{Donning flame proof attire}
Okay, here goes.. it's something I do not tell many people about, because it is almost as often misinterpreted as the herp hobby. I belly dance. I take classes, I am practicing to do performances, I am really into it. It started out as a way to lose weight, but ended up becoming a passion of mine. My teacher knows that I have reptiles and has asked about me incorporating a snake into one of my acts, but I have stalled her off, telling her I wasn't sure how I felt about that. And I still don't. I know that it would be unusual, at least for this area, it would be cool and so on...but I don't know how I feel about using a snake for a dance.

On one hand, it would be yet another way for me to introduce snakes to yet another audience of people, to be able to educate them. Haflas are gatherings of people who belly dance (basically its a belly dance recital with lots of food and venders). I could talk to people about reptiles in between sets. These are not smoky environments, nor are they situations where people get out of control or act stupid (in otherwords, this is not a bar-like setting). If it were, I would not consider it, much less be in that setting myself.
On the other hand, does dancing with a snake go along to just further set that idea that people have about reptiles into their mind a little further. I mean, the main reason that most people dance with a snake is because of the shock factor behind it. However, I think that done properly, a snake dance could be intriguing and beautiful.
I am so mixed about it, I am just curious of other people's opinion on this matter. I have done a lot of looking around for other belly dancers that use snakes. I will not bore everyone with a list of links that you don't really care about, but I will include one that I thought was fairly well done. All of the sites I have found have emphasized that snake's safety and well-being.
http://www.bdancer.com/med-guide/culture/snake.html
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I am so mixed about it, I am just curious of other people's opinion onthis matter.

My opinion is that if tastefully done, there should be no problem. Realize the snake may be an active part of the routine, but not a willing one, so the choreography would have to take into account the nature of the individual snake (is it one content to just sit still on you, or one that feels like it has to climb? I'd try to incorporate a "sit still" specimen and plan my moves around that). Without knowing the theme, I as a spectator be more receptive to a routine showcasing the snake's beauty and fluid motion over something focused on the person or on any perceived erotic aspect of the inclusion of a snake. Emotion: smile

Chris
http://www.mcmartinville.com
I agree, I don't see a problem with this. I also agree that the dance should replicate the graceful movement
of the snake.
I wouldn't incorporate any John Travolta Saturday Night Fever moves either (just my opinion).
Spit
{Donning flame proof attire} Okay, here goes.. it's something I do not tell many people about, because it is almost ... I thought was fairly well done. All of the sites I have found have emphasized that snake's safetyand well-being. http://www.bdancer.com/med-guide/culture/snake.html

I've seen two things on tv recently where when someone brought a snake out in front of an audience, people were evacuating the front row. I have no idea why people are so afraid of snakes.
I think that this could work if you did it in such a way, that the snake is the "star of the show" as that site put it. Maybe you could work out a routine that mimiced the smoothe movements the animal makes, which could kind of highlight the beauty of the animal rather than whatever else the people may be thinking about it?
-Rubystars
I don't see anything wrong with it. No erotica with the poor snake, but I don't think you'd do that anyway. Just let the audience know you're using a snake so there isn't a big shock.
Cindy
My opinion is that if tastefully done, there should be ... of the inclusion of a snake. :) Chris http://www.mcmartinville.com

I agree, I don't see a problem with this. I also agree that the dance should replicate the graceful movement of the snake. I wouldn't incorporate any John Travolta Saturday Night Fever moves either (just my opinion). Spit

Well, darn it, that just blows my choreography out the window. I had a whole montage of Saturday Night Fever, The Hustle, and of course, KC and the Sunshine Band's ever popular belly dance hit, Shake Your Booty, all ready to go. Hmmph, back to dumbek (drum) solos.
I really appreciate the comments from both you and Chris. By all means, my intent is for the snake to be the star in this piece. I have not even gone so far as to pick a species of snake yet. Boa constrictors are the most often used snake, I would like to look into other species as well. I am still deciding if I will even do it of course, but it does help to get feedback from people on here. I respect a great many of you, and your opinions are important to me.
I don't see anything wrong with it. No erotica with the poor snake, but I don't think you'd do that anyway. Just let the audience know you're using a snake so there isn't a big shock. Cindy[/nq]Hehe, these haflas (the dance recitals) are very family oriented. In fact, my eight year old niece goes to class with me. She has not been going for long, but she is excited about the chance to have some choreography done for her to dance to. Unfortunately, a stigma is attached to belly dancing, people think of strippers and over-eroticized images when they think of this form of dancing. Hey, when have I ever been involved in anything that is understood by the general public? A great many of the women that are belly dancing now-a-days are 'Goddesses' which is a polite way of saying 'quite large'.

I was when I started. I was around 225 lbs. You would not know that now, but I have worked hard. Anyway, it is definitely not the erotic, harem girl image that most people have in their minds.

As far as the shock of a snake suddenly appearing, it is always announced and placed on the program, so as to keep the influx of panic attacks down to a minimum. Again, I really appreciate the opinions. I expected a lot of negativity, but I guess that's because of my own worries. I have worked so hard to help people come to an understanding about reptiles, I am very possessive over that. I would be scared to do something that I thought might contradict that in any way.
her to dance to. Unfortunately, a stigma is attached to belly dancing, people think of strippers and over-eroticized images when they think ofthis form of dancing.

I wasn't implying that the dancing itself was erotic, but I think many people would construe it as such if a snake were incorporated. I can't explain it much better than that right now it just seems like it would easily lend itself to such interpretation.
Best bet have a narrated introduction, explaining that there will be a live, nonvenomous snake featured in your performance, and that the routine is designed to highlight and complement the inherent beauty of the animal.
As far as the shock of a snake suddenly appearing, it is always announced and placed on the program, so ... very possessive over that. I would be scared to do something that I thought might contradict that in any way.

Isn't it all a little too cliché though? :-P
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