Reading Time: 5 minutes Discussions about cultural appropriation have always loomed large in belly dance, especially its fusion genres. Here, I detail some important insights from workshops I recently took with North African dancers.
Multiplicity Decenters Authority
Reading Time: 5 minutes I’ve been thinking recently about how cultural traditions confer authority, and how in two realms – religion and dance – I see multiplicity dispersing authority (this will make sense after I explain it, I promise).
If American Belly Dancers Protested Colonialism As Much As Our Dance’s Sexualization…
Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’ve ever chatted with a belly dancer from the U.S., you’ve probably heard some riff on the phrase, “It’s not sexual, it’s sensual.” Americans dancers have done a lot of activist work here…so what might the dance scene look like if we took on colonialism, too?
Positionality and My Writing on Dance
Reading Time: 4 minutes Pausing to reflect on one’s social positioning in regard to one’s writing is a good thing to do…preferably before publishing said piece of writing. Here are a few thoughts on my recent work on the belly dance debates.
Should Belly Dancers Use the Word Tribal?
Reading Time: 12 minutes Naming discussions are rocking the North American belly dance communities, especially the tribal fusion and tribal improv subsets. Apart from our usual conversations about cultural appropriation, the main question is: who gets to use the word tribal?
Various Meanings of the Word Tribal
Reading Time: 10 minutes There’s a discussion brewing in the belly dance community about genres that go by the name tribal and whether we (white Americans, among others) should get to use that word. What follows is some reflections on language and meaning.
The Intellectual and Emotional Toll of Burn-Out
Reading Time: 5 minutes I’ve been wanting to get back to blogging, truly I have, but this semester has been rough on me not just in terms of time (over) commitment, but also due to the exhaustion of burn-out.
A Feminist-Atheist Walks into a Bar (in Morocco)
Reading Time: 3 minutes For once while traveling I’m not bringing my laptop, so I can’t yet promise to start posting more regularly now that the semester is over. That might actually be a good thing.
Belly Dance Should Be Inclusive, Part II
Reading Time: 4 minutes I want my dance community to be as inclusive as possible, which to me means welcoming dancers from other genres, whether they’re dropping in or becoming life-long converts. But that doesn’t mean we should let those other dance genres dictate our image of success.
American Belly Dancers: Support Your Muslim Neighbors
Reading Time: 3 minutes If you’re a belly dancer in America, you owe it to the roots of your dance form to be at least a bit of an activist in the face of anti-Muslim rhetoric.