I’m a belly dancer and have been for a few years now. I love it and my friends and boyfriend show up for my shows and support me. I have some family who think it’s great.
I was visiting with an aunt and was sharing my love of belly dancing with her, my uncle and his sister. The sister asked me if I did it for dollars or bills shoved down my skirt. I was appalled.
I said no, not at all. It’s an ancient form of dance from another culture, not a stripping thing. I then demonstrated some of it and was told to sit down in a tone that suggested I were doing something inappropriate.
I never dance just for men, and mostly dance surrounded by women for women. It’s sensual, but not sexual– as in not designed for male’s sexual consumption. But it’s like anything that celebrates the female body is seen as obscene.
It really hurt my feelings that something I take so much pride in was warped into something like stripping simply because it’s a woman’s dance, but I guess it’s MFIF.