That woman in your audience hates you. Here’s why.

cheerleadersMy friend shared a story with me recently about an insurance convention planning meeting that I thought had nothing to do with belly dance… as it turns out, sometimes being the only woman in the room can give you some serious insight.So, she was at this meeting, in a room full of men, listening to their low-brow locker room talk that kept seeping into the planning of their annual convention.  Macho innuendo, the word “balls” coming up way too much… these guys are all independent contractors, unbound by any corporate rules governing professional behavior releasing an endless stream of nudge-nudge and wink-wink.  The theme of this year’s convention was set to be football, so of course one man excitedly announced: “we should get cheerleaders!”

With no forethought, my loudly and proudly barked – “only if it’s a co-ed team!” – She was shocked to hear herself say that because, being an avid belly dancer, she was often the one performing, in much less clothing than a business suit, in front of a co-ed audience. Up till now, she explained, she had assumed that the occasional woman giving her the major stink eye was some sort of “bitch”, maybe she was jealous! Well, realizing her knee jerk reaction and utter conviction that sexy cheerleaders at the big meeting would drive her to set a bag of dog poop in a furious blaze of fire right on the beige industrial carpet of the convention center floor forced her to see that she’d never considered the position of the scowling bitch! And, it hit her…

She started thinking about the women in her own audiences… especially the woman sitting next to the badly behaved men like the ones at this meeting.  Were those scowls from the female audience members an indictment of the bellydance performance, or were they a response to the childish behavior of the men? Because, face it, almost women actually love bellydance! We love to do it, we love to watch it, it strikes a profound cord.

The moral of the story?

#1 Raise your sons better than the previous generation!

#2 Consider having a co-ed option where you have a sexy male gymnast in an Aladdin vest or perhaps a male drummer in a flashy outfit.  (Especially for corporate events, with an audience where belly dance doesn’t have a traditional/cultural context.) Having both a male and female body for available for ogling diffuses the pressure on the women.

#3  Be truly skillful as an artist. Let your technique, skill, and showmanship outshine your physical allure. (I know this is a tall order because  ALL  of my readers are stunningly beautiful!)

Have you experienced this at your shows?  How do you level the playing field for your audience?

Want to add more hips to your next bellydance performance? Download a free deluxe sample of my best selling hip video! http://unbouncepages.com/bellydance-every-day/

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7 Responses to That woman in your audience hates you. Here’s why.

  1. Haha, I actually once danced at a corporate event where they had hired male models to go around in translucent harem trousers and thongs collecting money for charity! Sadly I didn’t get to see the audience reaction to that… And I’m a bit weirded out by the idea of drummers as sex objects :p

  2. Laylianah Mahasin says:

    Good idea, but my husband would probably be the one drumming for me…can’t imagine how amenable he would be to flashy (or see through) harem pants as well. He’s a wonderful man and loves me dearly, but, to quote Meatloaf, I think “He would do anything for love, but he won’t do that!”

  3. Thea says:

    Great article! I have noticed quite a few bad looks while performing both belly dance and hula dance in the past. This is why I always insist that if belly dancers (or other performers) are to flirt etc while performing, that they only do so at the women in the audience, as I think that helps diffuse the tension and also gives them some needed attention as well. I’ve totally been the “jealous” one in the audience as well and I know that the worst thing for me is if the beautiful half-naked woman completely ignores my presence!

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