#12

Most Common Belly Dance Questions


Q. Can I find resources on bellydance in the library?

A. Yes, a few.

However, public libraries across the country are underfunded and the media loan resources take a beating. Belly dance is best taught by video rather than by books, but you may find some good library resources on belly dance history and costumes. Copyright is often disrespected by library users, so libraries tends to expose the small, special interest vendor to loss from pirating. This is not an opportunity a struggling small business eagerly pursues. Sometimes you can lobby your library system to acquire the materials you are interested in, but if you plan to use a video for regular workouts or frequent instruction, it will probably be easier to buy it. You'll save yourself a lot of time and bother. And remember, your dolloars support the artist's work! Lord knows the government is not helping to support or promote art these days.

Another thought after talking to a few video producers:

Well meaning, but short-sighted, belly dance instructors and belly dance organizations have tried to set up video lending libraries as belly dance teaching resources. This has not served the professional dancer, who derives his or her livelihood from a lifetime dedication to learning and developing their dance, and then spends hard-earned money to produce video programs. After all this, a dancer, or a group of dancers, comes along and sets up a library offering the use of that programed material to the whole community for the cost of only one video or DVD. These librarys sometimes illegally rent the videos to students, adding even more insult to injury. Most home video programs are not licensed for this purpose and the practice is illegal. But the dancers themselves should realize they are furnishing the programs to other dancers who copy and study for free without offering compensation to the leading dance artists in this beloved industry. Belly dance organizations have a responsibility to support dance artists, otherwise they will destroy the very thing they profess to love.