DVD Giveaway in Honor of World Belly Dance Day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

A big thanks to The Belly Dance Business Academy for cluing me in:

Tomorrow (Saturday, May 10th, 2008) is World Belly Dance Day! According to the founders' web site:

Our mission is to unite the initiative of many dancers around the world to celebrate the wonderful art of belly dance as a holiday on the second Saturday in May every year. We got inspired by the idea of holding an event that would serve as a reminder that belly dance is an ART form, a cultural event, a sport, and a social and family entertainment.

Belly dancing is misunderstood in many places of the globe. Unfortunately, there are so many dancers that keep giving the wrong signal by wearing questionable costumes and portraying Raks Sharki as a dance of seduction, an entertainment for men.

The good news is that there are dancers who through the years have been trying to change that. This is not an easy job because of so many myths and misconceptions around belly dance. Belly Dance Day is our way of reaching out and putting our beloved dance form in a nice and different light, by holding an event that would be "family-rated" with all profit going to charity.

Enter the Contest:

In honor of World Dance Day, I will be giving away a set of Taktaba DVDs (episodes 1, 2, and 3) to one lucky winner!

How to enter
To enter, join the Taktaba announcements newsletter by noon on Monday, May 19th:

Email address:

NOTE: you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. You will not added to the mailing list or eligible for the drawing until you confirm.

The Fine Print

The winner will be selected from the members of the mailing list in a random drawing that will take place at noon (eastern time) on Monday, May 19th. I'll use an online random number generator to select the winner based on the order in which they joined. i.e., if it picks #15, then the 15th person who joined the list wins. (This is the same process as Knitty magazine used in their awesome 50 Millionth visitor contest.)

You don't have to buy anything to enter, and you can remove yourself from the mailing list at any time. However, only people who are on the list at noon on May 19th will be included in the drawing, so if you take yourself off before then, you won't be eligible.

The winner will be notified by the email (at the address they add to the mailing list) so they can send me their shipping address (PO boxes and international addresses are just fine!). The winner must allow me to post either their first name or their stage name here on the blog.

Here are some more ways you can celebrate World Dance Day:

Introduce someone to belly dance

Invite a friend to go to class with you, or take someone out to see a belly dance show. Talk to them about what the dance is, and the misunderstandings and stereotypes that are out there. The Art of Middle Eastern Dance by Shira has some great articles that can help you correct misconceptions. (If you don't have classes or shows on the exact day, that's okay. Just extend the invitation on Saturday, and make your plans for whatever day would be convenient.)

Be counted

Those of you who are in Massachusetts can submit the Artist's Foundation's Stand Up and Be Counted questionnaire. This is a census of artists living in Massachusetts, which the foundation will use to advocate for artists in the bay state.

Get the word out

I heard about this holiday just this morning. Help spread the word to other dancers and non-dancers. You can send ecards, courtesy of the World Belly Dance Day web site. Send them as "valentines" to dancers you like and admire, or send them to friends and family. Both are a great way to get the word out about World Belly Dance Day.

If you have a blog, write a post about World Belly Dance Day. (And add a comment here with the URL so I can visit your blog!)

Hone your craft

Part of World Belly Dance Day's mission is to help the general public understand that belly dance is a "legitimate" art form. Many people don't understand that our dance requires dedication and hard work. The more seriously we take our training, the more seriously the public will take us. So this Saturday (or whenever you read this), devote just a little extra time to your own practice. Some ideas:

- add an extra 10 minutes to your regular practice
(or if you don't practice, just do a quick 10-minute drill)

- try something new: cross-train in another style, try out a new prop, etc. Push outside your usual stylistic and technical "comfort zone". Or, ahem, work on your compositional skills by watching (or re-watching) Taktaba. (You can find handy links to each episode in the sidebar.)

Value your work

Part of the reason why belly dance isn't respected as a legitimate art form is that many of us treat it more like a hobby than a profession. When you perform, you are providing a service of value. Just because you love what you do doesn't mean that it isn't work, and that you shouldn't be fairly compensated for it. Some of the best wedding cake makers have day jobs and bake on the weekends because they enjoy doing it. You wouldn't expect the baker to give you a free cake just because they aren't desperate for your money to pay their bills, would you?

Women are often socialized to be modest, minimize their accomplishments, and not be "greedy". However, if you don't value your work, nobody else will value it or even respect it. So spend some time getting comfortable with the fact that your work has value and that you deserve fair compensation. Then start working on strategies to make that happen. The Belly Dance Business Academy is a great place to start.


Reen.Blom said...

Hey, so who won the DVDs? Too bad Im too late to enter...LOL!

Love the "Roman" vid of Nadira on youTube!

Best wishes on WBDday!

Jess said...

It was Johannah B.

It's too late to enter, but you can still watch get the podcast online. There are handy links to each episode in the sidebar.

Jess said...

It was Johannah B.

It's too late to enter, but you can still watch get the podcast online. There are handy links to each episode in the sidebar.

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