respect your fellow belly dancerWhat is the one thing that can turn even the most talented and beautiful person to a wretched beast……jealousy. Yes, this is the entertainment business and granted, everyone will always have their own two cents about something or someone, but what is with this whole jealousy issue?   Is it that complimenting face to face, dancer to dancer really that rare to some?And if you dislike a particular dance style you saw, why not phrase things a little better? How many times have we gone onto YouTube, watched a clip of a fabulous dancer like Didem, Racheal Brice, Sadie, Dina, Saida, and countless others, and right below a positive comment, see a negative one completely degrading the dancer and his/her style? It is getting ridiculous.

I am sick and tired of this! Yes we are human and will not like the style of every professional belly dancer we come across, but can’t there be a filter to separate completely uneducated and at times idiotic comments? For example, I saw a response the other day of a fabulous video by a famous dancer where the person attacked her for not dancing more like another star. Why is it that so many dancers feel the need to put each other down? There is so much talk about sisterhood, bonds, and support when we all start off, but afterwards many of these so called “supports” end up talking about you behind your back if you don’t fit their mold! Should a book on “how to express your opinions wisely for dummies” be published, because there are too many professionals simply doing nothing but chatting away in the shadows rather than facing their real demons…..

-The pressure of being surrounded my younger more energetic up and comers (so they do everything they can to stop them)
-Lacking confidence in themselves so they bring down others who are doing things better
-Are bored with themselves/lives so feel the need to fill up their day with gossip
-Dancers who do not educate themselves about other cultures, customs, styles and look at the world with blinders
-Dancers who want to succeed so badly they will steal ideas, back stab, and claw there way to try and make it rather than work hard at themselves.

All sad, but true, and I have met many of these wretched “professionals” and wondered why? Why do they do this? When a belly dancer like me hears it, I am confident enough not to let it bring me down, but why have to deal/hear these issues all the time? Believe it or not ,I even have haters lurking on my own Facebook jajaja! The things some “professionals” do to try to sabotage another…truly saddening.

Additionally there is the argument of technical ability vs emotionalism. Some dance styles like say egyptian raks sharqi, focus on the intense emotional connection between the dancer and the music/audience, while other genres of belly dance (more contemporary) want to push the limits of physical and creative ability and express themselves in a more technical basis. Why are so many astute dancers putting each other down over something so ridiculous? If one chooses to dance in a more “ooey gooey fashion” let them! If another wants to show off their technical mastery let them! There is no right and wrong, let everyone express themselves the way they see fit!

I personally have been drawn to the technical ability…it brings out my inner joy. It is what makes me me, and not another dancer.  I love Dina, and Randa Kamel but that will never be me nor do I strive to clone any other dancer. I want to make my own path and style and like it or not, that is what I will do. The same for any other style dancer, whether tribal, fusion, traditional middle eastern, or etc… Let dancers be dancers and do what makes them unique. I don’t want to fit in any mold and neither do many of my friends, so leave the comments to yourself and have an open mind. It is beautiful what some dancers are doing and the creativity should not be stopped. YouTube can be a very wonderful thing and more professionals should seek to praise each other more on there than make snarky remarks

P.S. This is not all professional belly dancers (I have met some fantastic dancers who keep me sane). I write this for the small percent that ruins it for us all because of their insecurities.