Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How young is too young?

There have been some threads recently on bhuz.com talking about children bellydancing. It has gotten me thinking about the subject - how young is too young to start dancing?

I've always thought that - when I have children - if I have a girl, she will be dancing as soon as she can walk. Not just bellydance, all forms of dance. I started "ballet" and "tap" (if you can call it that!) when I was two, and never looked back. I envision signing my toddler up for dance classes, and dressing her up in sparkly costumes. I want us to dance together, and to perform together. Dance is such a huge part of my life, I can't imagine not sharing it as much as I can with my children.

Suhaila Salimpour and Isabella Khoury are a great example of a mother/daughter dance duo, where the daughter is a bit on the young side. Isabella is around 9 years old. Some people think that's too young. I say it depends - what kind of 'moves' is she doing? What is her costume? Is she trying to emulate and adult, or is she doing the dance in 'child-appropriate' manner? I think it is great to start a child young - especially in bellydance, where so many of us don't get our start until we are much, much older.

What do you think?

5 comments:

kara :) said...

I think that any form dancing at an early age gives a child a greater appreciation for the art of dance. It gives them a chance to express themselves, gain confidence, gives them a chance to get exercise (considering they barely get gym in school), gets them away from the t.v. & allows for the, to make new friends.

Bellydancing at an early age is great (I loved watching Suhaila & her daughter @ Rakkasha). There are costumes & moves that can be appropriate for dancers of a younger age. Besides, hopefully an adult would not allow their young child to dance in an inappropriate manner and/or costume.

Martha said...

I believe that at any age dancing is appropriate, as Danielle said it all depends on what moves she does and the costumes the child wears. I love dancing all types of music and would love for my daughter to enjoy it as much as I enjoy it.

It's so great to watch Mother/Daughter duos because its a moment to bond and enjoy a shared interest and at the same time growing up and having memories is what life is all about.

Some might say some children are too young to dance but whom are they to judge what children are capable of. If they are born to dance it will show and why you should you neglect a talent that your child has. No such thing as being too young!!! ... :)

xCIARAx said...

There is nothing wrong with children learning to bellydance. Of course their movements should not be a little more toned down and costumes should be less revealing.
I can understand why some would object. But with all insecurities young people have to grow up with now in days, i think bellydance is a great way to learn self appreciation and self confidence.

I wish i knew about bellydance earlier.

Pat said...

As a mother of a ten year old that happens to love belly dancing I do not believe that any age is too young. As for the moves, any move is appropriate for a young child to do. What happens when you are watching a child's recital and that child does a split you think wow that girl is good however if you see a ‘stripper” doing s split there is a very different mind set. I do not think that any move or costume is inapropriate because it is for the art of dancing and not for the art of seduction

Sirena said...

I'm in two minds about this. Of course, I think girls should be encouraged to dance if they enjoy it, whatever their age. One of my friend's daughters is a fabulous, naturally talented belly dancer at just 11 years old.

The problem arises when it comes to public performing. Of course she wants to perform with our troupe at community fairs and public concerts - and she's one of our best dancers, so of course we love having her there! But let's face it, it's very hard to belly dance without moving your hips in a suggestive way, and even though she's modestly covered, I can't help worrying about old men perving on this pubescent girl.

She's completely unaware of any sexuality behind her moves at this point,but there are dirty old men who would be all too aware.