"They want the dance, but not the dancer." - Yara Sultan
I'd like to vent this. A elephant in the room. Long post.
As a dance artist, women constantly get judged just for being out there. It can be about anything. Her weight, her hair, her makeup, etc. I want to talk about a loud often unspoken "HOW DARE SHE" attitude on both Western and Eastern culture. It is not everyone and everywhere, but when it is in the room, sometimes it is louder than the biggest applauses. It can even be colder than the warmest love. You can feel the energies around you as a dancer. In my opinion, you should be able to read these energies so you practice safely in your space.
This takes me back to what I saw when I first started to see dancers perform. To me, the dance(r) can tell the story of the music. I also think that behind the story of the music, there is a even bigger story. The story of women's freedom to express herself and her art. There is the story about the power of the woman. How captivating and beautiful a woman is when she is in her own skin. There is the story of freedom that not all women can express publicly.
Let's go back to "HOW DARE SHE"
I was fully made aware of the controversy early on in my dance career. Not only in middle eastern venues, but also within western culture, including my family. People want you to feel good about yourself and confident in your abilities, but only on their terms. They want you to dance but not to be a dancer. They want the dance, but not the dancer. I have been accused and blamed/shamed by women/men that I want to be *that woman* the *seducer.*
I was moved by music, movement, art, fun, culture, and very often I get put in a category that is labeled as *shame.* I dance because I try and preserve the art and the dance, and also for women who may not be able too and I am still am labeled as such. I also dance for the fun and love it brings to everyone.
I don't get too bothered but I also do. There are social, political, and religious pressures that are there that make people this way.
It is just unfortunate because it can sour and devour a beautiful thing. It can ruin alot of fun for people. Lastly, of course, is it can affect a professional dancers income. It also affects a individual's desire to do and be who they want.
It's a crazy crazy bizarre world.
We've all been through this as dancers.
But you know it's okay. Like when we practice dance, and fall, we get back up and you know what we say???
"One more time!"
Which means 10000000000 more times :)