What NOT to Say When Hiring a Belly Dancer!
Last week this Orlando Belly dancer was on Facebook ,rummaging around, when my curiosity was sparked by a Youtube clip called “I Want to Hire a Belly Dancer”. I viewed it and oh my…kudos to the individuals that made it because it perfectly showcases the epitome of the ignorance that we dancers sometimes come across. I know that not everyone is a belly dance expert out there, and that is fine (that’s our job), but that by no means allows it to be right for individuals to act as if it is acceptable to ask us some very unacceptable things!
*Please note this is not directed to my fans, past clients, or friends…this is just a rant about some of the ignorant callers I have had in the past (I turned down performing at their gigs) and a hilarious video I came across that I think we belly dance lovers will enjoy!*
American cinema and the “cabaret shows” of the olden days definitely made a lasting and partially negative impression of the view of belly dancers and it has been difficult to shake the stereotype to say the least. NO… professional do not gyrate on the floor! NO… we do not jiggle our posteriors in men’s faces! No….I will not dance for free or for some cheap amount at your private event! No… I will not try and pick up your husband when you turn your back. No…I do not take off my clothes!
It is so frustrating when I get calls from strangers asking me to perform at an event where they will also have strippers, or where they want me to meet them at some hotel room (EEEEWWW but I seriously got calls like this). Come on Now!
With the advent of Youtube, belly dance websites, huge belly dance forums, belly dance superstars, even Wikipedia for goodness sakes …there is no reason that if you wanted to at least acquire the true facts about professional belly dancers that you would not be able to. My colleagues and I are working hard to change public perceptions (one person at a time). The stereotypes are getting real old, and there is a lot of really GOOD things happening by PROFESSIONAL belly dancers that should erase any feelings otherwise.
Yes…your children can dance with me. Yes, I only perform at family functions and corporate events. Yes…I have taken extensive training in this art form. Yes….I am in a relationship. Yes….I do this as a profession and it has been the best thing I ever did. Yes…I am smart (in fact I am working on two degrees) so do not speak to me as if I came from under a rock upon calling.
Ignorance happens that is fine, we have all been ignorant at one time or another (especially as little children). The questions we dancers sometimes get though are preposterous! You would not ask your lawyer or accountant these sorts of questions so do not do it with us! If you have a question try to look it up, call a dancer (but ask her in an appropriate manner please), or watch a historical documentary. Sometimes ignorance is NOT always bliss.