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Garb Tolerance

topic posted Sun, March 19, 2006 - 7:28 PM by  Akila Ashana...
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Hi there.
I am a Tuchux wench. I am not a stripper.
I have been studying middle eastern dance for 8yrs now.
BUT when I go to sign up for a Hafla or dance in one...I am most commonly turned down in the most hostile and vitrolic manner possible. Women will say things like "This isn't for whores...take your stripper dance moves somewhere else."

Also at Pennsic....women will be all prejudiced on account of my garb...I do wear coin belts and such in deference although barbarian tribes didn't really have coin belts... and expose far less than even a modern swim suit. It is also HARDER to do bellydance when you don't have this huge poofy skirt on. I even went to this one Celtic camp that was doing topless dancing ( I was only woman not topless) and asked to leave mostly because I danced way better and audience was watching me over the women shaking their teats about....

I have a burning question. WHAT IS UP??? Yeah my garb is not authentic middle eastern...I am a barbarian so I wear leathers.....but my dance moves are. It is well documented that various barbarian tribes had their own dancing. I've seen the threads where you moan and groan about "garb Nazis"---so why be a Nazi to the Tuchux wenches? Whenever SCA bellydancers come to Tuchux camp- we treat you well and let you dance with us. Why can't you share your fires with us????
posted by:
Akila Ashanaurpal
Florida
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  • Unsu...
     
    that's ridiculous. i think some SCA people have a problem with Tuchux. I have seen some atrocious garb and people haven't said anything.
    • I know what you mean about atrocious garb. But then we all started out one time and had nothing good to wear. It takes time to make all your garb.
      Thanks for being positive...I was starting to lose my faith
  • not all the sca dancers/people are that rude (at least usually i'm not). perhaps around the camp fires jelousy is a factor? i wouldnt have a problem with a wench in leathers danceing. the few i've seen danced quite well. if its not jelousy perhaps its the animal trait of turning on that which is different? kinda the thought of "its different get rid of it"?
    • Glad to know there are some cool people out there :)
      • I'm sorry you have been treated so shabbily! To me it is not so much what the dancer wears as her level of talent, and it is not fair to judge someone on their appearance. It's very snotty and unbecoming. Not only that if you are bellydancing then you're not displaying "stripper dance moves", you're doing what they are doing, just dressed different! My friend's daughter is an egyptian-style dancer and she was also shunned by some very rude women at Pennsic because of her style of dance (and she is very talented), and I thought it was soooo crappy for them to be so mean and make a 13 year old girl feel so bad and so insecure. People can be such rude jerks.

        I was at Estrella and I saw a girl dancing in an Elizabethan gown for pete's sake, and nobody was being mean to her! She was just dancing and appreciating the very talented musicians who were playing for us. Jeezie Creezie, it's art, it's mesmerizing, and it's woman. Rowr. Fffft Ffffft.
        I wish you better luck in the future!
        • Most of my ME dancing training is Egyptian. Some is more tribal. I would LOVE to learn Indian dance one day...
          So someone else doing the Egyptian stuff got snubbed too? Maybe that is a factor. The Egyptian stuff i find is more free and more about doing/inventing combinations that evoke fluidity and sensuousness...while 'acting' out the story in the music whether it be a washing song or a love song. Other ME workshops I have been to that were not Egyptian seemed to focus more on isolations....isolations to me are cool but they smack of the circus performer wanting to astound on physical prowness and control than dance a story.
          • Mistress Lakshimi Amman teaches indian dance at Pennsic every year.. you should check her out.
            I too have egyptian caberet background and dont get up and dance because of the snotty women at pennsic.. I dont do ATS.. Now I do Gothic belly dance / fusion..maybe I should pop in my Vamp teeth and give them something really to be upset about.

            good luck your not alone,
            Ratanvati
        • Jaimie, Did I see your friend's daughter perform at the Middle Eastern Dance Expo? There was a young dancer there who performed and she was very poised and lovely. I saw her at the Orluk hafla and spoke with her, and told how much I enjoyed her dancing. She had a great stage presence!
          • Might have been. She's 13 but pretty tall, pale skin, red hair. Her mundane name is Tara, SCA name is Dorinda.
            • Yes, that was probably her. I was surprised to learn how young she was for such a good dancer once I talked to her up close at the hafla. I heard several other dancers mention that she was a good dancer... should be very interesting to watch her grow up as a dancer! I hope she dances again this year. Whish I had started bellydance that young... <sigh>
              • Glad she got some positive reinforcement. Some others were so snotty to her that her mom tells me she is really shy about dancing at SCA events now. She IS really good though. It's so great - I have known her since she was about 7 or so, and I remember when I used to dance in our camp and she would get out there on the rug with me in her little hip scarf and "dance" with me, it was SO cute! She really wanted to be a bellydancer. When I saw her at Estrella in Feb. I had not seen her since she was 8 or 9, and I was so impressed with her dancing. She's just beautiful!
                • I'm new to Pennsic and SCA dancing, so I'm no expert!! From what I've heard from other dancers, many dancers made their own debuts @ Pennsic in something less than period... or something more like Cabaret, just because they hadn't learned about anything else yet. She should keep dancing, and definitely come back to the Orluk hafla. The dancers at Orluk are always very nice and supportive, IMHO.

                  Since she's young, maybe she'd like to meet some of the younger dancers, like Shek's daughter's at Touch the Earth? Again, I wish I'd known about belly dancing and Pennsic when I was younger--- it's so cool to watch these young women get out there and dance-- I think it's very empowering for them and the "big sisters" in dance need to support the newcomers. We were all new once... and I'm still new at belly dancing!!
  • I am going to take a neutral stance on this issue, because we have not heard both sides of the story. Also, because I consider myself a middle-of-the roader on the authenticity issue. I do what I can. Accept that there are all types at an sca event. Dont prejudge people, etc. i dont like seeing "belly bunnies" at haflas, but hold my toungue, because they may be newbies who dont know any better, or they may just not care, and want to have a good time (which i am fine with). Now that ive said where im coming from....

    Akila- you seem really nice, BUT if a bunch (i.e. not just one or two) ME SCAdians have a problem with either your garb or your dancing, you may be (unintentionally) doing something inappropriate. i recommend finding a nice but knowledgable ME dancer at a hafla, a friend would be best, and politely explain your situation and ask them (after they have seen you dance) if there is anything specific they see that is inappropriate. It might be something that is easy to fix.

    Also in terms of garb; The barbarian (aka germanic) tribes wore clothing more like this: ( www.garbtheworld.com/pgs/his...ks.shtml or www.garbtheworld.com/pgs/his...es.shtml )

    but for pennsic-- i am on your side. pennsic isnt strictly sca anymore, and people should recognize that.

    good luck!

    • Sayyida sez,

      "but for pennsic-- i am on your side. pennsic isnt strictly sca anymore, and people should recognize that."

      Maybe not in your camp, but in the Pennsic public places and many camps, it is "strictly SCA" rules that are the rule. Please consider, when I am in your house, it is your rules that rule. When you come to my house and break the rules then you will be a welcome guest no longer.

      Personally, if you want to do things in your camp that aren't SCA, I don't have a problem. If it stays in your camp. Including things visible and/or heard from the public spaces, as well as your trash (both litteral and figurative, as in the case of your drunken guests that make pests of themselves in the surrounding camps!)

      So, Pennsic is SCA sanctioned activity, strictly speaking. Check the sign-in documents for that assurance.

      Most of SCAdians are tolerant, to a limit. Some are not, and they let you know it. Chose who you will be with and like, according to your own tolerance.

      Don't forget to smile!
      • i think i should clarify my post about pennsic a bit

        yes, when you go into other peoples' camps you need to follow their rules and respect what they say. HOWEVER pennsic in general (i.e. merchant area, food court, etc) is no longer strictly sca, and i dont expect everyone there to dress the SCA way. Yes, it would be nice. But it is not realistic.

        also at pennsic, people have no right to attack other peoples garb at a hafla or party if they are not part of the hosting group. (even if you are a member of the hosting group, there are polite ways to handle situations) in other words, i would not go to a party at orluks or enchanted ground or anywhere else that has a special atmosphere, and attack someones garb for not meeting that criteria. that is NOT within my rights as a guest.
        • Ya Sayyida!

          Then your villiage observes the two rules of hospitality, yes? That the host must provide and the guests must be entertaining?

          In our village, the hosts of haflas try to create an atmosphere or illusion of a particular place and/or time, and then provide a safe and comfortable place for guests to entertain eachother, each with their special skills. It is considered good courtesy and practice to thank the host for their efforts, and when necessary ask the host to address special needs (such as if another guest needs to be seen to for trouble they may be having, like keeping their hands to themselves. I've been called on as the host for that purpose, sometimes too late. For that I'm sorry.)

          Well, those are how things are done in the village where I live...How do they observe it where you live?


          Thank you for clarifying your post. Yet, permit me to disagree with you on the point of what and where SCA rules apply at Pennsic. (I'm speaking from my experience of being on the event staff many times in the past.)

          I will encourage you to read the rules and requirements of Pennsic, for the public space of Pennsic is under the auspices of the SCA, and therefore the rules are even more applicable there. Don't just take my word for it, get a copy of the book that is handed out to each arrival at the gate (where you sign an agreement that acknowledges these rules are in force and that you will abide by them.)

          Salaam, Mukhtar
          • Mukhtar-- We will just have to agree to disagree on the SCA-ness of Pennsic! But know that I have nothing but respect and appreciation for you and your "village."

            On a side note; I remember last pennsic (my second) seeing you and a stringed instrument player of some sort (forgive my ignorance) playing for a ME dancer near my camp. i asked if i could come in and observe, and spent the next few minutes listening and watching. after a while, you asked if i would like to join you. i was nervous, having only been drumming for a year. but you welcomed me, and patiently showed me some new rhythyms.

            it is moments like that, which make pennsic so special to me.

            thank you for the moment.

            til next year,

            erica
    • I would have to agree with Sayyida regarding barbarian costuming. When I am not doing MED I belong to Ring Tribe A Barbarian Celtic/Germanic Ancient household and by the end of the day I feel like I am bipolar, am I a Mid east dancer or a Barbarian? When in doubt I look to the ancient Sarmatian horse hair tassle belt and a Roman pueblo and do my best at merging the time periods. It is defintiely not as sexy as many MED garb but it does allow me to at least make an attempt at a Barbarian belly dancer.
      Fatin
    • You may want to remember that bellydance sometimes intimidates people. Bellydance is often mis understood. Some gestures in a cultural way may end up saying something derogitory and disrespectful. There is such a thing as modesty in dance. Sometimes people do not want to dance around the adept dancers. They end up feeling intimidated to dance because theres someone so great dancing. Everyone who dances has something to say with their style of dance. Even if you were to watch a troupe of dancers do the same routine, each one of them say something different in their definition of those moves. Thats how I read bodylanguage. Thats how I define it.

      You may be better off asking someone on the side if you did something. Someone may have been distracted by a certain behavior. Coins are common in costume. They denote a dowry a person's pocket book. Showing skin however is something people debate about in the sca world. Last time I checked the SCA events state. "Make an attempt to dress the part." or attempt to "Be period." If your in garb. Then your playing that part.

      Personally, I would walk away from the ta ta show. It puts a dancer in to a different catagory as a sexual spectation as opposed to a preformer. I was asked at an event to strip bellydance and I declined and walked away. I don't want that reputation.

      I am not saying you are a tacky preformer. I think that the elders of our community have seen it and have quite possibly been there. Shira is a great resource www.shira.net/tacky.htm This webpage is a great resource. Several articles specifically discuss, etiquette and if your performance is classy or tacky.

      I really love what Sayyida says. Its wise advice and opinion.
      • I would agree...I am wearing the garb of my tribe. I do not strip or expose any indecent parts of my body. I use the ME moves I was taught..but I have to admit I do inject some "wildness" into it b/c I am a free barbarian and not a locked up hareem girl. I am not intending to offend anyone. And yet, I get rude receptions from many of the women. ( the men like me..but they are not so picky lol!) The ta ta dance kind of put me off...but I love dancing and well...if the other women are topless then who could possibly object to my leathers? well come to find out there were objections b/c i danced better and more of the audience were applauding me ( who was not topless) than those that were topless. It's true...if you are a good dancer...you don't need to show skin. But then...I didn't object to the others being topless and wearing their woad..that is their Celtic period thing...so why do people object to me wearing leathers as opposed to ME garb??
        • Sometimes the nature of the clothing can make a big impact on the perception of the dance. I wear standard Middle Eastern in some performance venues - ghawazii coats, long skirts, pants, and even bedlah sets - and I wear Indian stuff in the SCA, and I wear tight sexy clothing like leather, PVC, corsets and club wear in night clubs at home.

          I've noticed that the same technically clean belly dance move with good posture can look amazingly different in the different types of clothing. The swishy extra fabric of most ME style garments add a softness to the dance, while minimal, tight fitting clothing can make the moves look much more erotic. Given that strippers and burlesque dancers *do* draw from dance moves shared with Middle Eastern dance - it can be very hard for a not-very-trained dancer or observer to tell the difference. I say this being BOTH a middle eastern dancer and a burlesque performer... I figure if *I* sometimes wonder what the difference is... how could someone else who hasn't been doing this for a number of years?

          Not that such excuses rudeness and name calling. If a gathering is private - it should be stated as such. If a guest has behavoir that is not pleasing, the guest should be told without words like "whore" coming into the conversation. This *is* supposed to be a game of chivalry, where we lead by example.

          I don't have 100% of the answer. One thing that may help is to spend more of your time on the dance floor directing your performer energy towards the women in the audience or your fellow dancers. As you say, it's generally the women that have taken issue with your dance, so you might try giving them a little extra energy, so they don't feel left out. It may counter out the misperception that you are only there to seduce the men and get laid.

          I had a dance teacher once that suggested that if you are dancing at a couple, you spend more than 50% of the time dancing at the female half. That guideline has often served me well in my own dancing. It's not unusual for me to see a couple watching the dancing where the male half is *definitely* having a good time, and the female looks slightly grouchy. About 50% of the time, I can get her to smile by dancing and devoting energy to smiling *at* her. Smiles can be infectious that way.

          Hard to suggest other strategies, not actually having been at the parties you mention.
          • I think you hit it right on the nose- I am so glad you've been on my side of the fence so to speak. In mundania I do usual ME bellydance stuff wearing usual ME clothing. And you are right...the same moves look different when wearing the sweeping skirts of ME vs. the tight leathers of a Tuchux. In fact, I have to be more exact about the moves when in tight clothing than when in padding...often coin belts are a good disguise for someone who has no idea how to shimmey and just let it all shake around!

            I can try your suggestion to dance to the females...though I am not sure they'd be receptive. Hey it's worth a shot!
          • Lakshmi...Someday I hope to see your burlesque act! It sounds great.

            But It would be even cooler to play the burlesque music....guess I need to take up saxophone for that.....

            See you at Pennsic!
    • So how many years of study does it take to be a knowledgeable ME or Hafla dancer? I have 8yrs under my belt...so maybe after 10yrs? 20yrs? Should I specifically say I need to check in with a dancer that has more than 8yrs experience?Sorry...just confused by what you mean by "experienced" and think you may be confusing me with a belly bunny or newbie as you call them.
  • Aklla;

    Sometimes people do things that just don't fit in. For instance, a trap set at Tuchux dance sessions may fit in, but it won't help create or enhance an atmosphere of of a middle-eastern hafla set in the Middle Ages. Along that same line, Tuchux skins and Klingon battle tack don't help create or maintain the same atmosphere either.

    Some of us put in a lot of effort into creating places where the Middle Eastern flavor is predominant. Something like bagpipes and kilts just are jarringly out of place, as are Tuchux skins. Forcing others to endure such an intrusion would be like requiring the Tuchux to endure visits from Evangalizing Puritans in their camp without recourse. A Big Bird costume is not a good choice for a black-tie dinner, and a tuxedo is not appropriate for any SCA venue that I could conceive of.

    Why is there bad blood between Tuchux and others? A history of trouble has been created by others before you. Some have made it their goal to piss others off by getting in their face. Some are just plain thoughtless, or even clueless (maybe caused by too much strong drink?) Personally, I have been assaulted in the past by some of the young dogs of the Tuchux (and they answered to their clan for that, or so I am told.) Though you are not those boys, my view of the Tuchux is colored by that and other past behaviors, and you get lumped in with them, unfortunately (despite my efforts to take each on their own merit, I'm only human, okay?)

    To get respect, you have to give it. I hope that you see that I have given you a respectful and honest answer to your question.

    Regards, Mukhtar

    (This discussion always reminds me of the little sign at the "Y"..."We don't swim in your toilet, so please don't pee in our pool!")
    • I can see your point here, too, and Sayyida's as well - definitely you might ought to talk to someone and "check in" to see what's the root of the issue. But no, it is not nice to say to anyone what you reported has been said to you before (the whore & stripper comments). That's just not polite and there are more respectful ways to treat people or let them know that things aren't done that way in their camp.
    • I can appreciate that so long as you also turn away all SCAdians in different culture and period garb in additon to Tuchux in order to preserve a 100% ME atmosphere.
      • Aklia sez:

        "I can appreciate that so long as you also turn away all SCAdians in different culture and period garb in additon to Tuchux in order to preserve a 100% ME atmosphere."

        Thus far, I've never asked anyone to leave because of what they wear. I have asked drummers to sit out when they can't manage to play well with others, or dancers to leave the carpet when they are not in control of the props they are trying to use in the middle of the crowd, or failing to cease flailing the other dancers.

        However, should someone decide to dance "In the Style of the Greeks" (i.e. sans garments) before the kids are in bed...that will get them bundled in a blanket and moved to a safe place until we can a G-string and Pasties, and provide a guide to a camp where the venue is more receptive. (A host's duty to his guest must be observed!)
        Try this; If you ask the host if they mind if you dance, then you have not "presumed" upon the host, and should the host give assent, then they have taken the obligation of providing and protecting you in their house (in my village, anyway.)

        There is a wonderful story that Chengir relates on the duties of the host from the days of Muhammad (PBUH), and if you ask me to tell it someday, I will do my best to remember it. This custom and others are often seen in my village.
        Salaam, Mukhtar
  • Akila, the Tuchux wenches are welcome and safe in our camp. Your dogs know where to find us!

    I don't care what people do or don't do-- to each his or her own. And speaking for myself, if anyone takes that horrific attitude that you mentioned in your first post in *my* presence, they will be dealing with something altogether different than they probably meant to. I'm very non-confrontational, but I certainly wouldn't stand around and watch ANYone get treated that way, whether I agreed with what they were saying or not.

    People's principals and ideas don't have to match, but civility and respect needs to be a _given_ as far as I'm concerned.

    Others on this thread (some of whom I like very much!) feel differently than I do, but I personally would welcome anyone with a love for the dance and an interest in others. It's like I said-- our principals may not match, but our respectfulness of our differences certainly does.

    Of course, I can certainly see myself asking you about your garb, too: questions like "Cool, where'd you find chain like that?" and about your dancing, "Would you do that hip-drop again in slow motion?" :~)

    ~Jaya Wronghand, House Clovenshield
  • Greetings, new to this discussion.

    I've learned alot about ME dance and garb, since my daughter has become a dancer.
    Much of what you see at Pennsic worn by "good looking" ME dancers is not all that historically acturate itself. Much is a modern American invention.
    The ever popular gwazee coat (forgive spelling) in way out of period from what I've heard.

    So let those without sin cast the first stone.

    The idea of get some friendly feedback is a great way to see ourself through other's eyes and learn somethings about ourself we did not realize.

    Peace
    • Akila,
      What you are running into, as several others have already stated, is likely more than simple garb intolerance. If you are obviously a member of the Tuchux, a beautiful female, can dance at all well, you are likely to run into various prejudices individually or all at the same time.
      >
      There are people who have had run ins with the Tuchux or who have heard of run ins with the Tuchux, or who simply don't like the way the Tuchux look and act. Of course before Pennsic moved to Cooper's Lake, it was the Dark Horde who caught all the flak. I can remember back in the early days of the SCA when anyone in late period clothing was subject to snide comments from the early period types who predominated at that time. This was especially true among the women. Then it was the fencers. In one SCA kingdom fencing is still not allowed.
      >
      I once met a beautiful professional artist at a dance who had seen me doing a fighting demo at a Renn Fair. She wanted to join the SCA, so I invited her to a local Yule event and borrowed a nice dress to fit her. At the event I introduced her to a couple of the local female artist types and she was treated so ruderl by them that she would never again go near the SCA.
      >
      If you dance at all well you are likely to run into plain old jealously.
      >
      What you might try doing next Pennsic is disguise yourself. Wear totally period ME clothing to a Hafla and ditch or cover anything that would indicate that you are a member of the Tuchux. See if you are treated any differently and by whom.
      • Sounds like an interesting social experiment, Jim.

        However, it saddens me that people have to be nasty and critical about something as inconsequential as clothing!!! Live and let live, I say.
      • It would be an interesting experiment...but cannot be done w/o getting out of period and out of persona...and well that's just not why I am here. Too, if I got caught, I'd spend the night at the wench post....
        • Akila,
          "if I got caught, I'd spend the night at the wench post.." It sounds like you Tuchux are worse period nazis than most of the SCA! So go with a non Tuchux friend who is like you in every way except in garb and see how you and she are treated by the same people. It can be done and would make a great story for the Pennsic Star or Weekly News or whatever it is called these days.
          Another thing you might consider. Document every piece of garb you wear and carry it with you. I have a photo of a late Roman leather bikini bottom from a British museum. I can post it to the photos section of this tribe along with its place and date of origin.
    • That is so true!! I get so flabbergasted that people say my leathers are not period when they are standing there in polyester felt, with nylon mesh, underwire bra contraptions, and SPANDEX!!! All of which are dyed with patterns and colors only availaable in modern times with modern chemicals!! Hey...I buy skins, I cut them, I sew them with leather thong or cat gut. I glue my own feather/bone/shell decorations and attach them in the period fashion. I make sure I am not wearing "african beads" or using "ostrich feathers" as we are just dirty European nomads from 600AD. Ok...so maybe they cover what is acceptable by modern stds...many tribes went 100% topless...and many didn't wear any underwear with chaps and loincloths. So, yeah, we're not 100% period because we are LESS naked than period...but hey, have to have some modicrum of modesty in regards to the modern day and age.
      • I am one that doesnt mind alot of non-SCA things at War - and to me, Tuchux are just part of the experience. I also happen to enjoy sharing dance space with many different people -- you can learn something from just about any one. :-)

        But, to try to answer your inital question if we assume for one second that you were snubbed mearly because of your garb, rather than your dance itself or some other detail, you have to consider that a barbarian from 600 AD is NOT within the realm of the SCA - its too early. So I can see where someone may not want something not even withing the scope of the society at their function -- perhaps it ruined their illusion of what it should be?

        Unfortuantely, as simple as that answer is, its prolly incorrect. I am gonna guess someone just had a burr up their arse and you presented a good target for their ire. Sorry to hear it happened. If they were truely trying to maintain a certain atmosphere, there are gentler ways of handling the situation.
        • It game its a Fun game. As Hosam Ramzy a internationaly famous perrcustion said when asked if his meathods where from period he replyed. i paraphrase 'We have no way of knowing no on is still alive from back then'

          For me all dance i beutyfull and i will play for anyone anywhere regardless.

          Remember we are the Society for CREATIVE Annacronism. We take the best we can from the resourse we have for example did Austrialian aborionies exist in period? How about the Aborigonal tribes of India and Africa they certaingly had contact with europe during period and they still dress mainly the same todayand they exist ALL threw period. A good exanple is the Picts if you want to go even closer to home. The desriptions of them have them wearing Animal skins

          We allow Japanese so why not Aboriganies from india and Africa or Eveen Great Britton!who where Much closer

          For some one who complains about stuff not being period i say. Find me soemone still alive from back then and i will take there world for it. Untill then We have No way of knowing.
          Emyrs
        • Actually the SCA covers from 600AD to 1600AD. We are within the limits. Otherwise...we wouldn't see the the Roman households now then would we?
          www.ansteorra.org/regnum/ho...idhan2.htm
          "Members are encouraged to research a favorite period of history between 600 & 1600 ad. While most members study mainly European cultures, everyone is free to study any culture known to Europe during this era. Members put their research into practice by learning and performing period crafts and activities. In addition, an alter-ego, or Persona, is developed and members thus become noble lords and ladies during official Society events."
          • Unsu...
             
            I think another misconception is the idea of Tuchux invading Pennsic, an SCA event. Tuchux were there first. To some extent, we (SCA) are their guests.
            • The discussion of "Who owns/Found Pennsic" or what rules apply would probably be better diverted to a topic stream on the Pennsic tribe. That's where most of the Pennsic Pundits are flogging this particular putrid pony.

              Oh and Vince, there were no Tuchux at Pennsic 6, and Dagan had been promoting the use of the Coopers Campground for a year before we went there. Ask him if you'd like. Me? I was just there for the battles, and not important enough to be noticed, except by he and Andrew.
              • Unsu...
                 

                Tuchux

                03/22
                ::sighs:: I was gonna ignore this...

                Hi Akila!

                What I say is my personal opinion. I can't speak for the multitudes at Pennsic or here on Tribe.

                I have had both good and bad experiences with Tuchux at SCA events. That has very much coloured my behaviour towards members of your tribe when I meet them.

                Last year at Aethelmearc War Practice, I was dancing round the fire when a rather large Tuchuk man stepped between me and the fire, and got in my face, telling me to leave the fire because "It was 'THE CHICKS' fire and I had no place there."

                I politely pushed him back and told him he needed to get the F*-K away from me as drunken white men breathing down into my face always brings out the worse in me.

                He then moved on to Donnallain who was also dancing... and then to Sir Roak. The fact that it was Clovenshield and Donnallain is Clovenshield, made me think this guy was clearly an uninvited guest.

                He soon left, shouting expletives at the entire camp.
                My evening was ruined because I now felt wound up. :(

                This is only one incident. And I'm sorry, I save my respect for people who treat ME with a modicum of respect in the SCA. I don't care if you say you are a barbarian, a persian, a frank or a packet of $2 crisps. If you're going to be rude, you will leave a bad impression. Especially if you are repeatedly rude.

                As to the authenticity of Tuchux, my understanding (and I will gladly take correction if I'm wrong) is that the group is based on the Gor novels which are *NOT* real history.

                However...

                I once danced with a Tuchuk woman down in the swamp. She was a stupendous dancer and clearly knew what she was doing. She challenged me to do a backbend and then did one herself.

                When the drumming stopped, she asked to borrow my sword. I was leery, but she made a point of telling me she WOULD give it back. I lent it to her and she danced with it quite nicely, then gave the sword back.

                "Remember, I gave you my word as a Tuchuk, and I kept my word."
                I could only smile and nod in response.

                But, the positive experiences have been far less than the negative ones.

                Again at Aethelmearc War practice last year I saw two Tuchuk women dancing and doing the Faux Lesbian Scenes around the fire. And while I don't begrudge my male friends watching two women getting it on, there is a time and place for everything. The dancing I saw from these two women showed no hint of Middle Eastern dance training.

                The faux lesbian scenes feed into the worse stereotypes that people seem to have about middle eastern dance in the SCA : That it is strippers doing bump and grind and erotically dancing around fires.

                But imagine my surprize about a month later to see one of the women at a Tribal workshop (Spark) held in Pittsburgh. And her dancing was exquisite!

                Akila, I would never be rude to you around a fire if I saw you could dance. I don't really care what you wear if you can dance. But I can't say I would be the most welcoming person either because of my past experiences with your tribe. I apologize for this failing in my character.

                Respectfully,
                Valizan
                • Re: Tuchux

                  03/23
                  I apologize for the same failings in my character.
                  It is only human. There are good Tuchux and bad Tuchux. There are bad SCA people and there are good SCA people. The bad experiences just beget more bad experiences. Every good deed is a seed that then blossoms into more good deeds..well it's the same with bad deeds. I am also leary of even going out to SCA town b/c I am just not up to facing more crappy attitudes. I am sure you are leary of Tuchux for the same reasons..and tend to avoid us.

                  No one group is going to be perfect...
                • Re: Tuchux

                  03/31
                  Hey - nobody told me I was a lesbian! What will my husband say, other than "Can I watch?"

                  Ok. I have to step in here. Yes, it is possible for a guy to look great dancing. Possible, yet highly unlikely. Most of them look...well...gay. I can only speak from my 25 years doing this stuff, but the majority of people watching dancers are there to watch the women. The guys tend to look like ugly, hairy women dancing. You all have every right ot dance - go ahead and do your thing. We all have the same dancing rights. But don't be surprised if some dude walks up to you and asks you to stop. I wouldn't be surprised if someone asks me to stop dancing. I just wouldn't care. It's a free kingdom, and we were invited guests of Clovenshield. They had no concern for anything that happened that night. We spoke to them, and they were totally cool with the way the party went.

                  And the Tuchux who you were confronted by is far from white. More of an off white.

                  And I would like to invoie you to Tuchux and Friends so you can discuss the Gor situation.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Tuchux

                    03/31
                    Well, now that I've read the entire thread, and not just replying to one person, let me say something.

                    If I went to a fire as myself (Tuchux garb) I would be seen as some cheap floozy. If I went to another fire dressed in SCA garb and did exactly the same dance, I would be seen completely differently. This doesn't particularly bother me, but it is an interesting sociological experiment - in fact, I've done it, and it worked exactly the way I thought it would. Last year I made my own dance outfit. I went out, sans leathers, wearing cloth, coins, and the like. It was to the point where Tuchux were going "Who's that dancer? Oh, it's only Wildcat." I got a totally different reception - a much more complimentary one. But it wasn't me. I felt like a big poser. I couldn't go out in cloth again, because that's not who I am. I am Wildcat, Tuchux wench.

                    The point is, I am what I am. I am a wench, and I am a bellydancer of 25 years. And I am not going to change who I am just so I can dance somewhere at Pennsic. I will happily go ot another fire where people are not so closed minded. And until the SCA camps check memberships at the door, I can go anywhere any one else can go. If anyone has a problem with me, my dancing, my garb, or my wench sisters, please come up to us and tell us so we know how to better offend you in the future. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

                    At heart, the SCA is about personal expression. That should be blind to something as superficial as clothing.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Tuchux

                    04/03
                    I think its pretty darn rude of this person to ask the guys to stop dancing. Especially if it wasn't their camp to begin with. Personally I say **bring on the dancing men** ..of course, perhaps I'm a bit biased being female myself. And how does this guy know that others weren't enjoying watching the men dance too.

                    If its an open hafla, imho there shouldn't be any snarky comments made to people to stop dancing, because they are men, hairy, old, or what have you. Its about having fun. The only real reason I can see to ask someone to stop dancing at an open hafla is, if they are (as Durr mentioned earlier) flailing in a way that might harm other dancers, being dangerous with their props, or wearing less than family friendly clothing in a camp with children present. Or, if there is going to be a pause fand the floor being cleared for a special performance.

                    I will always be happy to have dancing men, at any hafla I am playing at or hosting.
                    • Re: Tuchux

                      04/03
                      What if the male dancer were making lewd advances on the female dancers??
                      Usually that is #1 reason why a man will tell a male dancer to back off and leave the chicks alone.
                      It can be creepy to have a grinning man gyrating and trying to bump and grind with you when you just want to do some belly dance.
                      • Unsu...
                         
                        Hi Akila: "What if the male dancer were making lewd advances on the female dancers??
                        Usually that is #1 reason why a man will tell a male dancer to back off and leave the chicks alone.
                        It can be creepy to have a grinning man gyrating and trying to bump and grind with you when you just want to do some belly dance."

                        You are a tuchux female, and I'd expect that any male that had nerve enough to bump and grind next to you will summarily have his bump grinded and his grind bumped. :)

                        Though this puts some question to Wildcat's "all male dancers are gay" comment. Why would a gay man want to bump and grind with you?

                        I thought that was why the Tuchux ladies always had a guard to escort them about? I admit, I don't know much about Tuchux culture, but I'm willing to listen if told. :)

                        And I know that I most certainly did not behave like that.

                        I don't know if it makes you feel any better, but it happens to us guys too.

                        A LOT!

                        Despite what Wildcat says, there are apparently quite a few ladies out there who DON'T think hairy male dancers (hey... I'm not that hairy...) are gay. I've been propositioned (Pennsic), groped (Gulf Wars. Hand down pants.), and had a drunken woman leap on me and start pulling my garb off in front of everyone at a fire (Baron Wars).

                        In that last case, it was only the intervention of my baroness, Rowan ("Sorry honey, this one is MINE!") that saved me as I clearly didn't know how to react to this. I didn't want to hurt this lady by pushing her off, but I was a bit embarrassed by having her tongue travelling down my neck in front of all those people. And she smelled like cheap bourbon. ;-)

                        • Hey - I never said all male dancers are gay. I said that generally they can tend to look gay. I also said there are some that are great and manly. Everybody has a place around the fire as far as I'm concerned, but some do tend to look better than others. I'm just not into the guy dancer thing. That is my personal preference, and everyone is entitled to their own. Have fun with your preferences, and I'll have fun with mine.

                          When I dance, I can usually ignore what is going on around me if I don't like something. If someone gets to be too much, I walk away and find somewhere else to dance. If it's turning into a Boy's Club around the fire, I give them their Boy's Club and take a break. If someone's blatantly and purposely annoying me, I annoy them back if I have to. I don't go out looking for it, but if it's started I will finish it.

                          And I do see an important lesson involved in letting newbies see all sides of a drum circle before they get into it. They need to be prepared in the event that they are missing some drum circle etiquette, or someone does go up to them and tell them they are doing something wrong, or any number of things. It's an important educational tool - see first hand what not to do. Newbies generally don't enjoy dancing as much if they get to the fire and are tossed a bunch of rules, or they have a bunch of people telling them how to do this and how to wear that. Let them get out there and let loose. Le tthem express themselves, then let them hone in on the specifics. There will be more dancers out there that way.

                          I would lust like what this topic was started for - let people dance in peace, regardless of costume, ability, or anything else. Let us all celebrate together. Let us be tolerant of each other. We don't have to all get along online, but we also don't have to go out of our way to show that at a fire. At a fire, we are all unified in dance.
                          • I have seen men who were spectacular dancers and I have seen men who just looked absolutely silly. I think it really depends on who taught them, and also their attitude. if they are doing it just to pick up chicks and be all hot and impressive, you can tell and it's a big turn-off. I was at an even recently and we had some spectacular drummers & musicians playing for us at a kingdom party. Lots of super-good dancers too. Then this guy shows up in nothing but a pair of wrap pants and starts doing his thing. He just exuded this "c'mon, don't you think I'm sexy?" attitude. His dancing escalated into him tying his pants up like a loincloth and flexing his muscles every which way, and then he gets into this freaking splits contest with another guy, and it was just so ridiculous....I mean that's not even bellydance. But when men dance because they truly love the art, that shows too. Valizan, from looking at his pics, looks like he's damn good. I'm curious now......I'd like to see him dance. I also remember a former baron who had the body of a weasel.....he was a really good dancer.

                            I think a lot of women are wierded out by male dancers because usually bellydance is considered a womens' thing. I've been a henna artist for a long time, and I find it's the same with men there. I have had male clients who just didn't get it and totally dirtied up the whole tradition, but I have also had males who were extremely appreciative and understanding who I loved working on. To me male dancers are the same way.
                        • Wildcat and I are not the same person. Therefore we have had different experiences.
                          That's all we're talking here,..different experiences and opinions.
                          Why would you think that all Tuchux wenches think alike and have same opinions?

                          I think I skipped the Tuchux indoctrination classes...so that may be a factor....but I personally don't think all male belly dancers are gay...and quite frankly I don't care what orientation a dancer is.
                      • Akila sez;

                        "What if the male dancer were making lewd advances on the female dancers?? "

                        Yeah, I'm there with you on this one. Making a long and ugly story very short, because of this very problem, the haflas were started as a "safe haven" where you could just dance without the drunks and obnoxious sorts hitting on you, thinking that you were doing the "hootichie-coothchie" dance. (Drunk bastard threatened to break my arms when I got between him and my friend. I should have just lifted my drum up into his chin, but instead I just said "I don't have to take this, I'm leaving". When I did, everybody followed me out of the party.)

                        As an aside, some of the folks here do a "Hootchie-Momma" sort of party at Pennsic, or so I'm told. Wulfden is about all the "wild abandon" I need for one Pennsic these days, so I skip that one.
              • Unsu...
                 
                Sorry folks if I ruffled more feathers. I was not intending to imply ownership/ authority/ founding or any such concept belonged to Tuchux. It was more to suggest that when we are tempted to climb the high horse, we should consider maybe others of different leanings have as much right to be there. I certainly am no expert on the history of anything, much less Pennsic.

                My first response on this thread was how we can apply the lessons learned from experiencing intolerance in how we deal with others. My first post on Pnet was immediately greeted with total disdain and contempt by one of the Tuchux. Luckily he does not speak for all Tuchux, not that I couldn't get over it, but that hateful an attitude is self destructive. I have better things to do than worrying if any group can't accept me. There are Tuchux I have much respect for, because they are not afraid to be human first. I realize there are others who try their best, with much success, to be offensive. That stigma carries to the innocent.

                All of us, Tuchux included, do well to embrace the concept not everyone is in this for the same reason, with the same experience, with the same knowledge. Nobody wants their experience of Pennsic to be ruined by someone else, to have that short time we look forward to be spoiled. Our own reaction of intolerance can be our own worst enemy.
                • What was it? Oh yes someone said we Tuchux are "period nazis" and it's true. Some of that that zeal, that energy into keeping everything period and in personna is directed into intolerance. If this were real...then yes you civilized folks would absolutely hate and fear us barbarians and vice versa. You kind of have to work up a healthy disdain and hatred if you want to rout an enemy's warriors and then sweep thorugh their habitations and put women and children to the sword. Right? After all this is the Dark Ages is it not?

                  But there is and should be a limit to being in period and personna...and some Tuchux have different limits to where that begins and ends.

                  BTW- we are NOT based on the Gor books. We just adopted the name ( after changing the spelling)...no more no less. We essentially re-enact an archetype of a barbarian tribe. I've heard this before and looked at the Gor books. All John Norman did is take Earth culture X and throw in sex slaves into the mix. He has books about ME type cultures, Viking cultures, Romani-types, Pirates, Nubian, native american cultures- you name it...he just took an archeytype of each Earth culture, gave it neat new names and then threw in slaves. Oh yeah..he threw i mythological creatures like the Roc ( called Tarn) and giant lizards etc too. We don't do any GOR crap whatsoever. Most Tuchux get so ticked off when they hear this they foam at the mouth. Let me get my toothpaste so I can start foaming!
            • From what I understand both groups were using Coopers but at different times for several years...then one year they happened to be there at the same weekend...and so met. For awhile, they kept holding seperate events but then each invited the other and both mutually agreed to start coordinating events to be at the same time because the more people swinging a stick, the more fun it is.

              Since then, the Tuchux have had a standing invitation to Pennsic.
        • www.euratlas.com/big/big0800.htm

          Even in 800AD...most of the map of Europe is owned by various "barbarian" tribes.
          It wasn't until 1000AD when the region stabilized into kingdoms and thus began the "high middle ages"

          We Tuchux belong to the "Dark Ages" of the middle ages which spans from the fall of the Roman Empire to 100AD.
          • I know that during that time period (600 AD) that Europe was populated largely by what the Romans considered "barbarians", but (correct me if I am wrong) I was under the understanding that most of them were wearing linen and wool rather than leather loincloths during that time period. (NOT criticizing your garb, but my first persona in the SCA was Dark Ages from one of the Germanic tribes and my research them lead me to understand that tunics were the most common article of clothing.)
            • No not you're wrong, but neither am I :)
              Eastern Europe contained many barbarian tribes. Truthfully, many of the tribes that the Romans and Greeks considered to be barbarian were actually quite civilized. By 600AD..many of the tribes had right of settlement given them by the Romans. However...the period from 600 to 1000 AD is characterized by successive waves of new tribes coming south and east into Europe. Each wave met the civilized and then became civilized. But there was always a fresh wave behind them.

              Even in the 1700s...the vast rivers and forests from the Eastern European Cacasus Mtns into Moscovite Russia were populated with barbarian tribes that had no cloth making ability...yeah they'd trade for it and thus had blankets and cloaks ( Tuchux have cloth blankets and cloaks). The interesting historical point is that Russia had a frontier peopled with native tribes as much as the US did. These peoples in the Eastern Europe that would become part of Russia...were still living the barbarian lifestyle 1000yrs later. It is great reading the first hand accounts ( and laws) of the Norse barbarians that first ventured to Kiev and established rule there. Did you know that you would pay a higher fine for cutting off a man's beard than for lopping off a limb??
            • The Angles and Saxons started out as barbarians...overruning the Britons in the 500s but sure enough...by 900AD they are the ones wailing in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle about the Viking barbarians raiding their shores (stolen from the Britons), dressed in furs and leathers with goat skins wrapped around their boots....looting and pillaging. Then...it turns to settlement.....
  • Unsu...
     
    Akila,
    as you can see here, there is more than one side to the issue. Garb intolerance is one of the least appealing "justified" attitudes to me, because of the lasting harm it does to those reaching out. I have found myself in a favorite non-sca gathering before, where the usual total-immersion atmosphere I loved was breached by mundanely dressed surprise guests. While I watched as the party unraveled, as the mundane clothed became the majority while the others packed it in, I remembered how much I dislike garb police.

    So instead of giving in to resenting them, I gave a quiet sigh to myself then tried to welcome them for being interested. Maybe next time, if they return, they will appreciate what they saw and be better prepared to join the illusion.

    My point is, by seeing the hurt of intolerance, you have been given the gift of knowing better, if you ever catch yourself on the other side. Don't hang on to resentment of those who treated you bad or you may become like them. Thank them for clarifying the better values by contrast.
    • Look, I usually don't worry about this kinda thing that much, but let's clarify just one thing and be done with it.

      The SCA PAYS THE BILLS AND TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROBLEMS at Pennsic. You sign a legal agreement with THE SCA when you enter, or you don't enter, correct? And your signature is binding with them, because if something goes wrong, THEY are the ones who have to make it right with the Coopers, the police, the firemen, the insurance agencies, whoever. If the SCA decided to stop making it happen, it would be gone. If the SCA decided to make Membership mandatory, they could and could enforce it. If the SCI-Fi groups want to have a two week event, they do it. But "ownership" is defined by who does the work to create it, who bears the burdens associated with it, and who has to clean up after the party. If anyone can find a reason why that isn't fair, I'd love to hear it.
      And yes, people have been forced to choose between finding more appropriate clothing or leaving. People have been ejected and asked never to return for very inappropriate garb. People have been asked to find something less 'obviously not period' when their futuristic alternate selves dominated their wardrobe. The chick in the electric blue chainmaille minidress (with nothing underneath) was made to leave and so far as we know, has not been back iin the two years since.

      That said, the main tenets of the SCA I was always given was 'It's a game', and 'the only thing we don't tolerate is intolerance'. So yes, we get Klingons (some of us are straddling several playgroups at once anyway, and just bring the phasers along with the armor cause it's fun to mess wit folks' minds) we get fairies, we get Tuchux, we get Egyptian cabaret glamour girls, and we get DDD chests hanging out of AA dance tops, and we try not to say too much. I myself loan out dance garb almost every event, and tote around my own personal version of the Bellydancer's Golden Key (I make ya leave your license if you borrow my clothes) so that I can addict whole new sets of nice, upstanding Middle Agers to the dark seductions world of the SCA's redheaded step-child, The Bellydancers, with a free taste of dark eyeliner and jingles. I'm a major choli pimp, (WAY more covering than most dance bras) and I still get a giggle seeing a Klingon face popping out of a Viking tunic.

      Since I can't see you dance, I can't say if you are using 'stripper moves'. (Was this before or after she saw you dance?) And yeah, you're gonna see some bad attitudes from some people, dancers and non-dancers, but then, I get to hear about how dancers aren't this and that, and the brass hats object to us in general, on 'taste concerns'. All I can say is 'if they talk about you, listen, and consider.' I had an acquaintance who dances wonderfully till she's had a few, then yeah, she's WAY not for underage viewing, and she'll never believe a word about it later. I've also met some ladies who'll badmouth anyone younger, prettier, more talented, etc, to cut out the competition. It's a toss up.
      If it's at every fire, and only come after you start dancing, maybe it is you and how you dance. If it starts when you arrive, from people who never saw you dance before, well, it can't be, can it? In which case, the appropriate gesture is to place your thumbs in your ears, fingers spread wide to either side of your head, and give them a good raspberry on your way to the FUN party.

      If you are close enough, come to Border Raids in Ky this June. We usually have a decent fire Sat night and lots of Ring Tribers to dance with. In or out of jeans. }; )
      "The people that mind, don't matter. The people that matter, don't mind. "
      • Several thoughts on this lively discussion. As a Cabaret dancer, an SCA dancer and a member of a barbarian tribe I feel I have a rather unique perspective. When dancing at a restaurant or club I always opt to flirt with the women more than the men. Dance can be a vicarious experience. Men think "I could have her" and women think "I could be her" So I try to share smiles and fun with the lady 75 % of the time and on a rare occasion I dance for the man. First off, if I want a couple to come back to the restaurant I can't alienate the woman or they will never return and what good is it for a restarant to hire me? Also, I am entertainer and that means everyone is entertained. I think this holds true for an SCA drum circle. Sexy smoldering belly dancers are a dime a dozen but a fun engaging dancer....who can get mad at her no matter how sexy she is? Along with this comes the garb you choose to dance in. Maybe I think to much about others but I am also 35 years old woman and I have had my hot sexy days in the sun already.
        As a member of a barbarian tribe (actually pre SCA period 600BC-600AD) I have seen the leather thong style pieces but that was not the norm for garb. At least in the time period we portray. When dancing I either say the hell with barbarian garb or I wear a Roman pueblo and a reproduction of a Sarmatian horse hair belt. I listed a link for Ring Tribes web site and there are some nice photos of garb included
        www.geocities.com/ring_trib...tures.html
        Fatin
      • Yes the SCA could...but right now I think they make too much extra money by charging nonmembers a premium to attend. I know what you mean...and still don't understand the vampire parties.

        She said it w/o seeing me dance. I went up to the ladies managing the dance event at the party ( that I had been invited to ) and asked to sign up for spot on the dance roster. Then I was told to take my stripper moves elsewhere etc. I was never given the opportunity... I considered several inappropriate responses and instead just left....
  • I attended my first Pennsic last year, and I was *very* nervous about the garb thing. My husband and I had very little in the way of garb, but we were assured that it was OK. None of my garb was strictly period; a lot of it was blatantly modern bellydance stuff, though I avoided sparkly cabaret stuff.

    Akila, it's a shame that you were treated so poorly. I know little about the Tuchux, but it's unfortunate that people acted that way. I never had a comment about my admittedly weak garb the whole two weeks...

    MT
    • Hmm... "This isn't for whores... take your stripper dance moves somewhere else" Did someone actually say this to you? I find it hard to believe that anyone would be quit so rude or blunt. Also you said you were kicked out of the Celtic party "mostly" because you were dancing better than everyone else, i'm curious as to what the other reason(s) might have been? I have never seen anyone kicked out of a party for being a good dancer, topless or not. Sorry but i would like to hear the other side of the stories before i fault them.

      If people were indeed as rude as you discribed simply because they assumed you were a stripper or a whore or because they didn't approve of your garb than shame on them.
      • Bianca,
        I also tend to find it a bit hard to believe that anyone would actually say something like that to someone's face. I have never seen anything like that at any of the parties I have attended over the years, but of course I generally limit myself to parties around the lake where people are more open minded. Where I have seen slights and insults they were always more subtle.
        Of course the Tuchux really do have a bad reputation. Whether this is deserved is a matter for debate. We used to have trouble every year at our Christmas and Hell Night parties with the Tuchux. Those incidents though were nearly always personna related. In other words the Tuchux were playing the bad barbarian and someone else took offense. Of course we had trouble with all sorts of people in funny clothes, but which groups they belonged to was a mystery. The Tuchux are at a disadvantage because they are so recognizable. After our parties people ask us how it went and we tell them we gave the bum rush to the gate to a guy who was heaving water balloons at the dancers and the Tuchux got in someone's face for talking to one of their women. When all is said and done, the only name that is mentioned is the Tuchux. So if they dressed like the rest of us, they probably wouldn't have such a bad reputation to begin with.
        Regardless, I treat individuals with respect until they prove they deserve to be treated otherwise. The problem is though that other groups also play the bad barbarian and when the two groups meet bad things can happen. I still remember an incident at an early Coopers Pennsic when the entire Dark Horde marched over to the Tuchux camp over some insult. That was before Vlad's camp became the target of opportunity.
      • Sure...if they are around and remember..they are welcome to comment. I was actually wearing a similar outfit to the one in my picture..except I had boots on and my leather dangly dance belt....so it was like a chain mail top, pants and a short leather skirt. For the celt party..I was just wearing a leather top and my dangly skirt.
  • Akila -

    Interesting thread. There are two things that I haven’t seen mentioned –

    You said when you went to “sign up for a hafla” you were turned away – was this for one of the official dance performances at the Performing Arts venue? If so, are there rules for costume, dance style, music choices, etc? If there are, those rules need to be very clear AND be uniformly applied. (And before anyone says it - yes, I know that the rules regarding garb are already stated in the site booklet - but I'd say that the majority of the dancers who perform at these shows are not in completely period costume, yet they get to dance). I can understand why a show organizer would want to keep to a specific theme or style, but not on some random it-depends-on-who-you-are basis.

    The other thing I’m wondering about – most know that the wenches are always escorted, which leaves the impression that the Tuchux travel in groups. And groups can tend to take over a party and change it’s energy. That’s not necessarily bad, but that all depends on the group. Given that some may have had a bad experience or believed every rumor they've ever heard about the Tuchux, maybe some of this nastiness wasn’t so much inspired by anything you did as by “not wanting them at our party.”

    I dunno – just throwing out some thoughts.

    Just seems to me that when a camp hosts an open party and doesn't specify "only garb of this type" or "only men without pants" or whatever, then they have a duty to be gracious to whoever chooses to show as long as those guests are also respectful and don’t try to run their own agenda.
    • Just my two cents worth: There is no rule for dancing around fires. Dance like you want to dance and live like you want to live.

      At haflas, you need to do some form of Middle Eastern dancing. When you attend a “theme” dancing party, you have to attempt to do that type of dance – be it a swing-dancing party, a hafla or English country dancing night up at the barn. You don’t have to wear a certain costume to dance in the manner of the theme, you just typically look better dancing when you are dressed for the occasion.

      The only place I would find you out of place dressed like a Tuchux female would be performing at the Middle Eastern dance expo. When I go to the expo, I expect to see Middle Eastern dancing and a reasonable attempt at middle eastern clothing. I would find Tuchux garb in that venue to be as inappropriate as I find cabaret costumes. It would be rather like a flamenco dancer wearing a tutu. But, if you want to perform in the expo in Tuchux garb, c'est la vie. There are some cabaret costumes every year, too.

      As for Egyptian dancing, I see no reason that should cause you a problem. Egyptian dancing involves a lot of complex layering and very precise control. Have you ever seen Mistress Elitha dance? She’s an amazing Egyptian dancer. On of my troupe members usually gets a lot of compliments around the fire for her abilities to layer movements such as shoulder shimmies and chest undulations.

      As for the “rude vs. nice” discussion about Tuchux, I’ve met some very nice Tuchux and I’ve met some very rude Tuchux. By the same token, I’ve met some very nice SCAdians and I’ve met some very rude SCAdians. It’s about the person, not the group they belong to.
      • Well that is not clear at Pennsic. You get invited and then snubbed. Maybe they should post "Tuchux need not apply" or some such. Or maybe have a "tuchux fire" and a "sca fire" at an open party. Though...this kind of segregation, desire to keep certain groups homogenous reminds me of something mundane...can't quite put my finger on it...hmmm....
      • I just wanted to speak up about the Dance Expo...I have worked behind the scenes ( I run music and sign folks in) at the expo for years now, and in the mundane world, I have studied cabaret with Mistress Avril who runs the Expo. And I have seen performances to "Rock the Casbah" and Rusted Root songs...to modern day cabaret music with modern day cabaret costumes. I have seen dancers dance Afro fusion, Indian fusion, and all kinds of fusion on that stage. Some of the dancers are SCA, some are not. Some costumes were period...others not so much...all the performances are excellent because everyone gets up there and just shines by doing what they love. It is an arena where all people who land on the spectrum between authenticity lovers to VERY creative anachronists can coexist.

        Maybe the expo is a good place to start? You could get a slot and perform and NOBODY can call you a stripper or a whore because that will be your time to shine. Maybe some audience might think you are out of place up there but that is a matter of opinion. I personally think it would be more in place than the modern day cabaret costumes. Besides there is nothing you can do about what the audience is going to say or think, and that goes for performing in the mundane world too. I don't think you have to prove yourself to people that treated you poorly (as was said every group has their good ones and they have their bad ones) ...but if you wanted the opportunity to show people by example that they are wrong in their assumptions about you and just have fun doing a peformance...I think the Expo could be a good place to start....if your interested you should talk to Avril. She runs the booth Baubles, Bangles, and Bedlah in the merchants area. I know she will gladly talk to you if you are interested.
        • Um just to clarify the last paragraph of my previous post is a suggestion for Akila. But I think the expo is good for anyone that wants to have a fair chance to perform.
          • I won't make Pennsic this year. I live in the Outlands now and can't afford the long journey back every year. However, I will pass your suggestion on to the other wenches who have experienced similar fustrations.
    • I do believe the only middle eastern dance show that is open to public sign up is the Middle Eastern Dance Expo. i have danced in it twice. They take a certain # of acts (30 or around there), after that they stop signups. All the other MED shows are put on by various individual artists, troupes and you have to be invited by them to dance in their show. I have seen just about everything in the MED Expo.from Gypsy to Cabaret to Traditional, from first time performers to dancers who have been dancing for years. We have always been treated very nicely.

      As far a Tuchuxs and parties, their reputation proceeds them. i'm not here to judge weather or not it is deserved but it does exist and maybe that does cause some people to judge them unfairly before they actually get to know them. I think what you need to remember while you are at a party in a private camp is that that camp is someones home and while there you need to remember that and act accordingly. They have the right to kickout anyone they want to if they think they are or maybe causing trouble, bottom line.

      With that said i am still finding it hard to believe that someone would kick anyone out of a party for nothing else but being a better dancer than most of the other women there, it just does not make any sense. Party throwers are always happy for dancers and drummers. Akila looks like a very attractive woman and if she ( and the people she was with) were at the party doing nothing but dancing i find it impossible to believe that any redblooded man would throw her out. I think there is more to the story.
      • I wonder if folks are consciously aware of the inner dynamics of a drum cirle or if folks get in to the zone and forget dancer etiquette. Some basic rules I go by...1. If a dancer is the first to get up and she dances with a prop no one else gets up to dance until she is finished with her prop and she has had her moment in the lime light. 2. If you are the most accomplished dancer in the circle you provide support and encouragement to new dancers and don't be a circle hog. 3. If there are belly bunnies you either ignore them or offer a few quick lessons to perk their interest in the dance. 4. If children are up keep it family entertainment. These simple rules were never taught to me I learned them through observation. I am told I am an attractive woman and I am an accomplished dancer and no one has ever asked me to leave a circle for either of these reasons. I think maybe the Tuchux reputation may be the real reason behind Akila being asked to leave a circle. That is if there is nothing more to this encounter.
        • I almost forgot the most important rule of all take a moment to dance for the drummers and when you have a moment thank them :)
          There are those of you that may think that a dance circle has no rules but I am a social scientist in the mundane world and every interaction includes unspoken rules of etiquette and behavior.
        • "1. If a dancer is the first to get up and she dances with a prop no one else gets up to dance until she is finished with her prop and she has had her moment in the lime light. "

          And likewise - if other people are dancing nearby, veil slinging is an absolute no-no. I got slapped with a veil so many times in CROWDED spaces last year that it really became a major annoyance (and this happened at several different parties). I actually left the Orluk hafla because of it (space is tight there as it is, and with them already asking people to take turns dancing so that people can move, its only common sense to NOT to use a prop such as this).
          • Unsu...
             
            Said Basina: "And likewise - if other people are dancing nearby, veil slinging is an absolute no-no. I got slapped with a veil so many times in CROWDED spaces last year that it really became a major annoyance (and this happened at several different parties). I actually left the Orluk hafla because of it (space is tight there as it is, and with them already asking people to take turns dancing so that people can move, its only common sense to NOT to use a prop such as this)."

            I totally agree with this.

            I was probably one of those snotty dancers referred to earlier because I dared to politely suggest to a young lady that perhaps she should save the floorwork and veilwork for the stage since the crowded Orluk hafla was a dangerous place. Doing floorwork in such a crowded spot meant people couldn't see her and would trip over her. She could get hurt, as could they.

            She felt free to ignore me and continued spinning her veil about rather violently until she went across one dancer's eyes.

            That lady was less polite about telling her off.
            • I have a very real feeling we are talking about the same inconsiderate dancer, Valizan ;-)
              • I have a question - this pertains to a "situation" at War Practice earler in this thread, which some people may not have seen. Where in Pennsic history did people stop being able to simply let loose and have fun at a fire? I understand the veil thing - any props can get in the way of other people and cause accidents. They should be reserved for performances and special occasions. But why is someone chastized because they have different garb, or they dance a different way?

                Drum circles are not about ME/belly dance - they are about having fun, listening to some drums, and dancing. I know haflas are different to some people, and that's fine. But understand that not everyone knows how to bellydance, or wants to learn. They just want to have fun and let loose. Why aren't they allowed to without getting bitched about?

                I am a trained bellydancer of 25 years. I am also a Tuchux wench. I go to War to be a wench, just as many of you go to War to be a Scot, or a Viking, or an ME dancer. I dance the same in ME garb as I do in wench garb. I tend to wear ME stuff to dance in Mundania, and my wench garb at events, because that's who I am. ME garb, I'm a trained dancer. People want me to teach them stuff, adn want me to perform. In wench garb, I'm some inconsiderate stripper that people complain about after the fact online. I just wish that if people have a problem with anyone at a fire, that you would go up to them and have a problem with them then, rather than reading about it almost a year later on some mesasge board. This is the second time since last Pennsic on this board I have heard people bitching because they didn't like my garb or my dancing or whatever. That's fine - you are allowed to not like it. It doesn't make any difference to me. But have the nads to tell someone to their face rather than running away and typing about it later from the safety of your home. If you don't say anything right then as the "problem" is happening, you have no right to complain later.

                I don't go out dancing to annoy people. I go out dancing because I love to dance, as we all do. Garb is such a superficial matter that I can't even believe I hear so many people going off about it. The SCA is not about garb, or haflas, or ME dance vs. everyone else - it's about expression. We all need to express ourselves in this way or we wouldn't be here. Let's not forget that. And if someone's garb ruins your good time, look inside yourself for the reason why rather than projecting it on other people.
                • Yeah Wildcat...your story from last Pennsic along with the similar incidents that happened to me just struck a chord in me. It's like people are getting more and more closeminded over the years. Used to be that people were more openminded- mostly they'd just get on a person for not wearing any type of garb ( jeans, t-shirt, sneakers..total mundania wear).

                  Check out the other Guidelines for ME dancers threads...here they have been telling me that any kind of period garb should be ok so long as you don't go with pasties and a g-string...but in other threads...it's a different story.

                  It's sad...I wouldn't go off on a Japanese samuri garbed person or someone playing Japanese war drums at a fire b/c it "ruined" my N. European Barbarian "mood" b/c Japanese presence is sooooo not period PLUS the SCA is about recreating Europe and they are half a world away and so technically are not within SCA guidelines. I'd be like "cool- share my fire." Yet we have people just being mean, snotty and downright belligerant to us on a regular basis. No wonder we Tuchux are defensive and surly half the time.

                  Heck,,,,,about 8yrs ago, one night I was returning from the porta-potties and a SCA man attacked me with a knife ( STEEL knife, not ratan) as I was coming back to a party between the tents. It was only through my Aikido training that I managed to knock him over and buy myself enough time to run away....and the SCA wonders why we are so worried and concerned......But then I guess I "asked for it" what with my halter top and leather skirt and all. How freakin' PERIOD.....hmpf
                • wildcat asks:

                  "Where in Pennsic history did people stop being able to simply let loose and have fun at a fire? "

                  I'm not going to assume that I speak for others, but I will tell you WHEN in history it was. It was when people assumed that there were no rules. When they assumed they could take liberties with others rights. When it became all about "me", and not about M-E. (Just a little play on words...)

                  If what you want is not offered at somebody's party, go to the host. Don't assume.

                  There are plenty of places at Pennsic for you to have your favorite fun (I know, I've been to some of them, including the Clovenshield party.) There is no need to torment yourself by going where you know you won't have fun (unless that is what you want, just quit complaining about it.)

                  I think I can asure you that the fun I sponsor has no traps in it. However, it is my camp and my party, and guests sometimes have their invitations revoked (for cause, mind you.)

                  (Is there an Emily Post of Pennsic? There once was a Dolly Madison.)
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    See? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Go have fun at your fire, and everyone else's. If I'm at your fire, and you don't want me there, solve the problem. Deal with the situation as it occurs. But don't do nothing about it and then sit around bitching about it later to a bunch of people on the computer. At that point, your bitching rights are revoked.

                    Durr, we have our differences. We have very different Pennsics. My War doesn't involve you, and your War doesn't involve me. I am completely comfortable with that. I just thought we were all there to enjoy ourselves.

                    War is not what it was. It's gone far beyond SCA, history, tradition, and the like. It's developed it's own traditions and history, created by the people who keep coming back. We all make War what it is, not matter if it's period or not. It's the Pennsic Period. It's a mere shadow of what it was 25 or 30 years ago. We were both there, and we both saw it happen. Why resist it? Go with it - Change is good.
                    • Change is great! The SCA feeds my interest in sociology when I watch Tuchux and SCAdians mix-it-up. The SCA has become a culture of it's own, and I kinda see the tensions between groups as a natural evolutionary process. We're feeling out each other for a good fit, and there are always going to be things about the other group that piss each other off. A little tolerance goes a long ways.
      • Well all I know is what I've said. I can't vouch that I kept an eye on the dogs or the other wenches 100% of the time. I do know that when things went down (in the Celtic camp)...it was sca people approaching me and it went from there,
        • Aha! So there were other Tuchux in attendance at the party when this insult occurred. Perchance there is more to it than simple garb intolerance toward you. And in a Celtic camp no less. I don't know of any Celtic camps that are in any way anti-barbarian considering that they themselves are generally proud barbarians. My guess is there was some confrontation of which you were unaware which led to the incident. Was it just you who was targeted or was your group asked to leave en-masse?
          • Of course there were other Tuchux. Why would a wench be out wandering on her own at night? It might have been general playacting/hate the barbarians...but let's use period terms...tell me to take my dirty savage self elsewhere and I'd be fine with it ( personally) and play-act back,,,

            It went down centered on me and of course we ALL left. We're a close knit group and wouldn't be like "oh...they have a problem with you? I think I'll stay, see you later dude."
  • All- I want to thank you for taking the time to give me some helpful suggestions as well as giving me fresh hope that despite a few hundred nasties, most of the 14,000 or so SCA folks that attend Pennsic are not all bad.
    • Oh Geez, I'm real sorry that you ran into any of that. I spent many a fine night drumming at Tuchux camp over the years. There are some in the SCA that even complain about Middle-Eastern persona claiming that it has no place in European society at the time. There are full time "parade rainers", just ignore them.
      As an old friend of Tuchux, I always thought that the origins were from the wagon people in the John Norman "Gor" books. It is a semi-fantasy series that has strong similarities to the "Dark Ages".
      I enjoy all of the people at Pennsic and look forward to running into those that play the game a little bit differently. This is supposed to be fun isn't it?
      When I'm on the archery range representing the East Kingdom, I am dressed in garb that is entirely accurate for a "Hundred Years War" British archer right down to the knee-high buskins with flat soles (no heels). I use self nocked arrows and shoot an 80 pound D-sectioned yew longbow. Completely accurate. I shoot with best friends that shoot fiberglass and wood center shot modern recurves and wear polyester tunics. Do I care about any of that? No. I play my game for myself, nobody else.
      Mundanely, I am a professional visual artist and musician. Much of what we call "period" Middle-Eastern in the SCA is actually "period" but from the late 19th century (music-wise). We don't REALLY know, but we assume. It sure is fun to play music with other people and to play with dancers of all sorts at campfires at Pennsic tho isn't it? The standard "belly dancer" garb certainly would never have been what was worn for public dancing in "period" ......but it sure is nice. We are all 21st century people that are creating a world of fantasy and whimsy and there are some that want to be as accurate as they can be, and that's great. But we shouldn't IMPOSE our own personal GAME on others. Let's all just hold on to that thought.
      • There's no such thing as "politely shoving" a tuchux clan leader, NOt without serious reproucssions (SP). If you have all your limbs intact then your version didn't happen. I was there. Wildcat is not a dancing lesbian. It's funny how diffrent I remember that story. THis is just another story remdition from the cyber-brave.

        • Unsu...
           
          Zara, go read my post again. I never said Wildcat was a dancing lesbian. If anything, she implied it herself when she said her husband should watch.

          I said there were two women doing faux lesbian scenes when they were dancing. That being inappropriate touching of each other.

          Two, I didn't know he was a clan leader, nor do I really give a rat's patootie. I didn't say I "shoved" I said I "politely pushed" meaning he was in my personal space and I moved him back. There were no repercussions, and I do "have all my limbs", so get off your fantasy high horse.

          And it *is* funny how you choose to remember that story to your own convenience.
          • While some aspects of this thread have been helpful , supportive and possitive, namely constructive discussions on garb, tolerance and manners, many other aspects have been negative and inapropriate in my oppinion.

            In general the ME dance community is sensitive to issues of garb, authenticity, sexuality and gender as it relates to dancing in the SCA for many reasons, so its easy to see why we would get so fired up over this topic. It is important for us to discuss these issues as a community from time to time, not so that decissions can be made about enforcement, but so that people can better see other people's point of view, and everyone can wrap thier head around this big grey area of trying to mesh so many different cultures, skill levels, and personal motivations into the vast area of Middle Eastern music/culture/dance. It is also good to remind ourselves now and then about standards of civility. I think most people agree its not nice to make rude comments about people's garb or dancing/drumming. Some people are trying to say there is a time and place for everything, and others are saying loosen up and have fun. That's all fine and dandy.

            However, there are several posts on this thread that are quite negative. People are using this forum to beat dead horses, verbally abuse eachother, air resentments about specific individuals and groups, stemming from incidents that happened years ago. It is a bad sign when a thread degenerates into people defending themselves. This is a public forum, and new commers do read this list. Threads like this do not paint our community in a possitive welcoming light. I hope anyone new reading this list can take what's being said with a grain of salt, and realize its not always like this, and this type of negativity is most likely to be found on electronic formats rather than the dance floor.

            In 4 months many of us will find ourselves dancing next to a lot of people from this forum, and wouldn't it be a better experience if it wasn't someone you had been flaming all year long? So play nice! And how about a little forgiveness?

            I'm not trying to pick on anyone in particular, and I hope to get a chance to dance with ALL of you this summer, no matter how badly you've been behaving. ;)
            • I agree regarding general civility. I wanted to discuss the overall issue of an apparent lack of tolerance concerning garb. I ended up defending whether my illustrative incidents ever happened and then was grilled to see if I "asked for it". Other incidents involving other people have been cited...which shows that I am not some oddball wench who is sole person experiencing intolerance.

              But I disagree with your concern for new posters "seeing the skeletons in the closet:" or the "dark underbelly" of ME dancing at Pennsic. Like it or not intolerance exists and it is not good. I don't think burying our heads in the sand and toning down how much this affects us for fear of embarassing the ME community is a GOOD thing. I am sick and tired of requirements like "you have to know so and so to get into an ME dance show at Pennsic" that is worded oh so politically as "made contributions to the ME community." gimme a break.

              We should all just agree that there IS intolerance and go from there. The he said/she said of incidents in completely nonproductive but I think it is worse to ignore the problem.
      • Thanks...The name Tuchux originated from the Gor book but that's pretty much it. John Norman did archetypes in all his novels.so there are some resemblances. The key element missing are slaves. There are none in Tuchux camp. Well...there was that one guy we wenches bought a long time ago; but that was a Pennsic sanctioned slave auction.
  • Akila said:

    "...and asked to leave mostly because I danced way better and audience was watching me over the women shaking their teats about..."

    Many years ago, when our local group was just starting to dance (being taught by Rayah, who is quite the teacher), one of our local "dirty old men" complained that he had been ruined, RUINED, he said - he could no longer appreciate the strippers at the clubs because they had lousy isolations...

    You should take that reaction as the most fantastic compliment possible :)

    Akila, you're welcome to dance anytime at Clovenshield - we go a long way back with the 'Chux, and also appreciate people who can _dance_, whether they're wearing leathers, MED garb, or Elizabethean. I agree - it's harder to show the moves without a belt, sash, or other costuming/props. That makes it even more wonderful when somebody shows what they can do without the props.


    Valizan, I was (as you mentioned) at that party where someone loudly insisted that the men should stop dancing - as proper, I ignored him. I may have freshened my drink and taken a moment for conversation - but the household method is to be confrontational only when it's fun! Or pointedly embarrassing to others. Or, um, when there's bacon involved, or (sorry, getting carried away there). As I recall, after being pointedly ignored for a while he shut up. And sat down. And didn't get in dancers faces again. There may have been some quiet words to him, but only off to the side "off stage".

    Sorry you had to deal with that, Valizan; my apologies (as one of the hosts) for not clearly seeing that it was unhappy for you. We do get people who are out of sorts at parties, Tuchux, late period fencers, hairy Vikings, French poofs (no no NO - not an insult to French poofs! At least if they can keep the gravy out of the sleeve lace...), men, women, undecided, all shapes and sizes. Direct and loud confrontation tends to make matters worse; demonstrating that they are _not_ in the majority, perhaps with a quiet word off to the side, is much more effective. And it means that the person(s) involved are not defending their dignity in front of a crowd, which is never a good thing for lotsa reasons.


    There are, unfortunately, nazis of _every_ stripe. As a male dancer, I've personally and repeatedly had to deal with people who thought that "men don't dance!" (Apparently I detune their "goddess energy"???) I've gone out of my way to show them that they're wrong. Note that I don't think I can change mouthy foolish minds easily - but I can certainly convince the people who might hear them, and without a counterexample decide that the loud and obnoxious are correct.

    -- Donnallain
    • Hi Akila,

      04/03
      Hi Akila,

      I respect your decision to wear what you want when you want. After all, IT"S PENNSIC!!

      At the same time, I am acutely aware that the belly dance community has been working very hard for very many years to educate the public to the fact that belly dancing is NOT stripping. Now, I'm not saying your dancing is stripper-like, but what I am saying is this.

      We are all judged and judge by what we look like at all times whether we like it or not. This is human nature. AND, if by wearing what could be termed a skimpy outfit while belly dancing, you are bound to raise some anger and fears no matter how good of a dancer you are. By dancing in a leather bikini, you are presenting yourself in attire that more closely resembles a stripper or go-go dancer, as opposed to a belly dancer.

      I say these things with no malice or judgment about you as a person. I hope that you can be open enough to hear what I'm saying. This IS about your decision to wear those clothes when and where you dance, not how you dance.

      So, you can choose to push your point and dance in your Tuchux outfit at all times in all places, or you can change your clothing, or you can compromise and wear certain clothing at certain times, as the situation depends upon it. Like the rest of our lives, most of us wear certain types of clothing for certain types of situations as the moment calls for.

      Good luck!

      Ocean
    • Unsu...
       
      Heya Donnallain and Zahira.

      Thanks for the supportive comments. I was about to post a long diatribe responding to various posts but Halima's words of wisdom have made me rethink this.

      Wildcat: "If I'm at your fire, and you don't want me there, solve the problem. Deal with the situation as it occurs. But don't do nothing about it and then sit around bitching about it later to a bunch of people on the computer. At that point, your bitching rights are revoked. "

      Wildcat, there is a problem with this. You said: "If anyone has a problem with me, my dancing, my garb, or my wench sisters, please come up to us and tell us so we know how to better offend you in the future. "

      Most people aren't going to waste their breath if you're not going to listen in the first place. Or if "their limbs will be torn off." So you shouldn't be surprized when all this comes out much later in what started off as a calm discussion.

      I can't speak for anyone else, but I haven't found the Tuchux particularly approachable. :) And I'm attributing that to persona. A big "Off-white" ;-) man tends to make one think twice about saying "Hi" or anything else.

      One last thing and then I'll shut mah yob! :)

      "Drum circles are not about ME/belly dance - they are about having fun, listening to some drums, and dancing. "

      Uhhh, when someone is playing Malfoof, Chiftitelli or Maqsoom at a drum circle, they are playing middle eastern rhythms. So one would think it *IS* about ME bellydance. If they play African rhythms, I can see doing African styled dance (and frankly, I'd love to see what some of you Tuchux ladies could do to African dance because they wear skins too!) It is all about context.

      I hope to talk to some of you ladies at Pennsic (can't do AWP this year. :(.....) I will share the fire with you if you will share with me.

      Can't we all just dance?
      • Donnalain posted:

        "There are, unfortunately, nazis of _every_ stripe. As a male dancer, I've personally and repeatedly had to deal with people who thought that "men don't dance!" (Apparently I detune their "goddess energy"???)"

        LMFAO. Hahahahahahaha. That is just comedy. What a pathetic excuse for being intimidated. Go have your Dianic orgy elsewhere, as far as I see it. If one male is enough to 'detune' the Goddess energy of probably half a dozen or so more females in the circle.. looks like they have to do some more 'Goddess-raising' beforehand.

        "Uhhh, when someone is playing Malfoof, Chiftitelli or Maqsoom at a drum circle, they are playing middle eastern rhythms. So one would think it *IS* about ME bellydance. If they play African rhythms, I can see doing African styled dance (and frankly, I'd love to see what some of you Tuchux ladies could do to African dance because they wear skins too!) It is all about context."

        Unless it is a structured event at a camp where the host is attempting to -ensure- a particular theme is stuck to, that statement really doesn't hold water because otherwise, no one 'owns' the circle, and no one is in -any- position to tell someone whether they can or can't dance there based on the fact that their movements don't fit the drum style. Sure, extend the same courtesy to other dancers as other drummers would to each other by maintaining a respectable distance and not knocking someone over; however, it's a different dynamic involved, and everyone doesn't need to be dancing one particular style in order for that respect to be maintained. There are no rules in these types of drum circles w/regards to how you're allowed to dance, and no one outside the host should ever posture themselves as a rule-maker in this regard.

        ~ Kole
        • Unsu...
           
          This tribe is normally quite pleasant and I've learned quite a bit since joining, but this thread has been in and outta negative crap from the start. Discussions in this thread are exactly why I'm so hesitant to ever go to Pennsic. It sounds nothing like the SCA that I've come to love so much.
          • Pfft, ignore all the BS that you hear here; Pennsic's awesome. I say this as someone officially unconnected to most of these groups. This is hardly Pennsic here, on these boards. See for yourself and go; it's boss!

            ~ Kole
            • Yamina!!

              04/04
              Go to Pennsic! It is worth the experience if nothing else for the size of it, which presents a lot of diversity, which seems to be what we are talking about here. I for one have not seen many problems at Pennsic. But, after 2 weeks of camping, fighting, sweating, dancing, drinking, etc, people can get pretty run down and cranky by the last weekend.
              • Re: Yamina!!

                04/04
                Yamina,
                Yet these people all go back year after year. :)
                Go to Pennsic, see for yourself, it's worth it.

                I think sometimes it's a matter of what kind of party it is. It it's a hafla- well, then the wishes of the hosts should be respected and an attempt at something more Middle Eastern is a thoughtful way of showing respect. I'm not saying everyone must research for a decade and pin their thesis chapters like tassels to their belt (tassel belts aren't period- HAHA!)....but I'm saying respect for the mood the host wants to present is fair. Something somewhat Middle Eastern or Middle Eastern looking is fair. As the MIddle Eastern community at Pennsic grows, maybe there are more and more haflas and fewer straight up fires. This may be why there is a change in attitudes towards garb tolerance.
                But then- I'm speaking as one who doesn't have a lot to invest in Pennsic clothing AND who hates to get all sweaty in true period style clothing by a fire. All that wet clammy natural fiber just feels nasty. I don't wear a leather bra and mini- but you won't catch me in sleeves and my tummy will be showing (horrors!). Someone can lecture me all they like about the benefits of linen, hemp, silk or whatever natural fiber they like. Natural fibers absorb moisture...mmmmmmmmmmm, yummy...collected moisture that then gets cold sticky and icky when drinking water, then back to the fire to absorb more sweat. No thank you. I will be more covered up while walking around, but I will consider my comfort and health while dancing around a fire or under the hot August sun.
                I guess some people don't see past the clothing. Or maybe training the eye makes a difference. To me, all the jingling kuchi and swishing fabric in the world will not disguise a dancer with wide stance, arched back and/or a severe dependency on stripper moves and porn-star faces (note: Arabic Tarab- ecstacy- is quite different from affecting the O-face). Some of the most amazing belly dancing I've ever seen was done either in leggings and a tucked up t-shirt or in a folkloric galabaya with a simple sash tied around the hips. It is easier to dance in something you find comfortable and something that helps accent your isolations....but fancy garb does not make the dancer good, just as visible shoulders and tummy does not make one a stripper style dancer.
                If it's just a big fire/drum circle with no theme for the party- I figure it's all good. It's a place for people to play and people play by their own rules. As long as those rules don't threaten the safety of others it's all good.
                Whether a person likes it or not, male Middle Eastern dance is historically accurate- and there are professional male dancers in Lebanon and Turkey still today. It's generally a more folkloric style for the "masculine" men, but there are more orientale/raqs sharki styled male dancers as well. I've seen male dancers who are more feminine than I am- and if they're good, they're good, and I'm happy to see a good dancer, gender does not matter to me. There are also men who dance with a masculine power and grace that is AMAZING....I've seen this primarily at Middle Eastern clubs. As Akila mentioned there IS sometimes a problem with men trying to bump and grind with female dancers. These men aren't doing Middle Eastern dance- they're usually just being drunken idiots. For the drunken idiots own safety, they should be moved away from the fire. It would be tragic for them to fall in. Really. ;)
                As far as bagpipes at haflas...Mukhtar, I invite you to research bagpipes a little further. Try the words zukra and ghaita. Although the origins of bagpipes still seems to be up to debate- they existed in period Arabic culture and music.
                Not many people play mizmar (and it's exceptionally difficult to play well)- but I'm always happy to dance to a drone and reed wind instrument- it works for Middle Eastern dance because it is part of the culture and history. I will not be offended if the instrument is covered by tartan or the player is wearing a kilt. It would be a shame for dancers to miss out because the "wrong" fabric made someone unhappy. Then again, I'm also expceptionally happy when Sobate and Aristad step into the drum circle or Swabere brings his sitar (and amp). Not ME- but there IS an international language of music- that magical connection between musician and dancer that crosses cultures and boundaries and that happened historically with migrations, wars, etc. The region was a cross-roads. So is Pennsic.
          • Don't base your feelings of your first Pennsic on one conversation online. There are 15,000 people at Pennsic - and there are but a few on here. Every crowd is totally different, every camp is totally different, and it is very easy to find the right people and setting for you.

            Everyone comes to Pennsic for different reasons, and sometimes those reasons clash. It wouldn't be Pennsic if that didn't happen. But go do your thing - have you fun. Experience Pennsic at least once before you die. No matter what fire you dance around at Pennsic, it will be magical.
          • Pennsic is awesome but like any gathering of 14,000 is not perfect. You gotta expect some stripes. Heck...there are always theives running around robbing camps so you have to worry about that or else post guards...rape is always a risk...people gettin drunk and stupid and fighting another....can't prevent it when there are 4,000 much less 14,000 people in a tent city. However, the per capita crime rate is well below a regular town of same population...so it is overall a GREAT EXPERIENCE.
      • Mr.V asks:

        "Can't we all just dance?"

        No. Some of us just can't dance. So Sorry.
        • Unsu...
           
          Said Durr: "No. Some of us just can't dance. So Sorry."

          ::quirks an eye at Durr::

          I've seen you dance already Durr. You may not be the most graceful among us, but you still can dance to the rhythm.

          Nice try. Here is your kewpie doll.

          V.
  • I've read the thread and it seems to me that the answer is obvious. You are beautiful... and women who are insecure about themselves will always be intimidated by a beautiful woman with talent. Top that off with the fact that their men are probably drooling over you around the fire and you'll get hostility. If your attitude toward them is friendly then they have the problem, not you.
    • If you just want to dance all night long wearing anything or nothing around huge bonfires with loud drumming and no one to stop you, go to Starwood.
      • If you want to keep people from dancing how they want around bonfires with anything from erratic thumping to rhythmic, intricate drumming, set up your own party and play rule-maker. No one's going to leave because of suggestions like yours. ;)

        ~ Kole
        • I wasn't suggesting that they leave, but rather that they do both. The two events don't conflict and if you have the time you can get all the wild dancing out of your system without having to deal with the no drumming after midnight, or 2:00am or 4:00am folks.
          • Oh, good do, man. I completely misread it. I'll tuck your suggestion in as well in case a party crowd gets too anal for my liking.

            ~ Kole
            • Akila!!
              Come to Estrella!! I will hang out with you...we can offend all mannor of people that way!
              Fun!!
              • Thanks for the invite. I have been to estrella a few times...the lost tribe totally rocks!! So do the clan of the white wolf. Hmmmmm rolling thunder very cool too. First time was great at the old site with the enchanted forest..but the new site is icky

                But unless they moved the site again that is???..I am tired of needing to get jacked up on prednisone and sudafed just to survive the dustbowl in the pesticide laced fallow fields of Phoenix.

                Did they move the site again? If so, it's worth driving down next year...
                • Akila-
                  When were you last there? It is at Estrella Mtn Park now (I should say again as it was there several years ago)...maybe you were there when it was at Schnepf (sp?) Farms? That site was VERY dusty, and alot of people had problems related to chemicals...the new site is good, although they pack us in!
                  You should definatly come again!!
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Hmmm,,,I thuink my last Estrella was in 2003.... So sounds like it is back at the old site. Will watch the web sites for announcements...I have many friends that go...
  • I do admire people who go against the flow and do their own thing, but you can't force everyone to accept your choice of garb, especially if it goes against what they believe in.

    I believe that there is a high degree of tolerance for all manner of dancewear at SCA events, and I am inclined to admire a good costume whether it's period or not, if it's aesthetically pleasing, and I certainly respect a good dancer, regardless of what he/she is wearing, but if the garb in question is particularly flashy, revealing, or blatently in-your-face-not-an-attempt-at-even-coming-close-to-period, then of course you are going to draw a lot of attention to yourself and you are inviting criticism. It's like this: don't show up at a home game wearing the shirt of the opposing team. You are just lookin' for an ass-wooping. Just try wearing a long frilly pink gown to a Tuchux event. You'll see what I mean.
    • Dammit - Animal's going to have to throw his prom gown away.

      So, for the newbies, virgins, and uninformed who are going out to party at their first War,and don't read this site every day - how do they know where they can dance? A pretty ME camp isn't enough. To them, it's just another camp. How do you show newbies that your camp dancing is different from the other camps?
      • About 10 years ago, during my unfortunate one-time stint with the Tuchux, I had to endure some very fierce and scathing criticism over my "newbie" garb, because I didn't have that much leather. Being a newbie, I just didn't have that much to work with, yet. That did not stop the other wenches from taking every opportunity to tell me how wrong I was, without offering any constructive advice or help.

        On the other hand, I found the SCA M.E. community in general, to be much more helpful and supportive, AND tolerant when I first started out.

        I would say to the newbies, virgins, and uninformed that you would probably never be turned away from an open hafla or party for not having the spiffiest garb or not being a fabulous dancer. You are more likely to find people who would be glad to help you.

        However, the people who have been playing this game for years and are complaining...well some people just like to complain.
        • Apologies...now that I re-read this, I think I was a bit harsh and biased. I am indeed carrying around some old baggage, but let me try again...

          Pennsic is a mosh pit. It's easy to get sucked in and trampled on. I always warn any friends who are thinking of trying Pennsic for the first time, be prepared to be overwhelmed. I would encourage anyone to dance if you want, and wear what you want, wherever you want, but you are inevitably going to run into varying degrees of tolerance. Don't be discouraged if you get a bad vibe from one party or camp--just look around. There are literally 100s of others to choose from.
        • Funny - that sounds a lot like what other people complain about with the SCA.

          So you weren't a wench. That had nothing to do with garb. It had to do with you. It wasn't a fit, and you seem to be much better off and happier for it. Question - what clan were you in, and who was your dog?

          I have never been turned away from a hafla - in fact, I get invited to them regularly. I go to more in Mundania than I do at War because of the general attitude towards garb. I do get criticized about my garb at War, but only from people who don't think I can hear them. This doesn't really bother me. To me, a hafla is about the dance more than anything else. Garb should be secondary. And yes - I know different garb does make dancing different. But if you have the moves, you should be able to do them in any garb. That is the true challenge.
      • " How do you show newbies that your camp dancing is different from the other camps?"

        Well, I'd have to start by not doing the "cabbage patch" or the "hand jive" so much around those circles. But what do I know? :)

        Seriously, a lot of haflas have a greeter at the door (much like the Walmart greeter, yes?)- and the greeter explains the rules of the game at that particular party. That way people don't go into a Twister game throwing their Yahtzee dice around.

        At the places with no "gate" per-say, like Vlads...well, Vlads is a drum circle, not a hafla, from all my experiences there, so no problem.
        • "At the places with no "gate" per-say, like Vlads...well, Vlads is a drum circle, not a hafla, from all my experiences there,..."

          I think that's the key here. There is a time and place for "most" everything at Pennsic. I would never in a million years expect each individual at a drum circle or one of the really "wild" parties to be in near eastern garb or to dance in a certain way. I would, however, expect for most of the people there to be civil and still show some good "dance circle" etiquette and to play nice. I would also not be shocked or offended if I saw someone gyrating wildly in go-go boots or running around topless or, well, whatever. There are parties that foster that atmosphere so either stay and enjoy it and do you you do best or leave and look for something else.

          Likewise, I would not be put-out if I went in a coin bra and a slinky jungly modern costume to a more period hafla and had someone deny me entrance to the event because it does not suit their idea (as the one hosting it) of what they want for THEIR party. And again, I would still expect everyone there to be civil and play nice if the host DID let me in - because at that point I am a welcome guest like everyone else.

          And as a guest I would do my best not to be mean to the next person that came thru the door - provided they also were playing nice ;-)

          I used to have some VERY bad ME garb (that I was quite proud of at the time). I thought it was appropriate, and didnt know any better. No one ever offered help or suggestions, but no one was nasty about it to my face either. I did find out however, that someone I very much admired in the ME community (and who I thought was a fabulous teacher), had ALOT of nasty comments to share around behind my back. THAT really stung for a while, because I had thought better of the person.

          But it reminds me now to be a little less critical of others, and to be a little more helpful when the help is wanted :-)

          One thing I DO like to see, and its definitely done now more than in the past, is that teachers at events, particularly Pennsic, DO take some time to talk about dance etiquette, garb and other topics as part of an actual dance class. I think that is helpful to alot of new people.
      • The advice I got when I went to my first Pennsic was to go to ME dance classes in the daytime, and ask, start with the musicians and the instructor, and then talk to the other dancers.
        • it's funny - last Simple Day I did a class in 'what to wear to bellydance in the SCA' which was mostly a 'what NOT to wear' for same, including some printed pictures of both types, a CD full of pictures sorted into folders name 'period' good enough', 'NO', 'almost' and so on. The main emphasis was not to say 'you must do period and covered tummy', etc so much as 'please no neon orange bikinis 4 sizes too small, etc. mostly for the idea that we are the red-headed step-children of the SCA already, and so we're trying to make at least a nicer show. My biggest issue is usually that I'll be on ebay and see stuff listed as SCA- great for SCA, etc, when it's SO not even close.... so newbies go out and buy something thinking it's ok, and then get hurt and confused at the event. Man, the one flourecent blue velvet tank top with gold lame' sleeves.... she was SO proud...
          "Just try wearing a long frilly pink gown to a Tuchux event. You'll see what I mean. " Too true. You can't be a non-conformist if you don't wear teh right uniform.
  • Unsu...
     
    How would some of you ladies feel about posting photos of yourselves in your favorite SCA bellydance garb? There's a few photos on this tribe, but how about something that would be a good representation of the thread of conversation we've been having here?
    With great appreciation,
    ~Elisabetta
    • I don't see a problem with that as far as the traditional ME's go, but I'm sure it would turn into some kind of nitpicky What Not To Wear with us nontraditionalists. I just don't like getting into arguments over something as superficial as garb, and seeing as this thread has caused some flames out there among some people, I'm going to politely decline and spare the potential upheaval. If you want to see my dancing garb, look around the fire.

      But I would like to see other people's dancewear.
    • Unsu...
       
      Good point, thanks. :) I'll have to catch up with you at Pennsic.
      • I'm pretty easy to spot. I'll be the one in leather in front of the drummers. That's the best spot!
        • Responding to Akila on the beginning:
          1. A LOT of females at wars get really nasty if you dance well. They also are nasty if you dont dance well. So lets chalk it up to a lot of them are just nasty. Before I regualrly attended wars, I was told about how welcoming everyone is and how much camps love to have bellydancers at their fires. Being an ATS gal, my tribe and I walked over hill and grounhog hole to dance at every camp we heard drumming at. I cant not tell you how much stink eye we got from the ladies at many of these camps. So we got advice from some of our more knowledgable SCA friends.
          The following year, we had a crier who would enter the camp ahead of us, request permission for us to enter and perform. We hoped that going the formal route might have some of the carpet hogs a bit less miffed at our "taking over their carpets". Nope. We still caught shit. Put together any gaggle of hot looking borads, in nice gear, dancing as a big tribe of happy women, and you're gonna get haters. Last year,we never even ventured away from our own camp so as to avoid the flames of others',
          My contradcition-
          2. I have been that nasty about certain dancers at wars. One wore a chanmail bra with NOTHING under it. It was sick. Another wore a loin cloth with nothing under it. Gross. Then of course there are the belly bunnies-these are the ones who dont take classes, dont study with anyone, and writhe, dry hump the air, and shake their titties. I have been one of the nasty ones in the chair off to the side on all of these occasions, making snide remarks to my tribe and talking shit. Perhaps I should have been bigger than that and kindly said "Do you have something you might wear under that bra?" or "While you might have a super fine ass, the view I am getting of your pubes is inappropriate" or "Hi. I noticed you have a love of dance. I am teaching some bellydance classes here at war this year if you'd like to come join us."

          For Valizan and any other male dancers-not only do I wish I could see more of the good ones (there's always that one guy who cant zill OR dance for shit!) but I'd even conjur up some drummers for you if you came by our camp at Estrella! There's always the one red-headed guy who does a berber walk like no other. Man-he awes me every year I see him dance! But I always see the other men in camps get heebed out by a male bellydancer. Ah well...
          • Unsu...
             
            Kahlea, I would desperately love to come to Estrella. I have been invited tons of times over the years, but I can never manage it. And this year is no different due once again to that ugly reality called life.

            No Job + Little savings = No Estrella. :(

            But thank you so much for your invite. :)

            And don't worry about the guys getting freaked by a male dancer. I'm not there for them... And some day they will figure out what it was they missed out on. Their loss.
            • Oh you mean when all of the bellydancin females flock over to you to ask where you learned that move or how you made the pantaloons or....
              : )
              • Unsu...
                 
                You got that exactly right Kahlea...

                Funny how drummers get jealous, boyfriends get jealous when their girlfriends come over and gush over the speed of my shimmy or how a chest pop makes the jewelry on my chest jump.

                Most guys know that getting a woman's attention is 40% of the battle. And all they have to do is go out, show some skill and have fun!

                V.
                • Yeah, Val, you've always made me jealous (which is why you danced your belts off?)
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     
                    Said Al-Mumtaz Durr: "Yeah, Val, you've always made me jealous (which is why you danced your belts off?)"

                    Guess it was too subtle of a clue, eh Durr? :))))
          • The recent posts have piqued my interest enough for me to peruse this thread, I would like to try to provide some insight into the sometimes hostile feelings that people have surrounding drum and dance circles. First, some background about myself. I came from the Bay Area, CA and have been dancing for 18 yrs and teaching for 10. I have been in the SCA for 11, in the West. Therefore, I was a dancer who found an outlet in the SCA and that is my perspective.

            On Garb: The premade coin belts are about 12 yrs old. ATS costuming is about 30 yrs old. The modern bedlah costume is 60 yrs old. The bra as we know it dates from the 1920's, not yet 100yrs old. The spilt midriff costumes date from the 1890's, and even the midsection was covered up by a stocking or chemise. (I don't know how old the vest or bodice is.) Before that, people wore their native dress, including assorted coats, caftans, chemises, dresses, robes, etc. Garb covered from head to wrist to toe, in varying degrees of fit from snug to shapeless. Maybe I think this is all common knowledge to both the ME dance and SCA ME dance communities. So when I see dancers at events wearing the aforementioned modern items it does indeed annoy me. Why? I have the impression (moreso because I did it, too) that dancers come into the SCA knowing damn well that what they are wearing is well out of period, but they do it because these items are already in their wardrobe. There is no culture, east or west that would have shown bare skin like a modern bellydance costume does. I believe that after ones first couple of events, which are excusable, a attempt should be made to replace the modern garb. I can only conclude that those who continue to wear bellydance garb are deliberately ignoring the basic SCA tenet of attempting period dress, and because they realize this annoys others, they are concurrently breaking the second rule of courtesy to others.

            Anyone wearing anything less than typical modern garb has my worst disdain. Someone said that the mundane ME dance community has been struggling keep it's image clean in the general public's eyes. This dance is inherently sensual and sexy. Body parts need to be covered no matters the dancers skill level.

            On Tribal groups: They annoy me, too. As far as drum circles go, they really cannot help but take things over, especially if the group is relatively large. At almost every circle I've been to where this has happened, the whole tone/vibe/energy, whatever you want to call it changes and is difficult to get back. (Sometimes they even bring in there own musicians (live or mechanical) who leave with them. Always take the exact center of the dance area, making those few bold souls dancing on the forced periphery to look out of place or even rude for not watching the performance. For that is what happens, the circle goes from a bunch of folk having fun dancing for themselves and each other to an exhibition. Then they dance for too long and then just leave. No transition back to the former thing like, "Here's the floor back!" Better yet, just dance as a bunch of individuals and pull the rest of us, back into the circle. I have *never* seen an ATS group invite anyone to join them. How can they?!? Inherent in the Tribal style is group improvisation. This means that these ladies have practiced a specific set of moves and cues which is very difficult to teach on the spot. Any ATS group who is that organized--wearing coordinated costumes and performing coordinated moves--cannot help but look good. They also have a high probability of having opportunities to perform outside the SCA, so I don't see the need to dance as a troupe. I also don't see the need wear bare midriff costume when covered styles are part of the ATS costume choices. I never have any problem with individual dancers who wear tribal because they alone cannot mess up the energy of the circle.

            3 choices: You see someone dressing, dancing or drumming clearly out of line, so what to do? Keep it to yourself? Letting things go without comment to the person gives implicit permission to keep doing whatever it is they are doing. Bitch to your buddies or online? It's nice to vent, and may establish some local group norms, but doesn’t solve the problem of broken atmosphere. That leaves direct intervention either from the host or yourself. This is a most touchy subject and hard to explain why I would or would not use this route. I’ve only done it once. It was not an easy thing to do, but noone complained, not even the person I spoke to.

            I came into the SCA at least knowing what *not* to wear, and I dance like a lady. I will never understand those who cannot do these most basic of behaviors. What’s it gonna hurt to just follow the rules sometimes? Or accept the consequences for defying convention? “Courtesy costs nothing.”
            • What you are talking about is exactly what my troupe in the SCA is trying to accomplish. We work at attempting to recreate plausible dances and to wear appropriate clothing. Not all of us have made it yet, but we keep trying!

              I'm also a new member of a troupe outside of the SCA -- there you can find all the sequins, rhinestones, bedlah and cabaret costuming you could wish for. I feel equally at home in both spheres, but it's important to me and my SCA troupe to keep them separate and cherish the differences. We have a great deal of respect for dance and although most of my troupemates dance different styles, we believe that dancing in the SCA is a definitive entity unto itself.

              Thanks very much for your pertinent post on what some folks might construe as an inflammatory topic.

              H
              • In my own defense and not that you were poitning to me at all, but I do just want to state-

                We have always asked first, OR been invited to straight up, perform. Unless we bust out in some reckelss abandon, which has happend on rare occasion, we generally test the water forst to be polite.

                At most, we do one fast and one slow number, if it seems kosher to jam in a group setting.

                We then ask the musicians if they dont mind picking the pace back up and I (loudmouth) announce to the party that we would love it if other dancers would come back and join us. If we see them being shy we try to pull them back in and make them welcome.

                We usually stick around for long enough to mingle and *try* to make friends although I cant tell you how many times we have gotten the cold shoulder. We have gone up to other dancers and made small talk, introduced ourselves, even offered share in our drink. We have reached out so many times that anymore most of the troupe hesitates even leaving camp at times (mainly the newer ones who cant understand why, when tribal is usually sooo sharing, these people seem so different).

                It is sad really when you spend months leading up to wars to tell these dancers how fun it is, how nice everyone is, how welcoming camps can be and how cool it is to go out on a carpet and bust out some improv, cue a half turn and see a group of dancers you dont know jamming improv with you! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!???? Our totally NON-ATS friends even jam with us just out of the fun of it all.

                And, let it be clear that while most of us dont have the fully period regalia, we try. We almost never have bare midriffs and strive at least for ghawazee coats, eteks, beledi dresses, turbans/headwraps, or veiled heads, and so on. We do what we can. We do of course, wear some mundane items as we are all still learning ourselves. And wouldnt it figure that at the last war I was at, one of my dancers and I attended a workshop on period wear for dancers and no teacher showed up. Damn the luck! : )

                Unless we know dancers at wars that we also know in the mundane world, we dont always get the warmest reception. I even teach at wars when I can to further share in the feeling of community and to connect with dancers BEFORE the weekend parties. Hopefully when we meet next war, we can all dance in harmony.
                • Kahlea, I'd like to formally invite you and your troupe to my camp's traditional closed party... We'd love to have you come down and dance, and join in the merriment. No cold shoulders permitted in our camp!
            • Don't let the underclothed dancers ruin your happy!

              The tomb paintings of the Pharoahs show naked dancers, and prostitutes throughout time have been sculpted and painted in revealing clothing or naked. I have seen statutes of Indian temple dancers from around 900 A.D. to 1346 A.D. (whose sexual favors were for sale) wearing what appears to be jewelry across their breasts and hips (for example: www.kamat.com/kalranga/dances/3344.htm and members.tripod.com/IMAGE_IN...ehra.html ) The dancing-while-disrobed / emphasize-sex styles could be considered basic period symbolism like the sidewalks in Pompeii with the erect phalluses pointing the way to the brothel. Harlots - which are even mentioned in the Bible - and Egyptian dancers are every bit as period as pirates and highwaymen. So live and let live, and just avert your eyes from offensive views.

              On a further contrary note, I do enjoy watching the troupes perform. My only wish is that they would announce beforehand where and when they will be performing, like the Judith's Head troupe (I think that is who it was) did when they performed at a potluck feast a year or two ago. I would enjoy a mini tribal-fest performance, like a stage show, with one troupe after another. And there could be open-floor breaks for individual dancing.

              I think the idea has come up before, that 100% authentic people can rope off areas for 100% authentic garb, furniture, pavillions, etc. And then they could effectively police what sort of 100% period entertainment occurs to avoid ruining the atmosphere. Otherwise it's kind of anachronistic blend, like cellphones that ring during coronations.
              • Taliya~ oooohhh! Yes, count us in! Will you be at Estrella? I dont think my troupe is able to make it out to this war, but if any of them do, we will be there with bells on! Even if they dont, I could at least make my way to say hello and dance with you!
                Thank you for the warm invite.

                Kathryn
                What a super idea! Sadly our camp is small this year for Estrella, but let me see what I can rally up b/c I knwo a lot of other tribal dancers who are coming from near and far who might be really down with this type of jam session. Perhaps you will join us too?

                We may be trying to head out to Great Western Wars again too. May Potrero is likely out for us as the whole troupe is heading to Tribal fest the same noth and finances wont permit us doing all we want to do that month.

                And to further open up the SCA/ATS coming together, I also tend a booth in merchant's row. I was absent most of last year due to a nasty case of pneumonia while out at war (and the dust blowing didnt help a bit) so I had helpers manning the helm most of that Estrella war. But you can almost always find me at my booth and I LOVE meeting other SCA dancers. Feel free to pop in to say hello and pop a squat in my booth which almost always has a "chill" spot for us to gab, gossip, drink tea (or "tea") and exchange war stories.
                And also-we do this with some of our Caid dance mates-each time we see eahcother at wars or shows, we do a move exchange. They share with us one of theirs and we share one of ours with them. It is so fun and they really are indicative of what I LOVE about war and meeting other dancers at wars.

                Sadly I wont be able to teach this year b/c all of my usual help is staying back at home. So I have to be at my booth more than usual and wasnt able to fit in any dance classes or zils classes. Maybe we could do an impromptu zils jam at the booth. hmmm...let me think on that.
                • Kahlea, unfortunately we won't be making it to Estrella this year... the car goblins have hit us all pretty hard this year. But you are more than welcome to come on down to visit us any time you like! And if you need help at your booth, I may have a few trustworthy folk who could help you out...
              • I love India! Its the only place that bare midrifs are period, with or without a choli (top) as you have pointed out. The funny thing is, except for the turbans a lot of ATS people who wear skirts and cholis look a lot like I imagine tribal people in india probably looked in period. Who knows what thier dancing looked like, but I'm sure they would have enjoyed almost any of the music at Pennsic. :)
            • Unsu...
               
              "Then they dance for too long and then just leave. No transition back to the former thing like, "Here's the floor back!" Better yet, just dance as a bunch of individuals and pull the rest of us, back into the circle. I have *never* seen an ATS group invite anyone to join them."

              I agree that it's fun and polite, at the end of a show that you've kicked everyone off the dance floor to do (wedding, bellygram, party, drum circle, halfi, etc...), for the dancer(s) to encourage onlookers up or back-on-to the dance floor.

              Erzulie