Dancer Amy Sultan: Egyptian society considers dancers to be sex workers… and their lives are now difficult


With the return of tourism to Egypt, nightclubs floating on the Nile have also returned to work, as belly dancing while seeing the Nile is the most attractive offer for tourists in Cairo, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.The Guardian explained that despite the happiness of the gradual return to work in night clubs for those who used to work in them, the workers have become afraid of the association of oriental dance in the minds of Egyptians with striptease, noting that life for dancers in Egypt is now more difficult than at any time in the past.

The Egyptian dancer, Amy Sultan, spoke with the Guardian, stressing that oriental dance in Egypt has become limited to night clubs and underground bars in an attempt to hide them away from society, noting that because of this, no Egyptian family will be able to stay up in any normal place and watch oriental dance shows. .

Amy is currently trying to launch a national campaign for the inclusion of Egyptian belly dancing in the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage; To change the wrong view in Egyptian society about dance.

Amy says: “Dancers are seen in conservative Egyptian society with a very stigmatized look, as many consider us sex workers and not artists, and we are even subjected to legal accountability when wearing dance suits that some consider decadent from their point of view. in her son’s joy, but she cannot encourage her daughter to be a dancer.”

Amy refused to call the term belly dancing, stressing that this term was used by the French colonists when they came to Egypt and enjoyed dancing, explaining that the correct name that the world should know by it is Egyptian dance, not oriental.

Amy is currently training young dancers to become professional dancers, and part of her training depends on learning the art of ballet, so that future dancers will become like the great Egyptian dancers, Naima Akef and Samia Gamal, because their dance style is the correct Egyptian dance style from Amy’s point of view.

The Guardian explains that linking belly dancing in Egypt with sexual activity has made life difficult for belly dancers, as any woman who becomes a dancer, her family stays away from her and often lives in unsafe properties, at the mercy of suspicious people trying to harass her.

Dance coach Ali Abdel-Fattah confirmed to the Guardian that the stigma that Egyptian society inflicts on oriental dance does not affect the rest of the other types of dance. Most of the students in his dance workshops, get the training without the knowledge of their families.

Because of the society’s view of the dancers, most of the dancers currently dancing in Egypt are not of Egyptian nationality, and the Brazilian dancer, Lordiana confirmed this information to the Guardian, saying, “There are not many dancers here, I am currently dancing in Sharm El Sheikh because they need dancers there, there are not enough of them”.

She added, “When an Egyptian woman works as a dancer, society thinks that she does so because she is an uneducated girl, and that her family is not a respectable family.

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