As many of you know, I am married. My hubby’s name is Trevor and as a RTM (Regional Technical Manager) with Motorola he often travels around the country helping clients through his crazy engineering talents. Yup he is 100% a card carrying nerd... which is why he married me... but that's another story. To most people he just looks like a business man.
On one of his recent trips, to a much warmer region of the country than then freezing cold Chicago, he went searching for dinner. To his surprise, he passes a Greek restaurant with an outdoor stage where there was a belly dancer performing. Though he loves what I do for a living, he was incredibly disturbed and frustrated at what he saw. The dancer was wearing what he thought was a tribalish sorta outfit...a lace-backed tank top, Melodias, heels, and a blue hipscarf while dancing what appeared to be American Cabaret or maybe Egyptian to some sort of Mediterranean music. As he tells me this story I bust out in giggles and he explains how he just doesn't understand what this alleged professional was thinking when she choose such a confusing mix of styles to represent bellydance. "Melodias" I say "really, Melodias? You could recognize the brand of her pants... lol!" he says "YES, with heels and a hipscarf!? It was ridiculous." Between the crazy mix of styles and irritation that this was what was being portrayed as professional belly dance…He was so irritated about the whole thing that he couldn't stay and eat.
I know many of us sometimes cut corners and it can be so easy to become complacent when performing regularly especially if it is at the same place every weekend or even multiple times a week. However, it is important to remember that we are not only the face of our art but equally in that moment a representation of the the establishment we are performing at. We affect both our employer’s bottom line and how the public views belly dance. To them whatever it is you are doing is bellydance in its totality, and you never know who is watching.
(Note: The attached photo is not of me or from the above described show.)