Category Archives: Politics of Dancing

An appeal

with the new year, i’ve done some reflecting, and i’ve come to some unpleasant conclusions…. so i’m going to make an oblique, broad request to the dance “community.” stop finding reasons and excuses not to do something, and do something. … Continue reading

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American Dance Slam Alert

from the better business bureau, American Dance Slam (ADS) Event in Atlanta, GA a Sham.

The organizer behind ADS is Todd Fischer who, operating under the name American Dance Force, has already been known for booking dance events that never occurred and then failing to make restitution to those who had paid to attend. Where his previous forays were relatively small it’s possible that the impact from ADS could be substantial.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office would appreciate knowing Mr. Fischer’s whereabouts. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of this scam, please contact the Indiana AG’s office by calling: (317) 232-6201 or going to:

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Copeland playing fast with the media

I don’t often make public statements about specific players in this business of dance, but this time I felt compelled to put it on the record. Before I do, let me say that I don’t have any problem with the Bellydance Superstars or their approach to business or dance. What I have a problem with is something a bit more subtle.

Circulated to their promotional email list and also found on this page [if you jump over the registration hurdles] you will find the following set of quotes from the media, posted by Stipko, “website admin” for the Bellydance Superstars:

* “The most important dance troupe in the world.” – Sunday Times / London

* “Gorgeous, spiffily dressed, skilled dancers…sheer genius.” – Village Voice – New York – 3/12/04

* “Bellydancing is the next riverdance.” – Daily Telegraph / London
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Bellydance sportsmanship?

an interesting idea…

Nadiyah’s presents The Sportsmanship Awards

other than kitiera appearing decidedly sportswomanly, i think it’s a great idea…

I am a serious artist and athlete. I don’t have time for petty dramas and nasty politics.

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najla goes underground to film second video

having faced a “wave of criticism” and having her singing license revoked by the egyptian musicians union, najla has resorted to secrecy to film her second video.

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the value of community

this deserves a tip-o-the-blog…

I don’t know if you are aware, but I am organizing a contingent of belly dancers to attend and dance in the April 25th March for Choice in Washington DC. More info about our delegation can be found here: Belly Bus

As part of encouraging people to show up to the march and dance with us, Simoon and I have had to contact (read as spam) about 1000 dancers in all 50 states.

Without exception, every dancer, regardless of their views on the abortion issue, have responded positively and with an outpouring of support. We have had several women tell us that they would not be attending because they do not agree with our cause, but in each case the women have wished us love, luck and good dancing. We have not had one flame. Not one.

I am so humbled by the professional, respectful response of the belly dance community that I am near tears as I write this. I don’t know of another group of people who would have responded as politely as you have all done to a subject that has been so divisive to the rest of the country. It makes me believe that dance and art truly can heal the world.

I feel honored to be a member of this community and of the greater belly dance community.

Happy Hips to you all

dervishspin is one of the prime movers behind the bellybus (previously mentioned here).

one of the things that makes this community of dancers such a pleasure to spend time with… is their amazing sense of support for each other. Continue reading

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another forbidden dance

shan brought this to my attention a while ago….

if you’re dancing and someone decides that it’s “repulsive to public taste and morality and likely to cause fear and annoyance” you, too, might be banned…

of course, if you are, you’re all welcome to come dance in my seekrit, secure, undisclosed location. i’ll make crepes. Continue reading

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Introducing the Bellybus

(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 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 Continue reading

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holy breakdancing, batman

“In an unusual spectacle at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II presided over a performance of break-dancers who leaped, flipped and spun their bodies to beats from a tinny boom box.”

— ap via cnn. Continue reading

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Exploring the attitudes in Egypt

Symphony in Motion? Ancient Tradition? Or Just Tacky? (new york times, registration requested)

this article becomes news as the Egyptian court rejects an appeal from foreign dancers to lift the January 1 ban (mentioned here in September). Continue reading

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