In my last blog, I devoted a considerable amount of space to figuring out whether or not I should wear a belly dance costume for Halloween. (Main arguments against: I actually am a belly dancer in real life–hobbyist, not professional; dancers would probably say that dressing up AS a belly dancer is not empowering to the individual nor enriching to the dance community as a whole, whereas dancing is empowering. Main arguments for: it’s my costume and I’ll wear it if I want to.)
I did wear the costume, and I did dance. While I was dancing, I became embarrassed and felt like I was completely immobilized and could have sworn I was barely moving around at all. However, on viewing the video, I discovered that this wasn’t true–I was just fooling around, not dancing at performance quality, but I was in fact MOVING. Now I can understand why my research participants get so nervous when I ask permission to post videos of them on YouTube, no matter how high the quality of their actual performances were. In solidarity I’ve posted the video of myself dancing in my costume on my YouTube channel, which I feel can serve only to bolster the confidence of my participants by comparison. Enjoy.
I had been nervous about the party because I didn’t know most of the people in attendance, and it can be difficult for people who don’t know you well to carry on a conversation with you when your bra is in full view. I mean, normally when you’re wearing a belly dance costume you are performing, not just standing around chatting, so this isn’t so much of an issue. Most dancers will wear cover-ups over their costumes when they are at a venue but not yet actually performing, but that would have been silly at a Halloween party. There were several directions I envisaged this sitaution going, but in the end what happened was that everyone went extremely British and polite and spent a lot of time staring very intensely into my eyes and standing at a respectful distance. If I went to move a bit closer they would sort of edge backwards and then, occasionally, make a break for the kitchen to escape. I can see why this sort of behavior would make some people feel self-conscious, but it was quite sweet, really. Plus it meant I wasn’t obliged to wrist-lock anyone, which is one of the other directions I thought things might go!
Speaking of which, the Jiu Jitsu National Championships are coming up next weekend and I’ve been suckered into competing. I’ll be doing groundwork (which is kind of like wrestling) against people of my own belt level. I’m absolutely terrified, but also very excited. In any case it should make for a good blog, so stay tuned…
So I realize it’s been over two weeks since I’ve blogged, and that according to the Skirt!Setter guidelines we’re supposed to do it 3-4 times a week. I’m often not quite up to this standard, and normally begin a late blog with a short apology at the beginning. But I’ve decided that starting each new blog by constantly apologizing about not blogging is not very interesting. So, I am sorry for being late this time and at all future times. There. Now go read something exciting.