Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Belly Dancing

Anyone out there familiar with Shakira? She is a belly dancing bombshell from Columbia, made famous by her song such as "hips dont lie". In her "hips don't lie" video she is wearing next to nothing and dancing so provocatively I am amazed the television does not catch on fire. The picture shown here does not do Shakira justice. The woman reeks of sexual innuendo and she is absolutely georgous. I am not talking about Shakira because I am a huge fan, I am talking about her because my children are huge fans, especially my oldest daughter Ashley (shes 17).

Immediatly after seeing the "hips don't lie" video Ashley was determined to learn to belly dance. I was equally determined that she would not learn to belly dance. I told her belly dancing seemed a little too provocative for a young lady and I was against it. Ashley was furious. She honestly didn't understand my point. She said I was being unfair and narrow minded about belly dancing. She pointed out that she was allowed to take hip-hop dance classes and they were as provacative as belly dancing. I of course said "no more hip-hop classes".

I have been a Mother for seventeen years now. I have five beautiful daughters. In raising them I have learned that giving them knowledge is power. Not just for them but for me. If they know the reasoning behind my decisions they are less likely to argue about them. If they know that the points I am making are valid they are more accepting of my decisions. The times I have trouble geting the girls to take no for an answer are normally the times that I didn't explain my reasons for saying no, or the times that my reasons were not very reasonable. Just because I wouldn't choose it or I wouldn't do it, doesn't mean its wrong. Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean its bad. So when Ashley kept on and on about belly dancing I tried to think of the best way to explain to her why it was not a good idea. I figured if she could just understand my reasons she would stop fighting me about this.

So I thought about what I didn't like about belly dancing. I decided to weigh the pros and cons. In the con list I had Shakira and her video. I also had hmmmm..... well nothing. I remember the old time movies of ladies belly dancing, but they didn't seem so bad. Then of course theres I dream of Jeannie, I believe she belly danced at times, but can you consider I dream of Jeannie bad? I didn't think so. I tried to think of any stories on the news in which a teenager learns to belly dance and some terrible crime happens to them, but I could
n't recall any such story. It seemed I was having trouble convincing myself that belly dancing was bad, no wonder Ashley didn't understand.

Could it be that I was being unfair and narrow minded about belly dancing? Did I see one aspect of a situation and immediatly jump to a conclusion? Did I take one look at Shakira and decide that if Ashley took belly dancing she would turn into a sexy bomb shell from Columbia? Well it seems that I did.

I decided to do a little more research on belly dancing and I found this wonderful site. Did you know that belly dancing was originally a dance performed by and for woman only? They did it to help pass the time. I also watched a belly dancing class. It was a small class with woman of all ages. And while some of them were pretty good, none of them will ever be Shakira.

Ashleys birthday was July 2nd. The gift we gave her was belly dancing classes. She is very excited about it. I still feel a little worried. I have visions of her swinging her hips around the next family cook out, or worse, at the next teen party! But like all things in life, we give our children all the knowledge we have and hope they use it properly.


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