Why do males dance?

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Aniseteph

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We need to know what gender a person is (or is performing) and if we can't work it out, it unsettles us because we don't know how we're supposed to react.
I think that's my only "problem" with male BD and it's the one that makes me uncomfortable - when it's very androgynous in bedlah-type costumes with very bra-ish tops. Why, I'm not sure. Partly I find it distracting thinking is that a man or a woman.

But more than that it makes me feel somehow excluded, as if his performance is not meant for me - where does THAT come from? I wonder if the root of it is not knowing how to relate to a person who isn't showing the "expected" gender signals.

So, taking the appreciation of the dance itself as read, someone who is clearly a woman dancing I can identify with. Someone who is clearly a man dancing (even in a sequinned crop top) I can read the performance and interpret accordingly, whether it's a feminine style where I'd more identify with him, or a more masculine approach where... well, vive la difference! Call me an Oriental fantasist but I do like a touch of the Arabian Nights come away with me on my camel to my Bedouin tent under the desert stars stuff :rolleyes: Enough perving; I also really like the guys doing a more feminine style too. Khaled rocks...

But a man wearing what is interpreted as a very female costume is making a statement even before he starts dancing... obvious female impersonation aside, I don't know what that statement it is and it gets in the way of my appreciation of the performance. Does he want his gender left out of it - to be viewed as a bellydancer and not a "male bellydancer". It's a shame, but that won't happen if the audience is sitting there thinking is-it-just-me-or-is-that-a-bloke. Equal rights to all things glittery and sequin-tastic? I am 100% behind the universal right to sequins, but they don't have to be on a bra top. Does he wants to be a female bellydancer, in which case I'm not only watching bellydance, I'm also watching gender politics (in my defence I'm a 40 something white middle class small town female, and these things make me nervous:confused: !)

(I went to a Chippendales show once though.:eek: Weird, the audience are very scary. Never mind veil work, it must take real skill to work those trousers with the velcro sides that just rip off in one go. LOL :) )

Enough sequins, time to go iron some shirts.....
 

tim ema

New member
I think you're right on this. Last week it was 35°C here and it was sooo unfair all the guys could take their shirts of and I couldn't. :mad: Hope they'll get a good sun burn ;) :p
Here in Canada, it has been determined by the Supreme Court no less ( ! ) that it is a woman's right to go topless if she chooses. No one ever really does, but I like that fact that we could !

Actually, a couple of years ago there was a woman sitting topless at the restaurant patio next to where I work. A police officer stopped and told her very politely that he knew he couldn't ask her to put her top on, but there has been three near collisions in the intersection !! She laughed - and put a halter top on!....very OT for this thread - but I just had to share! LOL!!

ahem!...back to the topic:
I would like to understand this topic of male dancers more - are there better search terms I could be using on YouTube? Are there other sites I should go to?

:)
AT
 

Moon

New member
I've seen some nice videos on youtube of very talented male dancers, tim'ema.

(When I said I couldn't, I meant I couldn't because I wouldn't feel comfortable. But I don't think it's forbidden in the Netherlands for a woman to walk around topless ;))
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Does he want his gender left out of it - to be viewed as a bellydancer and not a "male bellydancer"?
yes, Yes, YES, *YES*!!!!!

In my case that is very much exactly what I'm after!

My *personal* view is that "masculine" and "feminine" are social constructs - unless we're talking about biology. Most people seem to think my dancing is "masculine" (Video clips on my website BTW). That's fine. If they said it was "feminine", that's fine too. Either way it is *ME*, so if I'm as "feminine" as Britney Spears - well I must accept that as I cannot change who/what I am. Somehow I don't think I'm as "feminine" as Britney Spears... (!)

As for costumes, here's my very latest:



Is it "Masculine"? I think so. Is it "Feminine"? How can it be, it doesn't have bra cups!

What do others think? Be honest, I WON'T be offended!

I'm fully aware that people generally are uncomfortable if they cannot determine gender (I think its a lot of FUN when I can't figure it out!) - but a full on beard will de-"feminize" darn near anything!
 
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Aniseteph

New member
Fabulous wings!

OK in the non BD world (was going to say Real world, but how dull is that?) there are elements who might say it was a "feminine" outfit... but let us leave them to their jeans and T-shirts and corporate suits.

So I don't see this as particularly feminine in male BD terms (even if we ignore the beard :D ). Glitter and fringe and midriffs all goes with the territory because it works with the moves, and I wouldn't expect any particular style of dance based on your the look (apart from belly... start doing a tap routine and I'd be surprised. There's a fusion challenge for you:eek: )

Oh dear. Belly dance world and Real world.:( You know what I mean....

A
xx
 
DaVid, my mouth fell open when I read your comment about people asking you why you don't dance more "masculine". I've seen you dance, in Phoenix last year, and I was AMAZED. I've been around the arts in various forms my whole life, and what you did was NOT -- repeat NOT-- feminine or 'sissy' in any way.

I honestly never dreamed that a man could take the SAME movements and show the power and grace of the masculine form in the same way that we as women show the power and grace of the female form.

Your dancing was honestly the highlight of the show, and I only wish that my husband could have been there to see you dance -- I bought him a ticket but he was working and couldn't get there until after you were done.
Well thank you so much, Suhad! I am flattered to read your generous compliments :)

DaVid
 

Viv

New member
well my two cents worth from my slightly bug spray addled brains (ants decided to invade this morning...grrr)

It never occured to me that I should percieve any differences between a man belly dancing than a woman, other than of course the obvious; skill, presentation, music, audience/dancer interaction, all that which makes a performance enjoyable no matter who is dancing. The human body is beautiful when it dances, no matter what the form, especially if the dancer is enjoying themselves.
I'm going to use DaVid as an example here *grin*
I too saw DaVid in Phoenix last year. He was amazing!! I had no clue who he was when I signed up for the workshop with him, it had just sounded like it would be fun, nor had I ever seen him dance. I was blown away! Amazing sharp skills and he absolutely had the audience eating out of his hand (or hip as the case may be..LOL). I joked to a friend of mine that the tempurature took a sharp rise in the room while he danced (and was eternally grateful I didn't have to follow him!!).
I then got the Showtime DVD a couple of months ago and got to see his performance on that. Same dancer, same skill, totally different reaction from me. To me, the dance was softer, more introspective, a very different dance and dancer than what I saw in person. I kept feeling like I was watching a very personal, quiet moment of dance on the video, verses the very outgoing vibrant dance I saw before. I never really got the feeling it was a feminine dance however, just a quieter dance if that makes sense.
Same dancer, two totally different reactions from me about his dancing. Was one more enjoyable than the other? Perhaps, but that I suspect was due to the difference of live performance verses video than any perception of one being more masculine or feminine than the other.
My 13 year old daughter just made a very good and amusing observation about male belly dancers and costuming. To quote "Male dancers get the most comfortable costuming. No bras to fight with, no powernet to wrestle into, no tons of skirts to wear, no hours on hair and makeup, just a pair of harem pants, a hipbelt, a vest and some jewelery if they want and they look fantastic."
(I truly hope any of what I just posted makes sense *grin*)
 

Selkie

New member
A clip came on the television last night that made me think of this thread. A chap was dancing in a music video (not bellydancing, just dancing) and in a way I thought to be very silly and ludicrous, arms and legs akimbo going everywhere. It looked less like he was dancing and more like his clothes were being invaded by ants *chuckle* I was reminded of the comment about "dancing more like a man", and I thought "If that is how a man is supposed to dance, guys keep dancing like women!" *LOLOLOL*

Zorba, your costume is beautiful! You look like Ra!
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
"Male dancers get the most comfortable costuming. No bras to fight with, no powernet to wrestle into, no tons of skirts to wear, no hours on hair and makeup, just a pair of harem pants, a hipbelt, a vest and some jewelery if they want and they look fantastic."
Snort!

Only partially true!

I have to deal with hair and makeup just like any other Belly Dancer. Granted, I don't have to deal with a bra (Thank Goddess!(I've really come to appreciate the engineering challenge a good bra truely is from associating with you gals)), but all the other "stuff" I go through. What goes with this, what hip treatment, what jewelry, darn - NOTHING works with this veil and I have to use THIS veil tonite. Then I go raid my wife's stash of BD stuff: "Do you have a hip scarf that goes with this?" "Great, except gold coins won't work." "Darn, I guess gold coins will work, but now I have to re-do my jewelry." "&*$#@@^!! My toenails DO NOT go with this costume! Now I have to repaint them and I need to leave NOW!" Blah, blah, blah, - you gals know exactly what I'm talking about. You should see the scene when one of our dance sisters comes over and all three of us are getting ready at the same time! It was so much easier when I was a baby dancer and only had one costume - I knew what I was going to wear. Now I have five costumes and never have any idea!

I've seen more than one guy in power nets, and it might be me someday. I don't generally wear skirts Belly Dancing (I have in some classes) - I figure it would warp the audience's brains beyond the pale. I do however, wear skirts of one sort or another in my mundane life - usually, but not always, the famous "Utilikilt".

And then there's the purely male issue of facial hair - is my beard trimmed neatly?
 

Recnadocir

New member
Hey Zorba,

I'm not sure if its the wings that terrify me, or your exceedingly red eyes. Truly malevolent, and I commend you. I would spill Cabernet to propitiate you, if I hadn't already drunk it all.

Stay away from my sheeps in that get up, y'hear?
 
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Amrit

New member
Hi Everyone!

I'm Amrit, a fellow bellydancer that happens to be a guy.
I bellydance because it's "just so much fun!:dance: " Do you really need any more of an explanation???:rolleyes:

AmritOnline.com

Check out my pics, videos, and you can see what I wear to perform.
(Ps. I have gotten better costumes since these videos ;) )
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Welcome Amrit!

I'll add your WebPage to my links page.

I do suggest, however, that you remove the auto-play music. It will actually drive visitors AWAY from your site!
 

Recnadocir

New member
It is great fun to belly dance...and the fact that some people get so weirded out that I, a manly man, belly dance makes it even more fun!
 

Recnadocir

New member
It is great fun to belly dance...and the fact that some people get so weirded out that I, a manly man, belly dance makes it even more fun!
 

Aisha Azar

New member
DaVid

Dear Tim'ema,
My dance company sponsored DaVid last Fall in Spokane, WA, and he is a good dancer and a very good teacher, as well as being really fun to hang out with. (Another added benefit is he can help you do that last minute fitting on your costume!!) We are sponsoring another male dancer that I think very highly of in September. Mark Balahadia is a Lebanese style dancer and we are bringing him for a performance and show September 14th/15th. I THINK you can google Mark and get some clips of him to watch.
Regards,
A'isha

OOOHHH...OOOHHHH, and Dear Zorba,
I found a 1998 about 15 minute video clip of Aziz in my stuff the other day, that I did not even know I had. If ever you get up Spokane way you can come over and see it!!
Regards,
A.


Ahh! Thank you! I will certainly check them out!

:)
AT

.....and I shall keep trying different search terms on YouTube, Moon..sounds like I missed some good stuff!
 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Oh, why do you say that?

Ps. Thanks for adding me!
Auto-Play music is a known turn-off. Trust me on this one. Its OK to have an embedded player that a visitor would click to turn ON the music though.

When a site blasts me with unexpected music, I either hit my mute button - or just leave. Many/most other folks are the same.

But you're quite welcome as far as adding your link - I'm always looking for more males to link to! It'll be up in a day or two.
 
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