So this Saturday is my ‘workshop day’ – 3 workshops in one day, what was I thinking!?!  Still, I am quite looking forward to it.  I love the sound of the Ayoub, I particularly love being in a room full of people beating the rhythm out together.  It’s magical. Dancing or simply moving all together to that rhythm is very powerful too.

In between those two workshop is a Mothers & Daughter’s bellydance workshop.  I’ve always had a real giggle when I’ve done these in the past, so I’m looking forward to that too but in a totally different way.  There was a bit on an American TV show called The O’Reilly Factor recently where the producer went to a bellydance competition in LA.  You can see it for yourself here. This show is a right-wing, conservative show so they had a fairly negative, stereotyped take on bellydance, with the show’s star commenting afterwards that bellydance should be “sixteen and up for that sort of stuff”.  Seemed to like an excuse to show some female skin and then condemn it to me at least.

I do take issue with the idea that girls shouldn’t learn bellydance – obviously, running the Mum’s & Daughter’s workshop I disagree with that sentiment.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that bellydance is not sexual or sensual because I believe that it absolutely can be.  I don’t think it always it – for example Zoe Jakes’ performances are not ‘sexual’ to my eyes, though they are powerful, as are all performances that I think of as ‘good’, sexual or not.  It’s this power that I think is of benefit to women and girls to learn to tap into.  It’s this power that I think is threatening to some people.  It’s morally repulsive to imagine a 12 year old girl performing a strip-tease for a male audience, but learning to isolate and control the movements of her hips, ribs, shoulders etc. and showing that off in a performance?  More power to her for learning to work with and appreciate her body.

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