Gilded Serpent presents...
Happy To Be Me:
Dancing Without Shame--
Recognizing Beauty & Potential Within
by Nisaa Elon
always loved to dance! Music and movements free and
revitalize my creative spirit, and they alleviate me from stress
of my day. Trying Belly dancing is one experience for which
I am thankful that I gave myself permission --because within Belly
dance, no inherent limitations about size, shape, age, etc. govern
or control one. Belly dancing can strengthen your mind, as well
as your body and soul.
worry about comparing myself to others.
spend my energy educating myself about the different styles and
techniques of Belly dance, and I stretch my boundaries to derive
unique performances through innovative presentations. Dancers
with more experience than I inspire me to continue in my studies
by observing their growth. They give me hope that, in time,
I can achieve whatever goals I desire also, --even though I know
that it won't happen over night.
may look at me as a dancer and ask themselves how I can dance
in public being the ample size that I am, or perhaps they might
wonder why I don't feel some need to be covered by costuming from
head to toe. All my life I have been sliding between various
thing that remained the same throughout was that I love myself
for who I am. How I might be described on the exterior
is only a small part of my self, and I consider myself a work
of art in progress.
I grow older, there is no reason why I shouldn't dance -as long
as my body is still strong enough to do so. Likewise, whether
my size is a four or twenty-four, why shouldn't I be able to enjoy
the benefits and pleasure I derive from Belly dancing? Certainly,
I should not excuse myself just to satisfy somebody else's issues!
(Whose life is this anyway?) Undoubtedly,
someone will comment that I'm not small enough, tall enough, or
good enough for his special approval. It's not about what's
good enough for that disapproving person; it's about what's
good for me.
way of thinking, dancing is about having fun. Therefore,
if I'm having a good time dancing, why would I worry about the
criticisms of "nay" say-ers? I have decided to be happy
with who I am --wherever I am in my journey of life-and, Baby,
I am enjoying the ride!
in promoting the positive aspect of belly dancing: the fun,
the self-empowerment, as well as the health benefits that it offers.
I have found living healthy is more important than
looking "fit," and, let's face this fact: what's
considered the typical American idealization of a Belly dancer's
appearance is not necessarily the perception of beauty in the
countries from which this dance originated. Additionally,
not all audiences appreciate the same attributes in dancers.
So "Vive la difference!"
is the spice of life and we must celebrate and appreciate
the diverse selection of dancers. By doing so, we glorify all
womankind and the truth that all women are beautiful -each in
her own way.
hope is that we each find the strength to free ourselves from
old stereotypes, prejudices, excuses, and self-deprivation. Wouldn't
it be a miracle if we women all began to embrace, encourage, and
support everyone who has found the courage to express herself
in this positive way? In an esoteric sense, we are all sister
in the dance and there is no real competition when a dancer
expresses through her own style of dance. From my vantage
point, no matter wherever one might fall on the skill level, height
chart, weight scale, or complexion range; whether one has blemishes,
scars, tattoos, piercings, or freckles, I hope that the main thing
you see when I dance, is:
so happy to be me.
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Democracy Skips First Amendment! Report
by Lynette, Editor
second call, a few minutes later, warned me not to come to Rakkasah
About my teacher Magana Baptiste
by Horacio Cifuentes
the time when her husband placed second in the Mr. America body
building contest, and mind you, these were the days when body
builders took no steroids and were true examples of healthy humans,
Magana placed first runner up in the Miss USA beauty competition
held in Los Angeles in 1951.
October 16-17, 2004,
photos and text by Amy Luna Manderino
Festival lived up to it's name, with two days of creative and
innovative dance that broke the mold and showed the versatility
of American Bellydance.
The Folk Tours Dance & Music Camp
Review by Piper (and baby pics too!) Photos by Carl Miller,
upon a time, in far away lands, I performed five shows a night,
seven nights a week to great live music. I don’t miss the
wily club owners, late nights, or cigarette smoke, but I do miss
The BDSS Experience and Miles Copeland;
Doing What He Does Best by Sausan
though Miles Copeland’s vision is similar to that of mine
and the majority of belly dancers I have canvassed in my lifetime,
he and I differ in our mission approach to elevating the dance,
and this is where the discussion became a heated debate