I’ve been a Kissimmee Belly Dancer and owner of Asada Belly Dance for three years now, but have been belly dancing a lot longer. In those many years I’ve heard a lot of comments about dancers’ appearance, both good and bad. As an entertainer I can’t, and don’t, let any of it bother me. After my first of two right himi-colectomies I really became self conscious and started fearing what the audience and other dancers would say about the caterpillar like scar that has emerged itself into what used to be my belly button.
Eew! What is that? Is that a tattoo? These are some of the few things I’ve heard while in costume. You know what? It doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t bother me. After my first performance post surgery I realized that the audience didn’t even notice. No one cared, and still don’t. The audience only wants to be entertained, and want to have fun.
These comments that I feared so much came from very small children. The same children who don’t have a problem calling a pregnant women fat because they don’t know any better. The comments were more cute than hurtful. I simply smiled and explained what “that” is. The children would smile back and say “Okay”.
I also feared what other dancers who didn’t know me would say. Would they wonder why I didn’t cover up that hideous scar? Would the scar further take away from the stereotype Belly Dancer look, that I already don’t fit? I quickly put that fear to rest. Dancers don’t mind the scar, at least they don’t tell me they do. And that’s ok.
I was trained at the World of Middle Eastern Dance in Orlando, a school that my director Azizi directed since the 1970’s. I remember her saying that it takes decades to truly become a master of the art. I agree. I also believe that it is the struggles and life experiences that help shape a dancers body and personality that is used to create the dance. What I love about the Belly Dance community is that most dancers agree with this statement. Because of this understanding I’ve never had a dancer critique or comment about my scar negatively. I’ve found that many dancers have scars of their own; most not as obvious as mine.
I am so thankful for my new found sisters in dance. I get to share my Asada Belly Dance journey with so many amazing women (and men) who share their journey’s with me. So revealing my belly buddy is no longer a challenge.
Dancers, do you dance with scars like I do? Do you hide them or do you reveal them when dancing? I used to hide mine with lots of beads and pretty dangly things, but I don’t any more. Dance was a huge part of my healing so I don’t have a problem displaying the caterpillar shaped scar. My focus is my new journey as a Kissimmee Belly Dancer. Follow my journey at http://www.asadabellydance.com/2013/08/blog