By day, she toils as a dedicated information professional...
by night, she shimmies to the music of the ney, dumbek, and oud...
Our dedicated Info Pro spends her days in sensible footwear, assisting her clients with a multiplicity of information needs. Cataloging books, searching online databases, fixing printer jams, teaching people how to use indices, and explaining why everything knowable is not yet on the Internet are among her many tasks.
But man -- and woman -- do not live by information alone. At night, our gal trades her Birkenstocks for beads and serves her adoring public's entertainment needs with the music and dance of the Middle East.
Stereotypes abound regarding both of the Bellydancing Librarian's professions. Our heroine does not, you will notice, wear her hair in a bun; indeed, she has never met a librarian who does so! And why, she wonders, do people think it a compliment to remark, upon learning her profession, "But you don't LOOK like a librarian!" In actuality, librarians run the fashion gamut, from power suits with Italian shoes to hippie skirts with Birkenstocks to bright blue dreadlocks with multiple facial piercings.
Most librarians are fierce defenders of Free Speech and the First Amendment. We do not spend our days shushing people and dusting books! Public librarians toil to provide free information access to all citizens in the most democratic of institutions. Medical librarians provide physicians with information that may save lives, while corporate librarians help their companies' bottom line by providing competitive intelligence to marketing executives and R&D.
Bellydance -- more properly known as Raks Sharki -- suffers from stereotypes of the opposite sort. It has nothing to do with stripping, entertaining the sheik in the harem, etc. It is descended from the folk dances of Middle East, where it is done by both men and women. The two-piece bra and belt, "I Dream of Jeannie" outfit you may think of as "traditional" costuming did not originate in the Middle East -- the idea was borrowed from Hollywood movies! Those of us who are in love with this dance don't do it to titillate men but because we find it a strong, powerful, and joyous artistic expression.
I was inspired to create this page because I have met SO many Bellydancing Librarians that we could create our own interest group at ALA! What is it about this combination? For me, it provides a balance between left brain/rational/cerebral pursuits and right brain/artistic/physical enjoyment.
If YOU are a Bellydancing Librarian and would like to contribute to this site, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me photos, stories, the URL of your Website, etc. and I will include them; check out the latest additions to the Gallery of Bellydancing Librarians! C'mon, don't be shy, I know you want to join us!
The Bellydancing Librarian is also available for performances. (But I ain't cheap!)
We're also becoming quite popular around the 'Net:
Visit some other fabulous, stereotype-smashing librarians:
...and learn about Raks Sharki:
And check out what Eris is up to these days BESIDES dancing!
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|Last updated November 31, 2003||
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