Dancers’ Newsletter Extra Features! « Halyma

By: Halyma  09-12-2011
Keywords: Belly Dance

Over the years that I have been teaching belly dance, there have been so many variations on the idea of how to present belly dance to the community in fun and interesting ways.

I first saw it when my first teacher held a party at a then locally renowned shawarma restaurant and and had a few other teachers come out and show us newbies how it was done.   It was relaxed and we bought our food and enjoyed the show.

Other events that would happen to showcase belly dance, middle eastern dance and the fusion styles that have emerged have included back yard BBQs, restaurant shows at various places, and staged shows at legions, community centres and gyms, as well as professional theatres like the Bronson Centre and Carleton and Ottawa U theatres, etc.

At every event, there is a certain amount of nerves, and a certain flavour to each event as to how “serious” it is.  I think there are certain things that folks seem to be forgetting in the air of “community” based events.  Most of the folks attending these shows are already part of the larger community, so they are socializing and seeing people they don’t get to see all the time, and that’s great!

There is also an air of encouragement that is a HUGE part of belly dance shows – clapping, zagareets etc to add that special flavour to the evening. These shows and parties are fabulous and meant to support amazing artists and do just that!

Getting up in the middle of someone’s performance to go backstage cause you’ll be dancing soon….

Standing to take pictures of your friend and blocking the view of the people behind you.

Talking during a stage show. A restaurant show has a different feel to it and if you cannot see the dancer anyway, you will probably chat, but…

A new one: having your ipod/iphone on to text/tweet etc and the glow is so bright it shows up on the performance video later  {this is kinda funny to me, but I know it can be distracting to those sitting nearby}.

Shooting pics and video and putting them publicly online sans permission or worse, using Facebook, where once you post your stuff there, it’s theirs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and use it, but I no longer post photos there, especially my performance ones, as they would then own all of the rights and could license their use to anyone they choose and that is not cool, so I don’t feed the monster { I know, I am not a celebrity- it’s the point of the matter, not that it’s me} there is more to this and I hope someone can add something in the comments to make this issue even more clear to people.

I make an effort to respect people’s privacy by choosing an online system that allows me to control who sees the photos { usually only friends and family until I get permission to open them up for public consumption}, and I retain the rights for use of my photos.

I am not perfect in all of my choices [ youtube is always telling me I  am using copyrighted material in my clips [ this would be the music used for  dance performances, but at least they now are set up to encourage folks to buy the music right away via Itunes], so please understand that as I say in the title, this is opinion – and I wanna hear yours too!

moving on.

There are a lot of things that can be ignored, let slide, etc. at these shows, but one of the things to consider is that you are not alone in your living room and your behaviour can affect other people’s enjoyment of an event.  Another is to consider that many of the dancers at  the more “student ” based shows can get flustered by someone walking on the stage area while they are dancing, chatting up a storm in the audience, or if flashes are going off etc.

I know that we’ve moved to a place beyond the facade of the 50s family that has everyone pretending everything’s perfect, everyone’s polite, everyone’s nice when out in public.  And aren’t there times when being nice and kind and respectful should be the natural choice?

TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS!  Treat this as a way to enlighten in general, not berate in specific, please, I will be reading your posts…

Keywords: Belly Dance

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