Are Belly Dancers Crazy?
HipMix.net tries not to play favorites with our belly dancers, but we do remember those wonderful people who send us warm shimmies and love in the form of comments, e-mails and Facebook notes.
Virginian belly dancer Amy Byrum-Strickland is one of those encouraging dancers. When we saw her name roll across our screen in a blog titled, "The Tale of the Security Belly Dancer," we assumed we were going to be treated with a harrowing tale of a belly dancer saving lives as a security officer.
It's not an uncommon story - the two worlds mix more than you'd expect. Graceful Aliyah balances dual roles as belly dancer and police officer like the blade of a scimitar.
Speaking of sharp objects, one belly dancer even used her Turkish prop to stop a robbery. When a would-be robber cornered this dancer in a grocery store parking lot using his scary knife, she faced him head-on with her much scarier Turkish sword, much to the amusement of police officers taking her statement.
So when we read a story about a recent string of robberies in Amy's neighborhood and her astute observation that perhaps her home remained untouched due to her practicing sword routines in her front yard, we thought it was right on the mark. We even thought, "Heck yes!" and "Right on, sistah."
A law enforcement blogger reading her statement, Bruce Bremer, thought otherwise. When he read Amy's statement, he made up some bizarre story about how neighborhood watches could employ her techniques, encouraging the whole subdivision to take shifts belly dancing with reflective bra tassels.
Ok, we heartily endorse his suggestion, but without the sarcasm and "mooning" references in his blog. One commenter even went so far as to call Amy's practices "loony", and Bruce ends his article with the statement, "You don’t have to be crazy to defend yourself, but if the bad guy thinks you’re a little off your rocker… it might just help."
Here you go, Bruce. For future reference. I know these things are difficult, but I'm pretty sure this guide is easy-to-comprehend, even for you.
You know that unwritten rule that we can joke about our friends, but should a stranger dare even IMPLY a bad thought about our besties, we will kick him/her into next Tuesday? If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's sort of like the rule that while we may complain about our little brother's annoying habits and stinky feet, we're the first to defend him if a bully starts taking his lunch money.
Such is the way of the belly dancer and his/her clan.
Look, Bruce, we know we're crazy. We embrace it. We howl at the moon, perform on the beach, rescue goats, dance with one leg, get inspired by cellular activities and yeah, even dance with deadly weapons. But calling us crazy while proudly asserting that you have never taken a belly dancing class only tells us one thing: you're close-minded. I'm gonna take it one step further and say, you're probably no fun!
What's the world coming to if we don't embrace a little bit of the nutty side? Who has a good time following the rules and only doing what some vague idea called 'society' says is prim and proper? Let's be honest here, who among us is wholly, completely, without a doubt sane?
I'm not raising my hand, because it's too busy pointing a sword at the boring people in life and begging the question, "Why aren't you dancing?"
Because I often get inspired from statements made with religious intent, here's a thought posed by an atheist to a Christian that I think also applies to belly dancers (please forgive my shoddy recollection since I can't find the original statement): "If you people believe half as much of what you say you believe, you should be twice as eager to share it."
For belly dancers, this means, if you embrace the mission of belly dance half as much as you say you do, you should be dancing twice as often! And if doing that in your yard with a Turkish sword has the added benefit of scaring off the robbers staking out your neighborhood... then so be it!
To the author Bruce, I say this: Perhaps shining the light and belittling a belly dancer may be fun for you... but the fact that police have been unsuccessful in stopping robbers that have hit such a large number of homes in 1 neighborhood IS WHAT'S CRAZY!