The underestimations of a plus size belly dancer
I have been studying belly dance since I was 12 years old and I was 350 pounds when I really started getting serious about my belly dance business. I was already into martial arts and modern dance before that so dance has always been a big part of my life.
My answers to these two questions are simple…“Size has nothing to do with the fact that I can do a standing back bend or a Turkish drop.”
It comes from my determination as a dancer. I trained and practiced to be where I am now and I still practice and train to better myself just like any other dedicated dancer. But come on, we all know what they are asking here, “How did you do that Turkish drop at your size?” And “How do you dance that long when you are this weight?”
I don’t always fault people for their level of thinking, after all society wants everyone to think that just because you are plus size you are limited to what you can and cannot do. I do not believe this is, so we all must learn our bodies no matter our size.
As a plus size belly dancer, don’t underestimate yourself first and foremost. Second, we cannot control the closed-mindedness of others. We are meant to be in this dance world just as much as any other dancer. Don’t be afraid to try belly dance because of your size and pick the style of belly dance that fits you, not the style you may think is more suited to your size. There is no such thing.
I have heard it before, and I’m sure you have as well, “Can a plus size belly dancer do belly rolls well, or belly flutters?” Yes we can. Here is one link of a male plus size belly dancer who can roll with the best of them. My point here is that the underestimation is unwarranted. We can dance our curves for hours on end. We can do a Turkish drop, as well as belly rolls and flutters.
Never limit your possibilities as a dancer, even if in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “I just don’t know if I can do that.” Stop…and say, “I will not underestimate myself, and I will not be underestimated.”
I am living proof. When I first started Turkish style belly dance I said, “There is no way I will be able to do a Turkish drop or a floor back bend.” Then after about six months into my training, I said, “You know what? I want to do it.” So I started training, taking it little by little, until I was able to bend back further and further. Eventually I realized that it was not my size that was stopping me from trying before, it was me stopping me and the fact that I had heard it was so hard or nearly impossible for a plus size dancer to do this movement.
Believe in yourself as a dancer. We are beautiful, powerful movement artists with dangerous curves and we will not be underestimated.