Sara Shrapnell is happy to teach men in any of her classes.  Email her direct if you would like to find out more-- info@letsbellydance.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Myth

The idea that men do not do "Bellydance" is a load of rubbish and has long meant that half the population have been kept out of these fun classes.  Middle Eastern Men have always danced, and continue to do so today--although they have perhaps not been as keen to show off and share as some of us would have liked.

 

Moves

Men learn exactly the same moves, use exactly the same muscles and dance in exactly the same way as women, certainly to begin with.  After a year or two all dancers learn more about self expression and start to develop a "dance persona".  This is when the differences may start to come out, but it's a natural process and should not be forced.  You will find dancers who are flirty, strong, meek, some who travel, others who stay self contained, some who will look through to the hearts of the audience, and others who dance for the elements.  For every dancer there is a different balance of all these things and more.  This is exactly the same for men in Middle Eastern Dance !!

 

Inspiration

Men who love this dance need to look a little further for inspiration and role models.  I hope to collect some  web site and your tube links here for you to surf in your own time.  You will notice that many men dance very differently depending on the music and the style-- just like women (what a surprise !) --there is no right or wrong way once you have the basic moves, if you can hear it in the music and you can show it in your dance then it is right.  Have confidence in your own strengths and style.

Zorba : www.doubleveil.net

Zaza Hassan : www.zaza-centre.org

Tarik Sultan ; www.tariksultan.com

 

Extra Info

 

There really shouldn't be anything holding you back from coming to class, but if you know more about what to expect you will enjoy your first lesson more.

 

It is realistic to expect to be the only man in any class you attend, but all my students know that men are part of ME Dance and you should be made to feel welcome.  If you would like to come as part of a group of all men then let me know and I will warn the class--5 men walking in would probably cause a moment of silence ! - but if you can come with a mixed group then you may feel happier knowing a few faces.

 

Many students change in the room we dance in, which is a habit they soon lose when a man joins their group, but if you would be kind enough to knock before coming in and be prepared to be chased out if someone is changing--its not a sign of being unwelcome, but just un-expected !  At most venues we are lucky to have anywhere to change, so please be prepared to use the men's toilet as your changing room (sorry).

 

You will need to wear something comfortable that you can move easily in--again jogging trousers and a t-shirt are perfect for your fist class.  If the weather gets warm and you want to wear looser clothing its up to you to find class wear you are comfortable in--a waistcoat is a good alternative if you wish to have your tummy out--all tummies are acceptable in my classes !

 

Do not judge yourself by others in your class, everyone learns at different rates and you will find your strengths and weaknesses given time.  Men tend (being very general here !) to find the side to side move particularly un-natural, while its often taught early in the course because many women find it easier.  This does not mean you can't do it, just that it will take you a while.  Sometimes we want to be brilliant at something right from the start, but be patient and enjoy the learning.

 

I use touch as a teaching method--this means that if your body is not doing what I want it to do I will gently move it for you.  If you would be unhappy to be touched you can ask that I don't and I won't.  I also ask students to hold my hips or shoulders to help them feel the move, don't be afraid to ask if you think this would help.  You are not a dodgy bloke--dodgy blokes got bored about half way down this page !!

 

 

The Eonist group

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to teach at an Eonist weekend, which was great fun !  If you have links to the Eonists, or the Beaumont society and you would like to come to class, you will be most welcome.  Email me direct if you would like to find out more or discuss further.

 

 

Hafla and other events

Unless otherwise stated (which means I'm not organising it), all Mersin events are open to men.  If you dance with another teacher, you dance a different style or you are a partner or friend of a bellydancer then please feel welcome to come along to our events and have an enjoyable time.

 

Finding a teacher elsewhere

For some reason men have been excluded from some bellydance and middle eastern dance classes for many years.  I'm afraid that you can not assume that you will be welcome at classes everywhere.  The wonderful HelenW keeps a list of teachers in the UK who welcome men in class and I am happy to contact her for you.  Taqasim magazine also has a list of teachers throughout the UK  The situation is improving with many teachers having never really thought about it before, but now enjoying teaching everyone in a mixed class.  As I understand it all ASMED and JWAAD teachers are happy to teach men, but you may want to contact a teacher direct before going to a class.  If you can't find a local teacher then please come along to some of our events and enjoy a party while you wait !

Men and Middle Eastern Dance : MEN AND MIDDLE
 EASTERN DANCE

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