(finally, serious politics and dancing :) )
One of the most wonderful things about being a belly dancer in the United States today is meeting the many different people who dance. As a group we are practically a study in diversity. We are white, black, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indian. We are Muslim, Christian, Pagan, Jewish and Buddhist. We dance tribal, ethnic, cabaret, raks sharki, gypsy and as yet unnamed modern forms of belly dance. We are single, we are parents, we are widows, we are married. We are straight, bi, lesbian, gay and transgendered. We bust stereotypes for breakfast. Our diversity unites us because the dance binds us all together. Belly dance and one other thing: When we dance we have perfect control over our own bodies.
Off the dance floor, slowly but surely, that control is being taken back by the federal government.
There is a Pro-choice march in Washington DC on April 25th. Info and directions can be found at marchforchoice.org. The women of the Bad Raqsan’e Sahra dance troupe of Massachusetts will be there. We are planning on dancing, as our way of marching, in this protest. We don’t want to do it alone. We know there are thousands of dancers out there who are also concerned about the eroding right to control our own bodies in this country. We feel it is time for our community to find our voice and speak, through dance, of what is important to us.
Besides, the image of a thousand belly dancers shaking their hips at the White House to protest their control of our bodies is just too awesome for words.
Please bring: Your troupe, your dance friends, yourself. A hip scarf, the jinglier the better. This is how we will know you want to dance with us. Any drummer who wants to come along and set the beat. Proper footwear and warm clothing. (It’s April… who knows how warm it will be?)
Please leave behind: Your ego. Whether you have been dancing for 20 years or 20 days, the point is to dance together, as equals, with one vibe, one voice of protest, one collective no.
Meet us on the Mall in Washington DC between 3rd and 14th street starting anytime after 10:00 am on Sunday April 25th. Look for the jingly belts or ask the volunteers for our delegation, the “Belly Bus”. The March starts at 12:00 noon. We hope to see you there!
With much love and shimmies,
Dervishspin, Simoon, and the ladies of Bad Raqsan’e Sahra
for more information, bellybus