Dancing With The Scars

I’ve been an Orlando/Kissimmee area Belly Dancer and owner of Asada Belly Dance since 2011, but have been belly dancing a lot longer.  In those many many years I’ve heard a lot of comments and critiques 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 hemi-colectomies I really became self conscious and started fearing what the audience and other dancers would say about me.

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 like scar that has emerged itself into what used to be my belly button.  Now I get to focus on my new journey as a Kissimmee Belly Dancer.  Follow my journey at http://www.asadabellydance.com

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