Belly dance in itself is a symbol of femininity that empowers the essence of the female gender. The attraction to belly dance is an obvious result of many women wanting to embody their own versions of the feminine image. It’s not so much the costume as it is the dance itself that entices women into her labyrinth with the impassioned need to be skilled in her arts. I suppose the two together are a fatal attraction that lures women in with no exit available.
Walking into a women’s world that is created by the intoxicating smells of perfume and henna, visual arrays of color and fabric and the sounds of enchanting drums and finger cymbals binds the enchanted spell to each dancer. I think when Salome danced thus seducing Herod she brought the allure of the feminine image to the forefront of how society really thinks about dance and seduction. We tempt, we seduce therefore we are mysterious creatures that become an allegory for the sensual and sexual self.
The hardest part for a mother and wife is to walk onto a stage and become a seductress which belly dance in many ways encompasses. The feminine image is many things to many people and the way that people view the myth defines what our feminine image is to them. We bring multiple definitions to life by the subtle, dynamic and brief moments on stage. Our audience seems to add their meaning to our dance before we ever get onto the stage because in our society women have become the icon for myths and fantasies that really have nothing to do with us.
The very fact that we are associated with the moon in relation to the feminine aspect of her affect on people tells me that our dance is the embodiment of the sacred and ancient symbol of the priestess. Each and every time we dance we are celebrating our lineage to various societies’ thoughts, ideals, customs and traditions through out history.
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