I appear to be well in touch with my feminine side of which was considered unusual becasue it was held male dancers major in upper body work, where I don't, in fact I have no upper body strength or musculature, I major in and love hip movement where I am just miffed I am unlike the majority of us and I am in touch with hundreds world wide, language allowing, I don't have the hips to accentuate the appearance of the movement and so to accentuate I force a long range of which is good anyway in that it is stretching exercises enhancing flexibility in dance at least.

Honestly though I feel a lot of my issues are because of the way I feel about myself in that in the past it concerned me that I had to fit in, be what I appeared and what that entailed of which did not come naturally to me and I had to observe other males to ' get a clue ', where my execution of what I believed I saw never quite turned out as it should be and it is this not being intuitively male that made me feel as I did. But since I made a major decision a few weeks ago I am finding I don't want to fit in to a societal constructed model anymore, I just want to be me.



Many of us even consider ourselves as a bridge between male and female,
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
As others have pointed out, dance is a HUMAN activity. The idea that this dance excledes males is an artificial construct created by the commercial entertainment industry at the begining of the last century. Before that it was quite common to find men of all gender expressions performing and even today, men of all gender expressions dance socially. In 2005 I was in Cairo and hanging out on a boat where the locals go to enjoy themselves. The owners hire street kids to dance to attract a crowd before they set sail on a 20 min spin on the Nile. The boat I was on had a group of very flamboyant young queens dancing for the crowd. They were all done up with bufont hair dos, eye lashes and the whole 9. When some guy took offense and decided he was going to bash one of the queens, it was the veiled women who got up first and blocked him from getting at the kid, then the men followed. Not to say that gender bending or homosexuality is exactly condoned, but the real people have always understood that there were shades of grey between male and female and allowed a space for them to exist. So cut yourself some slack and just dance to enjoy life. The dance is for everyone, regardless of whether they are male female or something inbetween.
 

Amulya

Moderator
(and if your own teacher is pushing the By Women for Women bullshit - maybe you could consider a new teacher!)
I so agree with this! Can't stand that sort of nonsense

I major in and love hip movement where I am just miffed I am unlike the majority of us and I am in touch with hundreds world wide, language allowing, I don't have the hips to accentuate the appearance of the movement and so to accentuate I force a long range of which is good anyway in that it is stretching exercises enhancing flexibility in dance at least.
You don't need to have a certain hip shape to accentuate the movement, just having hips is what's needed :) Male dancers have different hips but that doesn't make their hip movements any less good. I used to be extremely skinny and used to think that I didn't have the correct hip shape and that movements didn't look right on me, so I would do them a lot bigger, but I found out that wasn't necesairy at all (other dancers and my students pointed that out to me)
 

walladah

New member
I share Amulya's view on technique

Everybody has a different body shape and the part of body we have with tiny muscles are the ones we need to work more for the dance, just for the sake of improving our dance and harmonious movement and not for the sake of any masculinity or feminity model.

So, you can dance if you can walk. You are not supposed to fit a certain way of gender style of oriental dance, for it does not exist really. Stating that you want to be you, that is the very basis of everything. You may explore videos of dancers, of any gender, who dance using upper and lower bodies to express themselves and pick up which ones you like as role models or teachers. Better to invest in a one-in-a-life time workshop with a dancer you like very much than wander to worry about dancing like A or B because they are males. Personally, i have learned great things from teachers with completely different bodies than my own shape type [not only because of different gender but because this is how they are born and i am born and we have to accept this as an advantage]. Believe me, the good teacher will assist you to dance with YOUR body and style and not with the imaginary-expected body and style people might stereotypically want from you.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
IMNSHO, its better to work at being the best DANCER you can be, and don't worry about so-called "femininity", which is 90% cultural baggage and thus meaningless. Be YOURSELF - only YOU can do it!
 
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