Picture/Video of Performance

BD Fan

New member
Hi all, I am new here and I am a fan of dance. This past weekend I was at a local street festival here in the San Fran area.

There were several groups performing dance, I had my video camera with me so I taped the performances. Out of six groups of dancers only one group asked me not to video tape them.

I was wondering what most of you dancers feel about getting video taped.

I have been to many BD festivals and I understand why thy don't want video done because they have their own video person and they sell they tapes to the performers.

I might add that this performance I attended this weekend was in a public park, no admission, it had a lot of vendors, bands playing music and different type of dancers and other types of shows.

I would just like your input as I don't wish to cross any boundries?

I love to watch your dancing,


New member
If I am at a public show I don't mind being video taped, just so long as the tape is for personal use only.

If my teacher sees someone with a really fancy high quality video camera shes asks them not to film though, because shes had people film without her permission and have those images turn up on a local tv program and they gave all sorts of missinformation about her troupe and about belly dance which in turn made her and the dance look bad.

Aisha Azar

New member

Dear BD Fan,
I have no issues with being filmed as long as people first ask my permission and as long as the video is not being put up for sale. However, I also understand why people ask not to be filmed without their permission and why they want to retain control of any video in which they are performing or teaching. Sometimes some very strange things can heppen with video and even with photos, so that is why some of us are very restrictive about it.


Super Moderator
Yeah, like having someone make a video of your lifetime worst performance and posting it on youtube as representative of your abilities. I wonder how many of the poor performances we see on these sites were posted without permission or knowledge.


New member
Yeah, like having someone make a video of your lifetime worst performance and posting it on youtube as representative of your abilities. I wonder how many of the poor performances we see on these sites were posted without permission or knowledge.
I agree with this coment I keep seeing coments in you tube about bad performances, from people that don't know nothing about belly dance, and this can damage the dance and the dancers reputacion, now any body can film you and post your video for rating without your permission, and this is very unfair and unethical


New member
video of performance

I usely agree if it is somebody from the function it self...to keep as souvenir....but agree only for 5 minutes not the whole show...anybody else has to ask permission...i have pulled out many times electric wires from soccets while i was performing from camera people ,that just walk in and start to film like tv channels are the pitts ,...sometimes just walk in plug in and film i think it is not good that people can just walk in and film....But here we dont have like open festivals enz when everybody can just walk in and film i think it is not so cool....Lydia


New member
Although I am not a professional performer, but on the other side, the one of the viewer, this is what I’d like to say on this matter: when you go to the opera or to see a theatrical play or a classical ballet you do not film the interpreters, the actors, the singers or the dancers. Same here: this is an act, a performance. This is somebody’s work you are watching, somebody’s art. Because dancing is a form of expressive art. Or artistic expression, but here we go into another subject.
So it would be much much better if the person willing to film asks the performer. And sticks to the performer permission or rejection afterwards.


New member
I usely agree if it is somebody from the function it self...to keep as souvenir....
This is something that I have no problems with either, especially if it is being filmed by a family member etc or on behalf of one of the performers. I'm not sure how I'd feel about just anyone filming though.. I guess it would depend on the individual situation


New member
it's unfortunate but strange things do happen to pictures and video on the internet.... and not just nasty comments on youtube, either......
I've heard a few humiliating and sometimes degrading stories of manipulated footage/photos....


New member
I love YouTube

Hi BD fan. I recognize your name from Youtube. I have a hard time with Youtube.

On one hand, I*really* enjoy browsing though all the videos of dancers I have never been able to see before because they live accross the country or have yet to be featured by IAMED (and maybe I dont have the funds to own every video in IAMED's library).

I think YouTube can give a dancer great exposure and get his/her name out, if that information has been posted correctly. As an organizer of haflas and workshops and such, or even as a possible attendee, this gives me a better idea of what to expect out of a dancer.

I also think its great for educational purposes in discerning styles. I love when clips have the following info: Name of dancer, style of belly dance, name of the song, dancers location, and even costume designer!

Not to mention, for example, all the clips dancers like Kirabellydancer have posted of dancers from Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, and Russia. Those are gems, in my opinion, and invaluable in terms of education (Im an AmCab dancer). To be able to see and get the feel of what dance is really like over there...wow.

On the other hand, some clips that are posted are copyrighted and its illegal to post them, or some clips have been posted without permission. Then there are posts from 16 year olds about how Raks Assaya is not really belly dance because they have watched Shakira and they know. Blech.

I posted a clip of myself for the Bhuz online hafla, and disabled the comments and ratings. You can also select to approve comments, but I bet youd get a lot of stupid ones, and that could be time consuming.

In sum, I love youtube, but think its best you get the dancers permission before posting. I mean, more than likely they will be happy to get a clip of themselves that they wouldnt have gotten before, and maybe they decline because its not their best work, but yove covered your bases and acted ethically.


BD Fan

New member
I would like to thanks everyone for your input, I posted this question on several other forums also. I have gotten a wide difference of opinions, In a nutshell it boils down to just ask the performer FIRST.

After all that IS the polite thing to do isn't it. What a novel concept.

If you are interested here are a few of my observations from the responses I've gotten - (some of these are based on comments from other places)

* First let me say I have not ever, nor do I plan to post any video to the internet.

* If you are going to perform in front of people be willing to take comments, critical or well wishes with a smile. It's part of the gig. You find some people are do not understand or not able to express intellegent and constructive criticism.

I found a lot of responses love comments about how well they dance but do not enjoy the thoughtless ones. It comes with the territory.

* By the same token, many have expressed that Shakira IS NOT a good dancer or she is not a bellydancer. It is all a matter of opinion so if you don't like critism, Don't critise. For sure, don't take the comments of 16 year olds too seriously.

* Some are concerned about a bad performance being caught on tape, hey stuff happens. Everyone has a bad day. Look at all the sport blooper videos we all love to watch. Take the bad with the good, hopefully there will be more good.

** Then a theme I found in maybe 30% of the responses was - "Just like any professional performance my dance is mine and no one has the right to record it." or a variation of that comment, I even got a reference to a dance being tradmarked. (Well, technically it would be a copywrite)

Most, by far, Most dancers are people having a good time, enjoying themselves with like minded persons. Very few will every become "professional" many people I have spoken with personally at festivals express the fun in sharing, the feeling of openness. This is very nice. In today society we need much more of the open community feel and I congratulate all artists for that contribution.

When legalities are mentioned I must think of one response that I got. The person mentioned that "If you feel like someone is infringing on your dance remember the music you use is copyrighted by someone, are you paying them for the royalties? Copyright law says you must".

Tit for tat.

I am exactly what I said, I am a fan of dancing in general and I really enjoy bellydancing every chance I get. The pics and Videos I take are for myself and friends to enjoy I have no illusions about producing a movie.

I don't mean to offend and I thank you for sharing your thoughts.

- Fan