What's acceptable and what's not

sjoanda

New member
I've had a somewhat testy conversation with a friend of mine, over an image I maintain isn't acceptable as the main image on a poster advertising adult-only classes.

Am I right in thinking this isn't suitable, or do I need to go and apologise and hang my head in shame?bellydancer.jpg

Thanks!
 

Dunyah

New member
Personally, I don't like it as an image for advertising belly dance classes. Isn't there a nice photo of the instructor that could be used? Much more personable and representative of what is actually going to happen.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
It's not as bad as some that have been used by newspapers for my classes, but not really the image you want projected for a serious class, no. Also, this is why when I give a description of my classes, I say 'and here are some photos and images that you may use in your advertising' - works a treat!
 

Munniko

New member
This is just me, but when I see that image and think if it was used to advertise a class....I wouldn't go. It seems like this is a class for beautiful or fit people to be graceful together. I very rarely feel graceful and I've now past the one year mark in belly dancing and have been doing other dance styles for over four years. I would much rather go to a class where the poster featured the teacher and a description of the class, or a way to get to the instructors website where I could read up on their credentials.

I will say I'm not feeling unwelcome because that image is inappropriate, but maybe if they are determined to use a drawing, pick one with a skirt under the dance belt? It is kind of awkward when new students show up to class with only a dance belt covering their undies because they didn't know better.
 

Aniseteph

New member
ITA with what's already been said. An image like that would make me wonder about the teacher's take on belly dance. Is this teacher going to tell new students that belly dance is not wafting about in harems? You'd hope so, but then why use an image that reinforces all that?

And if I didn't have a clue what belly dance was about it would put me off too. I don't identify with that image and it would not make me feel that this was a class I might be able to have a go at.
 
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Duvet

Member
Using that image conjures up for me the idea that the class is aimed only at the young and thin female who wishes to feel good about her youth and beauty whilst dressed in her underwear. Linked to the words 'adult-only' and the image also creates an impression of sexual seduction or titillation. But advertising this in Northumberland just makes me laugh. The image is a fantasy caricature, and neither matches the realities of human anatomy, normal dance wear (stockings? - really?) nor the English weather. But it does look fun.

But is it acceptable/suitable? Its not an image I would identify with, either when a beginner or now as a more experienced dancer. And it's not an image I recognize as accurately portraying the people I see bellydancing in my dance community (I am assuming that this is an image for a belly-dance class??). Its a fantasy image, so I would conclude the class would consist of some form of made up fantasy idea of bellydance, based upon what sells rather than on what teaches. An image like that would have made me feel (and would still make me feel) unwelcome in the class before I'd even made any further enquiries. It doesn't portray the dance as I know it, and looks to me to pander to an orientalist and sexualised fantasy of bellydance.

But it really does depend on what image the teacher is trying to portray, or the type of student it is aimed at. Perhaps it is aimed only at the young, thin female who wishes to look body confidant whilst wearing very little. If it was advertised at a gym or at a university maybe it would be demographically accurate for the people who might be attracted to the class. Perhaps the teacher does want the image of bellydance to be of young women dancing for sexual titillation, or at least feels that that is one aspect of it that needs to be promoted. Perhaps the teacher expressly wishes to avoid any older students turning up, or any overweight students, or students who lack a degree of body confidence, or who might have some pre-existing knowledge about the dance and its background.

But not having any idea about what the content of the class will be, nor who it is aimed at, I can't really comment on whether it is suitable for purpose. Perhaps its an appropriate image, but its the term 'bellydance' that shouldn't be used? :rolleyes:
 
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Sirène

New member
I've had a somewhat testy conversation with a friend of mine, over an image I maintain isn't acceptable as the main image on a poster advertising adult-only classes.

Am I right in thinking this isn't suitable, or do I need to go and apologise and hang my head in shame?View attachment 9829

Thanks!
It's suitable if the target audience is video-game-playing, manga-reading, anime-watching teen males. :lol: Personally, I can't get past the 8-instead-of-10 fingers. :rolleyes:
 

BeatriceC

New member
I agree that this is a "fantasy" image, and would not be suitable for advertising a class that is aimed at being inclusive and welcoming to all students.

BUT I do think we should remember that many of our students come to us originally because they've got some fantasy idea in their head about what BD is. Hopefully, we educate them, so that they learn about the reality rather than the fantasy. But the fantasy is often what got them interested in the first place, so I don't think we should be knocking that as an element of marketing of our classes. Yes it should be handled correctly and it shouldn't be the principal marketing idea, but I do believe there is a place for allowing our students a little fantasy in their lives.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
She is wearing a garter belt and stockings.

Maybe it's a new version of the tribal fusion leggings attached to shorts with garters? ;)
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
It's more burlesqish than bellydance I think. I also think it would be nicer if she used a photo of herself in a nice costume.
~Mosaic
 

LadyLoba

New member
A picture of the instructor would be better...or even better yet...have a couple of the students put on their performance costumes and do a hip lift with their arms in the S arms position, and photograph it from the "hip lift" side. That way people will be able to see something they will actually learn in the class...but also keep the fantasy element of the pretty costumes. I'm not in love with that graphic either...mainly because of the garter belts. It looks like she's stripping.
 

Yame

New member
When I see this picture, I don't see or think "belly dance." I don't think it's inappropriate per se (sure, she's scantily-clad, but no more than someone at the beach would be, and many belly dance costumes nowadays are nearly as revealing as that), it just doesn't conjure up thoughts of a belly dancer, so on those grounds I don't think it's effective as an advertisement for a belly dance class.
 

Zanbaka

New member
When I come upon a situation like this, where I may be questioning my gut instinct, I ask myself the following questions:

Does this represent Bellydance in the best possible light? Does this best represent me as an ambassador of this often misunderstood art form?

Being an ambassador of the dance may not be a big priority for her, but maybe you could pose this question to her in a tactful way?
 
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sjoanda

New member
When I come upon a situation like this, where I may be questioning my gut instinct, I ask myself the following questions:

Does this represent Bellydance in the best possible light? Does this best represent me as an ambassador of this often misunderstood art form?

Being an ambassador of the dance may not be a big priority for her, but maybe you could pose this question to her in a tactful way?
Thank you Zanbaka, that's a fantastic way of thinking about things- In fact, I'm going to print that out and put it on my wall as a motto :)

It's actually me running the classes, and a friend who I'd asked to give me a fresh perspective on poster layouts :)

Thank you everyone for your advice :)
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Drag friend along to said classes and make her work her butt off. When she realises how much hard work it is, there'll be an apology. ;)
 

Amulya

Moderator
I don't see that picture as belly dance either. If I didn't know what belly dance was and saw that picture I'd think it's some kind of class about seduction, burlesque and stripping.
 

Wylfenne

New member
Yep, pretty much what everyone else has already said... if I were currently shopping for a class and teacher, I would not be inclined to want to have anything to do with someone that used that sort of image to represent her class. I hate to be so negative but the whole point of advertising is to tell the world what you have to offer... and I would immediately think that the instructor did not have enough maturity, knowledge and respect of the dance to teach me anything I would want to know, otherwise she would use a more appropriate image... of herself or an image more accurately descriptive.

That being said, most unfortunately, if I were absolutely naive and knew nothing about the dance and had NO idea about what belly dance really is, and just wanted to start somewhere, an image like this would probably not scare me away entirely... because I just wouldn't know better. :(
 
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