Gossip & Belly Dance

Gossip & Belly Dance
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Say “No” to Gossip!

say no to gossip I know that gossip exists in many workplaces, but is there more in some fields then in others? Belly dance is a very personal art form or job; an instrumentalist makes music via an instrument but a dancer’s instrument IS their body. Therefore, are dancers more sensitive, more protected, and are some more prone to hurting others? Traditional desk jobs and the like, “create” outside of themselves. However, regardless of how prominent gossip is within the dance community, it’s here, unfortunately.

Over the years, I’ve had the unfortunate position of being the target of gossip by a particular person. It wasn’t a fun place to be. I had lost my best friend, someone I had at one time deeply cared about. It was for the best, but unfortunately it didn’t stop with a lost friendship. I became the target of her gossip and was in the middle of her obsession to turn people away from me and her attempts to ruin my reputation. I ignored it and tried not to take it personally, knowing it wasn’t true. Fortunately, most of the other working dancers knew me well and knew it to be untrue, which reflexed poorly on her. It eventually went away but I suspect she hasn’t stopped, as long as there’s a gullible ear who will listen. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt me. It did. I lost a friend due to the gossip. I didn’t think it was possible but I guess some people are truly convincing. It took a year or so, but my friend came back after having learned the true character of the gossiper and most likely, learning a huge lesson, “Don’t listen to gossip.”

So why write the article? Well the other day, a dancer made a comment on Facebook, publically ridiculing someone and naming them. Luckily, I don’t really know these people. However, then someone else commented (paraphrased),”How awful for that to have happened to you. I would be horrified if she did that to me.” I felt bad for the person on the other side of the gossip, and wondered, why would anyone believe this? How about the character of the person doing the gossip, and in public? Why did someone jump to their side without knowing both sides of the story and most likely, without knowing the other person? This is gossip!

I know we’ve all been told not to gossip and not to listen to it, but do we still listen?

Here are some helpful suggestions to keep in mind and things to say when you encounter gossip:

  • If someone is ridiculing someone in public, ask yourself why anyone would do such a thing! Avoid this person or bring it to their attention.
  • Don’t judge someone based on gossip.  Be your own person and get to know people before you judge.
  • If you’ve had only positive encounters with someone, then you have your answer.  Listen no more.
  • Say, “I don’t think it is appropriate to discuss X in this way. She isn’t here to give us her side of the story and it isn’t our place to be making up a story for her.”
  • Say, “To be really honest, I dislike hearing about another person in this way; it also makes me wonder if you talk about me like this when I’m not around.”
  • Say, “If we cannot speak positively about each other, let us not speak about another person at all.”
  • Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. ~Spanish Proverb
  • Keep private and confidential chats and matters PRIVATE.
  • Don’t confide in just anyone, you never know who is trustworthy and loyal and who is the big gossip.
  • If you’re the victim of gossip, the best thing to do is ignore it.  People will find their own way to the truth.
  • Just say “no” to gossip!

On a positive note, some of the best people I know are belly dancers. Many are warm, passionate and genuine people. Many of my best friends are other belly dancers.  Belly dance is a beautiful art form, honoring women of all shapes and sizes, and giving women a venue to express their femininity.  There’s room for us all.  Celebrate others’ successes and share their joy, keeping it positive.

For more info about the author, Mellilah, please visit: www.Mellilah.com

About Mellilah Jamal

Mellilah teaches belly dance classes in Redmond and Bothell and performs for private parties and restaurants throughout Seattle.

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