All dancers are strippers, right?


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.



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6 Responses to “All dancers are strippers, right?”

  1. kawaiikoganeirochan Says:

    I know how that feels. I too am I bellydancer, and my great aunt treated me as if it was something sexual and obscene. Needless to say I wasn’t impressed; we aren’t trying to seduce anyone. It’s fun. It’s exotic (in a way). And as you said, it’s sensual, not sexual. Beyond that, they don’t get how much hard work goes into trying to get proper isolation and coordination.
    Our fault for liking ancient dancing that was likely created by women for women.

  2. redreplicant Says:

    There’s no excuse for behaving rudely, even if your dancing WAS sexual! Who are they to judge an adult woman using her body in a healthy way to do what she pleases? Unfortunately our society is so pejorative about anything sensual that people have to make it clear they disapprove of even the most fun, harmless actions.

  3. supsunshine Says:

    there’s definitely no excuse for treating anything to do with a woman’s body as obscene, or even for being ignorant about another culture’s dancing but i sort of don’t blame the sister.

    i don’t know where you’re from, but a lot of western countries (talking about america in particular) have fetishized a lot of aspects of different cultures. that’s why you don’t see any male belly dancers (that also has to do with how the middle east treats things like this now, but that’s another point all together.)

  4. bright24 Says:

    How awful for you. Women’s bodies have been hypersexualised to the point that whatever you do with yours, it’s going to be seen as provocative or sexual. Bloody male gaze.
    As well as that the racist, sexist portrayal of bellydancing in mainstream Western pop culture has created this myth that bellydancing is ‘exotic stripping’ for men by harems of luscious brown women (vomit), but good on you for setting your family straight.

  5. scrivener212 Says:

    I think belly dancing is the coolest thing ever, and I love to watch it. I admire the women who do it; I understand the history and respect of it, and would be livid with anyone who dissed a belly dancer.

  6. piewackett1 Says:

    Patriarchy makes us only sex objects. We ARE SEX.

    (I too loved belly dancing, supported a friend, totally get what it is about. It was made by women FOR other women.)

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