Neon's Sensual Goddess

Farasha Hanem

New member
:( I didn't mean to kill the topic. I'm sorry if I hurt any feelings. Neon's teaching style doesn't fit me, and her choice of music in her "Instant Bellydancer" DVD didn't appeal to me at all. As my teacher, Darshiva, tells me though, "you can at least learn something useful from even the instructional DVD's that don't appeal to you," so I'll probably give them another go at a future time.
 

atisheh

New member
:( I didn't mean to kill the topic. I'm sorry if I hurt any feelings. Neon's teaching style doesn't fit me, and her choice of music in her "Instant Bellydancer" DVD didn't appeal to me at all. As my teacher, Darshiva, tells me though, "you can at least learn something useful from even the instructional DVD's that don't appeal to you," so I'll probably give them another go at a future time.
Oh, it's okay! I love Instant Bellydancer, but I think it's a veeeeery specific kind of program for a particular kind of brain. I like it for refreshing movement (I did a review of it here) but it doesn't have much of the "flow" of oriental dance, nor do you learn how to connect moves.

Overall, I think WDNY are brilliant DVDs pedagogically, but not musically.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Neon isn't a favorite of mine. On the dvd I saw, her instructions were nice and clear but her music and style did little for me.

Whenever I see the word "goddess" used in conjunction with belly dance, I automatically deduct ten points. ;)
 
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lilya

Member
I've just ordered this DVD set... After reading a few older threads, especially this one and http://bellydanceforums.net/threads/1032-Neon-DVDs, I watched a trailer for one of Neon's DVDs and I was a bit surprised (pleasantly) by something about the way she talks - it's sort of familiar and yet not quite :), aside from the accent that's very likely in the neighbourhood of mine (based on hearing my compatriots')... In the meantime I figured this "je ne sais quoi" might be something akin to a way of expressing what feels like authentic warmth but with an underlayer of discipline (I am not particularly articulate). Now this DVD and "First Steps for Total Beginners" were on my list, but the latter seemed a bit "busy" visually, judging by the trailer alone, so I figured it may not be the best choice for me. Then it jumped at me on Jenna's website that Neon was her student (I have access to Jenna's "Bellydance and Beyond" as a streaming video and absolutely love it) and, long story short, now "Sensual Goddess" should be on its way over in physical form. :)

("Goddess" is not a big selling point for me either, although I do own Dolphina's "Goddess Workout - Cardio Bellydance" DVD, grabbed from a pile of giveaways a few years ago and yet to be watched.)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I had Dolphina's dvd. Put it in the traveling goodie box for someone else since I, um, was not impressed. That video traveled the entire country and was only taken out by the last person on the list... who donated it to a thrift shop. ;)
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Thank you for the review. I had it on my wish list but now I just bumped it to the top.

Maybe it's me but Neon was the one thing that really worked for me when I was first learning. I tend to be very analytical (that is why I love Ava Flemings Sizzlin' series) and I would practice to Neon's "Instant Bellydancer" DVD every day for months and months. She just explained things in a way that I got.
 

ElizabethArena

New member
Old thread, but I really like Neon. I returned to belly dance with her Love Potion DVD (and I’m still working through it). She explains the moves very well (almost too thoroughly sometimes, but it’s good to keep at the technique). I find her voice rather soothing. It’s the one thing that improved my posture tremendously and for that I’m grateful.
Regarding the use of goddess, I was just thinking about this the other day (not having seen this post btw) and I thought ‘why not’?’. With women being cancelled, and girls having such issues with self-esteem, pressures, etc, it’s good to be reminded that once upon a time in the Western world, divine forces were represented as women and worshiped.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Why not? Because it has become a commercial cliché, along with "warrior" or worse yet, "warrior goddess." Who says so? Me, the Divine Empress of the Whole Freaking Universe. 👑

With inflation, I now deduct 15 points every time I see the word "goddess" used in conjunction with belly dance.

Since I am magnanimous and grok the populace's need for spirit and ego bolstering in these harsh times, I will grant to simple non-commercial folks the right to use the term "demigoddess" when expressing their inner greatness. However, bear in mind that Divine Empress of the Whole Freaking Universe is a personal title, and the Wrath of Goddess shall descend on anyone attempting to usurp it.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
It's not just a commercial cliché. In the BD community, the use of "goddess" sometimes conjures up the idea of a particular type of fakelore-prone dingbat who danced in a very under-informed, self-indulgent bubble.

Mercifully, these "goddess" dancers are not as common as they used to be. I am not referring to dancers who sincerely and thoughtfully practice Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Gaianism, or some other naturalistic religion, or to dancers who do well researched fusion/tableau pieces inspired by archaeology or mythology.

These were dancers who collected bits of low quality information, Orientalist fantasy, unqualified "common knowledge" about non-Western cultures, and random mythological elements to cobble together a personal worldview of the dance. Students today who learn from YouTube on their own certainly have challenges, but back in the pre-internet days, if someone was a self-taught dancer, they truly might not have had a clue and they could have been doing all sorts of craziness under the label of "belly dance." Some of the "goddess" dancers started out in legitimate classes, but flounced when the teacher made "unreasonable" demands like "waiting until you knew what you were doing before accepting professional gigs" and "not propagating offensive, outdated stereotypes about Middle Easterners." The "goddess" dancers were the teachers spreading unsubstantiated or debunked nonsense about the origins of belly dance and misleading students by passing off multi-ethnic fusion as something it was not. They defined "authenticity" as "whatever they authentically felt."

TO BE CLEAR, I am not criticizing people who practice non-Abrahamic religions. I am not criticizing dancers who do fusion when they obviously promote themselves as fusion dancers. And we have all made a few naive, cringey mistakes before we knew better. I am talking about dancers who habitually called themselves experts when they were not, who made up what they did not bother to learn, and who misled students and the public because they thought their fervent desire to follow their proto-feminist, semi-antiquity-based muse excused everything else.

There were a few "goddess" dancers under the umbrella of AmCab who were perhaps not always my personal cup of tea, but they were legitimate artists who worked at their craft with integrity and diligence, and they made it clear that they weren't trying to present any sort of specific, ethnic representation of belly dance. The stereotypical "goddess" dancer, on the other hand, bought whole hog into the philosophy "Unless you have the dance in your heart, skill and technique are useless things to a dancer," largely because it accelerated your pace to presenting yourself as a professional if you didn't have to waste time on stuff like "skill" and "technique."

 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I find the use of the definition applied to oneself of "goddess" as funny, like we are all creatures of fairy tales. Personally, I get more gratification when I am able to accomplish many things, especially learning how to dance correctly. But if it works for others, so be it.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I've been depicted as a fairy before - and not in the homosexual sense. A dance sister did an artwork for me once, wings and all. An event promoter was famous for "if you don't send in a bio, we'll make something up!" - so I told her to "Make something up..." Apparently, I was born under a toadstool and was raised by fairies - who knew? :ROFLMAO:
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I've had a few hosts who made up stuff whether you submitted a bio or not. Most dancers were not pleased since what they submitted is what they wanted, and many times made up bios aren't too flattering.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I, in common with a LOT of dancers, absolutely HATE coming up with Bios. One of my dance sisters here got tired of hearing the same damn thing at every show, so she wrote me another one. I've been using it ever since - I'm waiting for her to get tired of that one too! :ROFLMAO:
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Yeah, I get tired of them too, and when the same people are at the same events all the time, why do we need one? Just announce the name and a couple of yada yadas and we're good to go!
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
"Tonite Zorba will be performing the Xarritzoume, the traditional birthing/fertility dance of Whoknowswhereistan that involves juggling 5 flaming swords while playing 2 sets of finger cymbals with different rhythms and performing multiple Whoknowswhereistanian drops. That's just the introduction, wait until he blah, blah, blah... Anyone wishing to tip Zorba with $20 or greater is invited to join him on the stage."

Whatever. I'm more inclined to go with "Zorba, 'The Veiled Male' hopes you enjoy his performance tonite."
 
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