Friday, September 07, 2007

One Voice at a time

I take it upon myself everyday to be responsible everyday by educate though around me about what bellydaning is exactly. I do because I want people to understand the beauty of the art. I want people to understand its history, it's culture, it's spirituality and it's community. Bellydancing is far more than the sexy stereotype the general public would assume it is. I've mentioned much of this in countless blogs and articles. There are bits a pieces of my wisdom and so much more all over my published material. And I do this everyday. One person at a time, one voice at a time trying over throw the stereotypes. Believing in such a thing seems completely unreasonable. Outrages at that... but I beg to differ. Sometimes it only takes one person and one voice.

Here's a Story to remember (and inspires me to continue my quest)

One day I received an email from my very best friend Marquita about how she accidentally ended up talking about bellydancing to a complete stranger. What compelled me was not the fact she got into a discussion about bellydancing (although that was a surprise itself) but that what came out of her mouth about the topic was beyond what I imagine.
Now before I tell you what she said let me tell you a bit about my best friend who I call Quita. Quita is a navy girl at heart. She joined the service shorty after high school and traveled a bit while on duty. She relocated to Virginia and then moved to Georgia. She has a house, a car and started a family of her own when she had her son Alijah. A working mom and career women who works with computers. She enjoys most spending time with her son and watching TV among many other things.
Because we live so far apart we hardly see each other. We occasionally talk on the phone when our schedules link together. And when we speak, we speak for hours. I think we could go on days if possible... LOL =)
Anyhow Quita get into this discussion about bellydancing with this woman because the woman wanted to take pole dancing and bellydancing believing somehow that they were linked. Quita stopped the woman in her tracks and began to teach the woman about what bellydancing was really about. She told the woman about how the dance was used as a form of healing, empowerment, community, sisterhood and expression. She even taught the woman that bellydancing was linked to childbirth and cultural traditions. Most importantly Quita told the woman that bellydancing isn't about sexuality it's about art.
My heart was overwhelmed with joy and pride. I was so taken away, it felt as if I was blessed. I couldn't believe my best friend learned so much about bellydancing and she's not even into bellydancing. She told me that she learned it from my articles and blogs. Wow, that's truly beautiful to hear.

I'm so glad my articles have become a teaching tool. There is an endless supply of people out there that no little to nothing about the art of bellydancing and continue to taint it's reputation further encourage the stereotypes. I believe it's up the members of the bellydance community to constantly educated and re-educate the public about the dance we love and practice daily.

These are thoughts that will continue to lurk my thoughts. I must write an article about this some day!!!