I’m going to be addressing a lot of uncomfortable topics in 2019 on my blog. One of them is the business side of dance and how it relates to bellydance in it’s current form- economically and personally. I know it’s not a pleasant thought but in the last year, bellydance has waned in the US. The severity varies on the area but I think that it is indeed happening everywhere to some degree. It has gone “out of fashion” for the moment. Bellydance has changed. But it is all it’s change, or is it ours?
In a fitness capacity, it is being replaced by other forms of dance fitness, there are fewer classes, workshops etc. And this is not necessarily a bad thing, as dancers take on different roles in their lives but do you think it will hit a recycle point? That it will come back around? shiny and new? Maybe. Perhaps it will morph into less fitness or more fitness. Or maybe one style over another. Or maybe it is the world’s way of getting us dances to be more creative or more niche in our art form.
No one ever wants to talk about it. No one ever wants to say, OK, this isn’t working as my business I need to change. Change is hard. Whether it be modifying your dance or perhaps no longer dancing. I am not saying you have to give it up but perhaps it becomes less a part of your life or turns into a hobby. I don’t want to be sad in that way but I also want to say it’s OK. No one needs my permission to let go but maybe they do. Maybe they need to read a blog post saying that is OK to take a step back or to take a sabbatical. It is OK to figure out what you want to do next or if dance will work with the next part of your life. everything grows and changes, dance should too. It is OK if it’s not the same as it was 10 years ago. It can still be in your life but a different form. Just as you would change in a more traditional job, you should change in your dance job as well.
I can say personally that dance for me now is not the same as it was when I started, heck even in the last 5 years it’s not the same. I choose different gigs to say yes to, different classes to teach or not to teach, costuming, all of it. It feels weird at times because change is hard but then I have to say to myself. I have changed and grown as an individual, why would I expect my art not to? If you look at any artist’s career, their art changes with them. Their style, their persona, it all changes. There is no good or bad, just different. So if you’re thinking about making a change in your dance career, go ahead! Whether belly dance is on an up-swing or down-swing, just make sure that however it changes, it works for YOU.
This is just my two cents on the matter. I would love to hear your experiences. Please feel free to comment with them below!