the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Support Your Local Male Belly Dancer

A couple of months ago, there was a meme going around titled “What I Believe.”  It was cool to read about your strongly-held beliefs.  I wanted to participate, but I didn’t, and I remember that it bothered me that I couldn’t come up with a list of beliefs.  I’m pretty wishy-washy.  Sophia always makes fun of me, saying that whenever someone opposes something I say on my blog, I immediately run to apologize in my comments.

I’m working on this in therapy.   So, be prepared for me to be more stubborn and obnoxious as I get healthier. 

Today, I’ve come one step closer. I surprised myself. I am close to coming up with a strong Belief #1.  I’m not sure how to phrase this belief yet, but I think it has something to do with wanting opportunities open to as many people as possible — even if it goes against the norm of the day.   That Pete Seeger documentary on PBS reminded me of all the hard struggles of the civil rights movement, as well as those of women and gays fighting to be accepted as equals. (see yesterday’s post)

Isn’t that a belief?

Anyway, let’s change the subject completely for a sec —

Tonight I was feeling a little frisky, so I went on YouTube to find something that might catch my eye.  I’m not a connoisseur of plain ol’ pornography, which I’ve always found boring.  Who wants to watch another couple have sex?  It’s like watching another person enjoying an ice cream cone.   What do you get out of it?  No, my stimulation is something more like watching a woman shaking her stuff while belly dancing!  Now, as I was exploring, I accidentally stumbled across the videos of Tito Seif, Egypt’s most famous male belly dancer.  I became totally distracted from my original salacious goal.   I was totally intrigued.   I had no idea that men belly danced!   In Wikipedia, I discovered that male belly dancing is controversial in many traditional circles, where it is considered a female art, but some men are pushing the boundaries.

Are you seeing how these two extraneous topics are going to tie together — What I Believe In and male belly dancing?   I believe in opening up opportunities.   If men want to belly dance, I say GO FOR IT!   Why should women have all the fun! Why shouldn’t a man be able to woo a bunch of women with the shaking of his hips? I hope you will join me in supporting male belly dancers around the world.

Check out the video that I embedded on top.  I think belly dancing looks fun, and it is probably very good exercise.  It looked pretty sexy, too. (Men, there is also a hot babe in the video, so stop complaining)


  1. Marge

    I was skeptical at first but that’s kinda hot. That guy doesn’t really do it for me but I can visualize someone else doing that. umm hmm!

    I agree that no one should be confined by “the norm”. So have you considered taking up belly dancing? Now that would challenge “the norm” for a good Jewish boy wouldn’t it?

  2. natalie

    ok…so i clicked on your blog crush button and nothing! i love heyjoe and thought that since you did too you might want to fix it. do you tell the blog crush that they are the blog crush for that day? i was just wondering. because i think you should. mainly because if i was anyone’s blogcrush i would want to know. you know? i bet you could get heyjoe to belly dance for you. i bet you could!

  3. di

    I just wandered by to catch up after some busy-ness and, ignoring all work piling up, here I am.

    I love your coffee shop, just btw. I feel like ordering a big coffee latte and settling down to listen and talk for a while but there’s 300 photographs needing processed and organised before 3pm. I guess that’s ‘a latte to go’.

  4. JChevais

    I read somewhere that belly dancing was concocted to alleviate some of the headaches that go with having a uterus… menstral cramps, childbirth…

    If men want those miseries too, I’m sure us chicks would be willing to share… 😉

  5. nancypearlwannabe

    I’ve SEEN a male bellydancer! We had a Middle Eastern festival for my cousin’s 30th birthday and we hired a female and a male couple to come do their thing.

    I guess it was kind of sexy, in as much as guys with hips can be sexy… but more power to him for following his dancing dream.

  6. Dagny

    I too have seen male bellydancers previously. And actually, now that I think about it, I believe there was a guy in the bellydancing class I took years ago. From what I remember the teacher saying, men’s movements are not quite the same as women’s.

  7. Diane Mandy

    That’s really amazing. I’ve been to several belly dancing events and have never seen a male belly dancer. I admire his ability. Thinking I should be a natural because of my Greek genes, I actually took belly dancing classes. It was a great workout, but I wasn’t any good.

  8. Finn

    That’s hot. Really hot. But I was hoping for sexier outfits.

  9. Finn

    Oh, and would you come and visit me already? I don’t want to get all Jewish mother on your ass…

  10. churlita

    Male belly dancing is something I could totally get behind…Or in front of…Or whatever.

  11. psychomom

    Neil! Breaking News…

    ABBA drummer found dead. I’m so sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I thought of you immediately.

  12. Marie

    I’m pretty wishy-washy myself. I like to call it “open-minded.” It always surprises me to realize when I actually do have a strong opinion about something, but that rarely happens.

  13. suburbancorrespondent

    I think you need something to do.

    Being open-minded does not necessarily mean you are wishy-washy. One can be militantly open-minded. I happen to be fiercely ecumenical. I love religions – all of ’em. Well, except any that would require me to throw myself on my husband’s burning funeral pyre – I would have to draw the line at that.

  14. Heidi

    Wow, he’s great! I’d happily support a male belly dancing movement. Heh.

  15. Karl

    That guy is NOT scoring with any chicks, I tell you.

  16. melanie

    OMG. you have finally found your calling. Your belief. Being controversial!!!

    see? you put it into action everyday babe. So when are the classes? I am so taking belly dancing classes with you Neilochka. Never hurts to be controversial, or fit in the middle.


  17. tiff

    One wonders what hthe magical belly-dancing hips could do in bed…

    Because that? is hot.

  18. Neil

    Karl — You are soooo wrong about him not scoring with the chicks.

    Psychomom — Thanks for telling me. Sad.

  19. Danny

    I have to admit that the male belly dancer in this videois WAY better than the woman.

  20. Rachelskirts

    Holy cow. I had no idea male belly dancing existed either, but I’m completely in awe after seeing that video. Amazing!

  21. Eran

    I am a male Middle Eastern dancer. I dance with Arabesque dance Company. We are the leading Middle Eastern Dance Company in Canada.

    We have both male and female dancers.

    Tito is my mentor and has visited Canada a few times. I have see Tito in Egypt a couple of times myself. As for Karls comment, Tito is married and has 2 wives. He doesn’t bat for the same team.

    Many of the male belly dancers are not gay. There are some male dancers who are and this shows because of their female like style. Tito is using authentic Middle Eastern dance style.

    Belly dancing is divrse and has many forms.

    It was the Europeans who turned Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) into this fictional Harem type idea only for females. True Middle Eastern dance isn’t just bra tops,tassels and chicks.

    Yes, men do belly dance and it is more common then most people think.

    As a male Middle Eastern dancer, not only do I do Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) I also do Raqs Baladi (Egyptian folk dance) and Tahtib (Egytpian martial arts dance).

    Thank you for posting a story on male belly dance.

  22. Eran

    To make things more interestiing, I was born to a Jewish Egyptian born mother and Israeli Jewish father.

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