The Greats




March/April 2001 Issue



by Perizada Tylwyth

Since I started belly dancing three years ago, I have been lucky enough to have met only kind, loving women in my classes and workshops. But lately, I have been picking up hints of cattiness and meanness amongst some dancers. (I'm only nineteen, it takes a while for things to get through my skull.) I know that there is no Utopia, even in the Belly Dance world. But for harsh, cold teachers, backstabbing professionals, spoiled students, you need to rethink any narcissistic attitudes! I'll tell you why.

 First of all, being rude and nasty doesn't get you anywhere. In the long run, you end up being miserable, since the karmic nature of evil is as bad for the victimizer as it is for the victim. Anyone who feels depressed would heal better if they did something kind, instead of "taking it out" on someone else.

 Second, many women come to belly dance classes to heal I have met several victims of cancer, spousal/sexual abuse, etc., trying to get back in touch with their womanhood through belly dancing. How can these already fragile women do that with unloving teachers or jealous students? We have no right to stop any woman from healing. It's our duty to help them.

 Third, belly dancing is an expensive hobby! No one these days wants to spend hundreds of dollars on workshops, seminars, classes and retreats, only to meet up with nasty people. Students who are rude or badly behaved chase other students away. That only hurts the teachers. Too much money is invested in this hobby/profession for it to be unpleasant. Being mean is bad for the business as a whole. Think about it -isn't it more fun to be in a workshop with sweet, supportive women than having egos sizzle and hurt feelings eat the soul?

 Fourth, belly dance is a small business, at least in the USA. Let's face it, belly dance means the world to all involved in it, but its not given much attention by most Americans. Professionals would be farther by helping each other out instead of outdoing each other. We need each other to survive! We shouldn't be threatened by other dancers, but rather, inspired.

 If you have built a reputation for meanness or prima donna behavior, you'd better hope your talent outweighs that reputation. And there are a lot of very talented dancers out there with good reputations. Hurting other people eventually hurts you.

 We are all goddesses. You have no need to bring others down. Believe it or not, it doesn't bring you up. Kindness has a healing power to it. It helps the soul, our careers, and our passions. Give it a try, I am sure you will find it much more effective and relaxing in daily life. Also, it will help you in what you love. . . dancing! Remember, our dance expresses our souls. Do you want your dance to represent a green- eyed monster, or feral cat? Nah. I didn't think so.



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