Why Drumming Kills a Bardic Circle

Hugh Niewoehner hughn at ssd.fsi.com
Mon Dec 23 07:54:52 PST 1996

Kateryn, Deidra, and others,

>On Sat, 21 Dec 1996, DEIDRA L GOUGH wrote:
>> I did, however, just figure out why there are so few Middle Eastern
>> Dancers in this Kingdom, what with the reception I've seen here today.

>How easy is it to find a non-cabaret teacher? 
This is the easy part.  Particularly where you live.  
Find the local gathering place for the Turkish and Arab community.   The
best way to learn is from those who live it.  Whenever there is a party
there is probably going to be... you guessed it!  Middle Eastern dancing!
These may include professionals but more likely will include those who do it
for fun and have done it since before they were able to stand on two feet.
This isn't cabaret dancing, it's insticntive, natural dancing,  its what
your body feels like doing.  Watch, join in, share with them, and they'll
probably be happy to include you.  Ismet and I attend about two turkish
parties a year here in Northkeep and everybody dances, guys and girls.  When
they dance they share moves and styles.  Ismet will note a move or pattern
that somebody does and will dance over next to them and ask them to show her
what they did.  Next thing you know she's learned a new step or pattern, or,
gotten an idea of something to try on her own.   The next big opportunity
for you will probably be when the month of Ramadan ends.  There are almost
always major partys on the evening of the last day.

>I am reluctant to go further in this area until I can
>study with someone who is doing period dance styles and get some help with
>the resource.  Better to do it right first than have to relearn (!).

No! No! NO!  You won't "have to relearn".  The knowledge _is_ useful and
transferable.  As in metal work, leather work, fighting, ad infinitum,
learn and adapt.  If you don't start with something you'll never start.
And, don't worry about the outfit being modernish, its a starting point.
There is a lot to debate about period outfits.  
As you said,the sources are limited.  There are a number of reasons for this
but that's a whole new bag of worms I'm not really interested in untying
here and now. Just make something you feel comfortable with and go from
there.  The one's who sneer "Cabaret" rather than helping are the ones with
the problem.  You'll find plenty of others willing to talk and work with you. 


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