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Last addition: December 2008

Do men take BD and What’s a guy to Wear?
— submitted by L, The Belly Dance Man

I was talking to a lady a few months ago about having to lose weight and inches. She began telling me what she had done to loose weight. She said that belly dancing was the one thing that had done wonders for her waist line!! I listened and decided that this might be something to check out, without anyone knowing. GUESS what???? I've lost about 12 lbs, and more importantly, I've lost around my waist. I'm getting compliments all the time and it has only been a little over a month. I do my belly dancing religiously!!!!!! I've picked up all the feminine actions when dancing and don't care since this is what makes it all the more alluring. Afterall, no one knows anyway! I don't know what I should wear. I can't get the whole effect because I usually wear some shorts. Probably shouldn't matter. I'm 56 and love belly dancing!! That lady doesn't know the help she gave me. My wife doesn't know and I'm trying to get the guts to tell her so she can join me! Do men belly dance?

— L. The Belly Dance Man

Dear Belly Dance Man,

Yes, there are many men who belly dance! Alfredo, John Compton, Aziz, Jim Boz, Bert Baladine, Sharife El Amir, Horechio Fuentez. . . . Many are listed on the Styles of Belly Dance page. I’m glad you are exploring and discovering things about the joys of dance, exercize, physical fitness and the feminine creative process. The world needs and would be a more peaceful place if more men like you were not so afraid to experience the right side of thier brains once in a while. Most women love belly dance and your wife will probably love that you are interested. It may be better if it’s her idea, however, so maybe you should take her to a belly dance festival or buy her an instructional video and see how she likes it. When you tell her you are interested, be sure and show her some web sites with articles of men who belly dance. If she understands that women are not belly dancing to tease men and men are not belly dancing to tease women, and that it is as much a physical expressive art form as ice skating, she can relax. The community of belly dance is a very fun community for a couple to get involved with. Good Luck!

What to wear?

How about a vest, turbin, sultan pants, metal upper arm bands and a coin hip scarf? The vest could be made of chains and coins or a brocade trimmed fabric; pants big and full and gathered at the ankle. You will find everything you need on-line and at festivals, such as Rakkassah.

— Answer by Delilah


How can I build self confidence and get over my fear that people may laugh at me?
— submitted by Isabelle

My Dear Isabelle,

Laughter is a good thing. Be sure and laugh with them. Nothing is wrong with you and believe me, you are not alone in your feelings.

One thing that may help: This is a well kept secret. You know all those people out there who you think are judging you, are really very busy doing something else. . . they are worrying about what YOU are thinking about them. Each of us falls vulnerable into the realm of our self-conscious mind. However, the person that realizes everyone else's time and energy is pretty well taken up worrying about the exact same thing (“what we think of them”) wins. This means that no one is ever really looking at us that carefully. They are too busy worrying about their own weaknesses. They are never looking at us as carefully or obsessively as we are judging ourselves. (Actually, I think a second secret is that we really wish they did care as much about us in that detailed way to notice our faults, as well as our accomplishments.)

Those that truly understand what I’m saying, win a prize!

They win the power in the universe. They get to truly live their life! They, and YOU, will find an entire other realm in which you rise up and inhabit. You can move, walk, talk, shimmy and dance where there’s more space and more fun! You can express yourself without that crowd of critical eyes so close to you (in fact there is plenty of room because hardly anyone else dwells in that realm because hardly anyone knows this secret). At the same time, you open your own mind’s eye, and YOU see your dance and YOU choose your dance for your own satisfaction. When you realize this, the tension will fade away. You will lay claim to your own life, and this newfound realization and ability to move more freely follows into everything you do in your life. Smile, it’s a great big AH, HA! You will begin to see that the things you thought were risky and fearful were just obstacle thoughts in the way of you living this God-given life that is all yours!

Who cares what they think? Rather, what we think they think! This was the most important lesson I’ve learned in my life.

Before I realized this. truly realized this, I didn’t do the things I really wanted to do because of my fear of what other people would think. I didn’t do drama classes in high school though I know I would have been really good at it. I could have run for school office because now I realize it would have been fun and I have good and funny ideas and people gravitate to them. I might have even won, but that wouldn’t be the point. The point would be what I get out of the experience — my experience, for my life.

I lose when I sacrifice my experience at the expense of the imagined things I think people are saying or thinking about me. If I give any attention to that, I punish myself, not them.

Young lady, all you have to realize is that it’s YOUR LIFE. Grab the gusto. Don’t be afraid. Love and laugh with yourself and others. Be your best fan and advocate!

Here is another article you may like to read on this page www.visionarydance.com/revivingophelia.html.

Thank you for your letter. Keep dancing!

— Delilah

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