I’ve been asked many times by many people why I am so involved in the belly dance community. I always answer the same “it keeps me out of trouble”. Everyone laughs, thinking I am joking.
Actually, “keeping me out of trouble” is the the gods honest truth. Hanging out with belly dancers, being involved with them as friends, as a photographer, and on a number of other levels, helps keep me sane, lowers my stress level, and improves my life overall.
My non-belly dance friends appear to assume the worst. They obviously think I must be involved with these dancers because they are women and, well, you know. from men I usually get a leer and a wink. They communicate “yeah, but I know what you are really doing!!!”
It’s actually kind of annoying.
I don’t view my friends in the belly dance community as sexual objects. I view them as friends, as artists, as dancers, as women (and occasionally men), and as complete beings. That seems to be a foreign concept to many people outside of the community.
So when I see a belly dancer performing, I see beauty, color, motion, emotion, grace, talent, “the line”, and aesthetics. I’m not looking at body parts, per sea, I am looking at the dancer as a whole and seeing her as a spiritual being, showing us, her audience, a part of her soul. I see the story she’s telling, the vibrations she’s creating, the joy and happiness she’s communicating. I see the hard work, the sweat, blood and tears that she’s gone through to learn her art, and I feel respect for the representation she’s creating in front of me.
And that makes me more sane, lowers my stress and helps improve my life overall. It also keeps me out of trouble, because it reminds me, on a regular basis, there is good in the world and that beauty exists in many forms.
In this chaotic planet which is portrayed by the press, politicians and the like as an evil place with wrongdoers at every turn, it is good to be reminded of the beauty of dance, and the aesthetics of life.