Every so often I take a step back and much to my dismay I have to admit that no matter how ‘positive’, enthusiastic, inspiring the belly dance industry as a whole in SA appears to be, when you start looking at the parts you get a very different and ‘ugly’ [for the lack of a better word] picture. Every studio, all teachers and for the most part all students will promote this authentic dance form, their studio and their ‘brand’. In and amongst the industry few will promote other studios, dancers and their capabilities for the ‘love of the dance’.
There is a certain level of co-operation between the different parts that make this industry a potentially great one, but it would seem that when it comes down to basic accountability and providing service towards each other, it lacks commitment and integrity.
Some are eager to entice others to support their ideas, initiatives, product, and services but there are little to no interest in providing that same inspiration and services once the support was gained and used. Why do these parts within this industry strive to ultimately do everything for their own benefit, when they, in fact, claim to do everything for the ‘love of the dance’? Why are they incapable of maintaining a consistent, reliable and honest relationship within this role? When in an industry that soo ‘loves the dance’ is as competitive as this local one, I am afraid this will ultimately be to the detriment of the dance. The industry as it is at the moment has a lot of growing up to do, the amateurish way that business is done, service is given, industrial espionage is done is to say the least heartbreaking and very sad.
Show me a dancer with a passion that would want to stay in an environment filled with jealousy, unethical behavior, and power trips?
As one of the smaller parts within the industry, I urge all the other parts to think of the amazing opportunity and prospects we can create by supporting one another in an ethical manner. The main focus must be to build an industry that’s reputation is one to be proud of, our passion for this dance form when put together to form a synergy can potentially grow and develop a reputation within the South African community that will not only increase the awareness but the substance of this art form.
Let us start to look at the bigger picture – we can all benefit from this.