Bellydance Blogging

July 8, 2008

I have not shared anything much about my personal interests so far, except my fascination with stand-up comedy. Well, belly dance also brings me real joy both as a spectator and as a dancer. It is definitely a more participatory and active hobby than comedy. I have seen tons of bellydance videos for learning purposes and enjoyment on YouTube.

Comedy and bellydance are my two richest collections of online videos. I have spent too many hours browsing and collecting bellydance videos, so, here are a couple of my most favourite. This is Sadie from Wisconsin and her performance is excellent.

Sadie has very precise movements and great execution, but compare her to the emotion that comes across from an actual Egyptian belly dancer – Dina, who is not that big on sophisticated movement isolation. Her technique is rather subtle.

I love both performances and, if I could merge them into one, that would be my ultimate belly-dance dream achievement! 

Belly dance is a celebration of feminity* and an incredible workout. The Western world has perceived belly dance as revealing and erotic for a long time before it became a popular activity for many women in the US and Europe. In the Middle East belly dance also has had a controversial image. The best description I’ve ever heard of it said: “Everyone loves it, dancers are the stars, but no one would like their son to marry a belly dancer or their daughter to become one.”

People in the Arab world dance belly dance with genuine enjoyment and emotion – both men and women. This is what you would rarely see in the West, which has taken belly dance and has placed it in the gym or dance studio and on the stage. It is not something they’d play at a wedding party here, for example. For one thing – we don’t get the lyrics of Arabic music. So, in this respect belly dance will never completely yield itself to western representation. Hm, when I think of it “raqs sharqi” (Arabic for “belly dance”) literally means “dance of the east”.

I find myself somewhere in the middle between these two ends, because music in Bulgaria (both traditional and popular) has taken its influences from the Middle-East and I can relate to bellydance rythm and melodies. I have been taking belly dance classes for over two years now. I have looked up plenty of web info about the origin and history of the dance, but was never able to find good blogs that are still “alive”. How difficult could it be to keep a blog, dedicated to dance, interesting and engaging? Today I found one – a pretty good blog with many links and resources, but also coming from a truly committed American belly dancer. Bellydance: Experinces is written by Natalia from St. Louis in Missouri and is interesting to like-minded readers. Perhaps I should consider setting up my own bellydance blog.

* Guess what – the best and most renowned belly-dance instructors in the world are… men.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: