Asada Belly Dance’s Men Acquaintances and Kissimmee Entertainment
Being a part of the Kissimmee entertainment life means being prepared to run into anyone unexpectedly while performing. Ever since starting Asada Belly Dance I’ve run into so many acquaintances or colleagues while in costume. I’ve never been ashamed of what I do but I often wonder what non dancers think when they see me outside of my civilian clothes. I get mixed responses from different genders. The women are excited and men seem confused.
When I run into the women that I know, they want to take pictures and join in the dance. They always say that when they heard the event would have belly dancers, they automatically hoped and assumed I would be there. When they find out that it is me, it’s almost as if they’ve seen a local celebrity. Almost bragging rights to their friends, that they do know the event’s entertainment personally. It’s great. They take a lot of the pressure off of me and make it so much easier to get audience participation.
Now, when I run into a man I know, I get a completely different reaction. If they are accompanied by their wife or girlfriend they usually get involved in the picture taking. When they’re not with their plus one, I’m not sure they know how to react. They don’t say much, or they’ll ask me where my husband is. “Why didn’t he come watch the show”. When I explain to them that I’m working so my husband can’t really come down and watch, I just get a short “okay”. One guy even took out his phone and texted my husband, as if seeking approval to watch me dance. It’s a little bit uncomfortable, but it doesn’t stop me from working. I just say my hellos and try to entertain as much of the audience without making eye contact to that acquaintance.
I often wonder if the men act this way because I make them uncomfortable when they see me in a cabaret costume. Not all men, just the men that know me outside of dance. Do they automatically go into protective mode and want to keep their friends from checking me out? Is it hard for them to separate in their minds what they think a belly dancer should be versus the civilian me that they know? Do they put themselves in my husbands shoes and think they wouldn’t allow me to dress that way in public? Or maybe they are happy to see me but don’t know how to show it.
It is no secret that I’m a belly dancer. So, it should be no surprise to anyone when they run into Asada Belly Dance at an event, but for whatever reason the reactions are that of surprise. I understand women but men are a mystery to me. What are men thinking when they run into familiar women at work, belly dancing? Dancers from any genre, do you experience this? This Kissimmee belly dancer would like to know.