Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How old is too old??

Kind of a spin off to my previous "How young is too young?" post a few months ago....

Lately, I've been getting a lot of comments on my age - good comments, ones like: "Oh, I'm so happy you are young! The last bellydancer we had was really old!" or from a DJ: "Can I have your card? I am always getting requests for bellydancers but the only dancers I know of are so old!"

So, I have two questions: First, does the general public (GP) have a different perspective of what "old" is? When they think "bellydancer" do they think 20-something hot chick with perky boobs and a golden tan? Does the GP think that anything close to 40 is old? Because, I've got to tell you - I have yet to see a website of a 70 year old woman advertising herself for bellygrams. When I think "old", I think grandma-style. And while I, as a dancer, can appreciate that bellydancers get better with age, I am aware that the GP doesn't feel the same. But I am concerned that the label "old" means something totally different for me as it does for the GP.

Which leads me to my second question - will I know when I'm too old?? As I am about the leave the realm of the 20-somethings and embark on a new decade, I worry about "aging out" of this dance, which has also become a pretty lucrative career as well. I mean, I understand that no one wants an old lady dancing at Uncle Bob's birthday party, but will I still think I'm "young enough" when others think I'm past my prime? I don't want to turn into one of those dancers that people complain to me about - the dancer who thinks she's still "got it" when everyone else snickers behind her back.

What do you think? How old is too old, and when should a dancer hang up her bedleh?