This post is going to be a little bit cheeky but it’s about showing everyone just how crazy the stereotypes about bellydancers are that are out there. You would not ( or maybe you would) believe the things I have heard that people believe about bellydancers out there. So this week’s post is my Top 4 Stereotypes about bellydancers.
1) Bellydancers Only Use Their Bellies.
Apparently, the dance is all about our belly. All it is focused on is moving our abdomen in different ways and that’s it. Nothing else is involved. No cultural significance or anything. Do you see what I was saying about being cheeky? Yes, we can use our abdomen in really neat ways but there is so much more to the dance than that!
2) Bellydancers Are Always Made Up.
Did you know that we sit around in full makeup and costume waiting for the phone to ring. I’m serious, I have heard so many times, what do you mean you need time to “get ready.” Contrary to popular belief it does take time to prep for a show. Most of the time we cater our makeup, costuming, and music to the show we have. For instance, you wouldn’t want to use giant wings in a small space, then you’d take out half the audience with a single swish!
3) Bellydancers are Failed Ballet Dancers.
Yep, we all could have been in the national ballet but couldn’t make the cut so we are doing bellydance instead. Who knew? I didn’t know that I had the prospect of a career with the Maryland ballet. I totally forgot to put that on my resume! (sarcasm)
4) Bellydancers are Strippers with Better Costumes.
This one always makes my blood boil. The amount of cultural training that one has to have to bellydance properly and respectfully is not the same as stripping. I am not saying that stripping doesn’t involve skill- have you seen some of the pole work?- but the cultural study is not required. Yes our costumes are amazing but that is not the sum of our art form.
So there you have it, the 4 top things that people think about bellydancers. The next time you let someone know you are a bellydancer you can wonder if one of these are the stereotypes that go through their heads as you say it. If you have your own top 5 to share, please do! I am sure we could all use a good laugh!