All the Assumptions

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Tamra Henna of Texas

July 15th I produced a belly dance show and fundraiser, which was a super success. It was the biggest show I have ever produced, on a real stage with lighting and sound, because I care how our dance is presented to the public. I went to bed exhausted, but on that high you get when you’ve done something big and it didn’t fail.

The next morning I woke up to a blog post on my Facebook feed about Orientalism in Belly Dancing, and immediately recognized that the dance ensemble I’m a part of was being used as an example of Orientalism and ignorance in the world of Middle Eastern Dance. Rude awakening, to be sure.

As public performers we know that we open ourselves to critique when we put ourselves and our creations out there, but it’s still an unusual feeling to know that you’ve been singled out as…

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