Ramadan and bellydance! 
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Marhaba and Welcome to this month's Zameena bellydance newsletter, brought to you by Zara's Zouk. 

This month we have some great new kaftans and galabayas in stock which are at bargain prices so check them out! 

We also have a featured blog post from Zara Dance on RAMADAN and not just what Ramadan is but also what it means for BELLYDANCERS 

We hope you enjoy reading and please share and spread the word of this free magazine. 


Ramadan to dance or not to dance....

Zara Dance shares her blog exploring this Islamic holy month and looks at it from a bellydancer's point of view!  

What's Ramadan?
Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of the year. It goes by the luna month so it moves relative to our normal calendar each month by about 10 days and this year it is in JUNE.  During this time Muslims will fast during daylight hours; this means no food, drink ( yes this includes water),  sexual relations or lies. Also generally during the month a more reserved attitude is taken on –  people “behaving themselves”.


Why should bellydancers care? 
So why am I writing this article?? Your bellydance has nothing to do with Ramadan,  right? …. Hmmm well that could be right but it could also be wrong…


During Ramadan it is traditional, in Islamic countries such as Egypt, that bellydance performances in clubs and restaurants stop out of respect for the religious month. The acts are usually replaced with more “suitable” entertainment such as oud players and tanoura dancers.


Seek out workshop opportunities!
Western dancers who work in these countries often go home during Ramadan for a bit of a holiday and to teach workshops  - SO EXPECT TO BE spoilt for choice this month - EXPLOIT IT and take the opportunity to train with some of the world's top dancers. 


How does this effect us in the West - Does this mean less gigs?
Ramadan can have an effect on us bellydancers in the west... 
Well, if you work in an Arab restaurant or another culturally Islamic restaurant you may be asked not to dance.

And, think about it, even if your bosses aren’t religious themselves and haven't taken much thought towards it; does where you work cater for a large population of Muslims who could find it very rude that you are performing bellydance, their native dance, to them at a time when they are fasting and at a time when traditionally dance performances stop? If this is the case maybe not perform.
You may find you have a few less gigs during Ramadan. 

NOT JUST PROFESSIONAL DANCERS! Could your troupe performances also be effected?
This doesn't just go for professional dancers - all the above applies to students and troupes too. Especially as this Ramadan is during summer it may coincide with many a summer fete .... ask yourselves and the organisers if there is likely to be lots of people from the Middle Eastern Muslim community present. Try to see it through others' eyes. How would they feel seeing the performance at this time? Could you change your approach to limit the risk of culturally upsetting people? Maybe choose to do choreographies in a less traditional style, something that those from the Middle East might not associate with so much,  like Tribal or Fusion choreos ... Also think about the music, maybe pick alternatives to traditional Arabic music like a modern techno Arabic sounding song with no singing or a piece of Western music. Also, with costuming - why not consider a more Tribal or Romany look?

Find alternative gigs! 
If this is the case and you are down on gigs – fear not - there are lots of other alternatives to keep the gigs coming: maybe check out working in Greek restaurants? OR Turkish and Persian (they CAN be less â€œfussy” about Ramadan) or restaurants where the clientele aren’t Muslim even if the food is from an Arabic culture? 


Also, don’t forget a lot of money can be made up in the weekends that follow the end of Ramadan. At the end of Ramadan there is EID, a family based celebration. After this comes getting back to normal and there are a lot of parties and fun - a great time for gigs .........


SO get in there !


Don't not dance...
Remember, I am not saying don’t dance in Ramadan, just be be smart and respectful towards the cultures that the dance we do, is native to.  After all - without them we wouldn't have bellydance in the first place!! 

Consideration may lead to no changes at all but at least they have been looked at and respected. Bellydance is for everyone so let's share it harmoniously, sensitively and lovingly :D

Ramadan Kareem EVERYONE !!
May you have an amazing month!


Did you like the article above??
This is one of Zara's Blogs from a previous year. Why not check out some of Zara's other blog articles?  Not afraid to take on controversial subjects but always with a sense of fun and they are all written out of bellydance passion and love! 
other examples include: 
Is our Western/British RESPECT actually DISRESPECT?

What are you wasting your energy on ?!?!?
Kaftan Crazy for Ramadan
Whether for a beautiful Ramadan gift, for yourself to wear at a special event / Middle Eastern party, to dance and perform in or just a comfortable cover-up to laze around the house in over the summer months WE HAVE A KAFTAN FOR YOU AT GOOD PRICES - SO TAKE A PEEK!   
Come and spend an evening with Diana Mehira School of Dance and guests -  fantastic performances, some live music, costumes shopping  (ZARA'S ZOUK WILL BE THERE) and more. 

Licensed bar, car park at venue. 

Early Bird Tickets Available too!   Really hope to see you there!
Thank you for all your support!
Yours with shimmies
Zara and Sandra xx
Copyright © 2015 Zara's Zouk, All rights reserved.

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