Show unfairly excluded belly dancing

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I applaud the work of the Greenbrier High School seniors who organized the Music for the Miller benefit concert, and I was very happy to be invited to participate. Organizers received my information well before the show date, and my belly dance company, the Eastern Star Dance Theatre, was looking forward to the event. Other belly dancers also were scheduled to audition.

On the day before the show, we were appalled to find out that the venue, West Acres Baptist Church, would not allow belly dancing.

Eastern Star has performed at First Friday, Arts in the Heart, the Westobou Festival Dance Series, and other cultural and artistic events in the CSRA. Our shows are tasteful, classy and family-friendly, and we have always been well-received.

Belly dancing is an ancient art form that has become increasingly popular in recent years, and deserves the same respect as any other dance style. Some people do have some unfortunate misconceptions about this dance and confuse it with stripping -- which it definitely is not -- or are uncomfortable with its ethnic origins. And if there were objections to belly dancing, why were we not told a month ago when we put in our applications?

The students even argued for our inclusion and complained about the last-minute notification, but the church was adamant in its refusal.

Because we supported the mission to save the Miller, several of us reconfigured our dances to participate, but this insult to our dance was very hurtful and diminished the joy we had felt about this endeavor.

Jezibell Anat

Augusta

(The writer is director of the Eastern Star Dance Theatre.)

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GGpap
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GGpap 01/14/10 - 04:36 am
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Jezibell, ALL pusillanimous

Jezibell, ALL pusillanimous prudes have great difficulty with beautiful bellies---of course, you know that now. ;-) GGpap

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 01/14/10 - 07:09 am
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Jezibell and belly dance,

Jezibell and belly dance, there is a joke there somewhere.

Brenda_G
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Brenda_G 01/14/10 - 07:48 am
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Bet they wouldn't have

Bet they wouldn't have allowed the Hula, either. You're right, OT.........and the joke is: The reason Baptist don't make love standing is because they're afraid someone will see them and think they're dancing.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 01/14/10 - 08:00 am
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Jezibell, I apologize for

Jezibell, I apologize for GGpap, he, too, is part of the deep redneck south. The rejection of your dancing by one of the local church groups is a perfect example of why a theocracy should be avoided. You must be new to Augusta. This type of action is almost a colloquialism for this town.

dashiel
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dashiel 01/14/10 - 08:20 am
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Maybe the organizers got a

Maybe the organizers got a belly full of belly dancing at Arts in the Heart. I have seen colonoscopies that were more entertaining.

GGpap
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GGpap 01/14/10 - 08:29 am
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JC, say again?

JC, say again?

grouse
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grouse 01/14/10 - 08:41 am
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What do you expect from
Unpublished

What do you expect from ultra-Conservative Columbia County?

bettyboop
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bettyboop 01/14/10 - 09:13 am
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Jezibel? Complaining about

Jezibel? Complaining about belly dancing?...LOL you can't make ths stuff up !

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 01/14/10 - 09:39 am
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To co-opt a phrase, "A

To co-opt a phrase, "A Baptist is someone who lives in fear that someone, somewhere might be enjoying life." Why would you be surprised they would ban an expression of joy like dance? The only dance they seem to approve of is parades; when the various schools have underage girls in skimpy outfits doing moves that earn dollars at a stripper pole. Grown women scare them, I should suppose.

constitutionnow
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constitutionnow 01/14/10 - 09:44 am
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Maybe it wasn't an issue of

Maybe it wasn't an issue of dancing but rather, an issue of exposed skin. Religious institutions have the right to exclude activities that don't fit their religious beliefs...we're still in America aren't we? By the way Jez, try walking around in one of those religiously tolerant Islamic countries with your face uncovered and let us know how that works out for ya!

3M3T1B
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3M3T1B 01/14/10 - 09:58 am
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And the douce of the day

And the douce of the day award goes to - drumroll please.............constitutionnow! The only constitution you could possibly be familiar with is the one you take in the morning.

billyjones1949
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billyjones1949 01/14/10 - 10:25 am
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What do you expect in a

What do you expect in a Baptist Church or any church except one with the same views as an islamic church. Not suprised at this. The church members do have the right to de3termine what is best for them and their children. Not that I am a prude.

grinder48
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grinder48 01/14/10 - 10:25 am
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good god, with everything
Unpublished

good god, with everything going on in the world, who cares! And oh by the way, there's not a darn thing wrong with a religious organization calling the shots on an event on their property.

GGpap
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GGpap 01/14/10 - 10:58 am
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billyjones and grinder, I'm

billyjones and grinder, I'm not going to second guess the article but I would guess that the Greenbrier HS students talked with the organizers of the Miller Benefit Concert about their planned presentation, and since the Eastern Star group had been "invited" to perform, I would also assume that their presentation had been approved. Someone "up the line" failed to let the Eastern Star group know well in advance that their presentation would not be acceptable. O.K., while I think it stinks, a TIMELY notice would have been appropriate. A last minute "shut out" was unforgiveable; and a typical pussilaneous, tail between the kegs, cop out

purplepassion123
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purplepassion123 01/14/10 - 11:26 am
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I am sickened that this

I am sickened that this letter was allowed. I read about this Jezibell a few months ago in that article in the AC about witches/wiccans. It made me sick to read about her then & now it makes me even sicker that such a freak like her would condemn the way she has. I think it was a blessing in disguise that she wasn't allowed to bring her wiccan/satanic perversion into a church atmosphere. Google this chick & see what you think about her then! Hypocrisy is one thing...but in this case, West Acres did the right thing!

aclemons
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aclemons 01/14/10 - 11:28 am
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Dancing is an abomination.

Dancing is an abomination. Also women who wear pants.

gibsoncowgirl
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gibsoncowgirl 01/14/10 - 11:40 am
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Has anyone forgotten this was

Has anyone forgotten this was a public school function? Why was the baptist church assisting in it's organization.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 01/14/10 - 11:43 am
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It should ahve been held at a

It should ahve been held at a Methodist Church. They allow dancing!

draksig
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draksig 01/14/10 - 11:51 am
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Purple... I haveno clue as to

Purple...
I haveno clue as to is Jezibell is a Wiccan or not, I did not read the article you speak of. However, I have known many Wiccans over the years and while I do not agree with their beliefs, they are not satanic Worshipers. I have also know a couple of satanic worshipers and there is a difference.

USA4Life
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USA4Life 01/14/10 - 11:59 am
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The truth has been stated

The truth has been stated many times and that is that the church, owned and operated by it's members, has the right to allow or deny what happens on their property. If the school wanted to insure no parties were denied an oportunity to perform they should have chosen a public venue such as the Columbia County Library's Theater. I supposed the School was trying to save Columbia County tax dollars by seeking a venue that would cost them little or no tax dollars. You get what you pay for!

purplepassion123
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purplepassion123 01/14/10 - 12:01 pm
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Westacres is a CHURCH

Westacres is a CHURCH dedicated to the glorification of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is the bottom line. I don't attend this church but as a Christian I know that the people who do surely had the best interest of their congregation and reputation at heart, especially for their young and impressionable children. Each person will be held responsible for their own choices. Its a shame that good people are being condemned for standing up for their beliefs.

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 01/14/10 - 12:10 pm
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Just googled Jezibell. She is

Just googled Jezibell. She is featured in a metro spirit article concerning Wiccan believes. She is apparently a high priestess. I'm all for anyone going after what they believe, educating themselves thoroughly, and living what they profess. So, kudos to you Jezibell. But, you might want to avoid the Baptist churches from now on. They won't change and you have to respect that.

jamesj
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jamesj 01/14/10 - 12:12 pm
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Jezibell was a term my

Jezibell was a term my Grandmother used to describe a girl who... would bellydance with the church crowd

montega12
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montega12 01/14/10 - 12:15 pm
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if your worried about exposed

if your worried about exposed skin i guess you havent taken a good look a cheerleader outfits these days i know strippers that wear more clothes

jamesj
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jamesj 01/14/10 - 12:25 pm
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montega12, You are right, and

montega12, You are right, and that is middle school and high school children.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 01/14/10 - 12:28 pm
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"Dancing is an abomination.

"Dancing is an abomination. Also women who wear pants" posted by aclemons;---I agree with you on the latter part of your comment. I have had a better time with women who have had no pants on at all.(sarcasm)

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/14/10 - 12:29 pm
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USA4Life, your point made at

USA4Life, your point made at 10:59am is so accurrate. Although I would say that the school should have notified Ms. Anat that there would be a problem with belly dancing at the church. Just so some of you know, dancing is not a sin. I do believe David danced before the Lord when they were moving the Art of the Covenant. He was glorifying the Lord, somehow I don't see bellydancing as glorifying the Lord. As USA stated the church is owned and operated by it's members. The church has by-laws that state what is and what is not allowed in the church. Our church allows nonmembers to marry in the church but no alcohol or dancing are premitted in the sanctuary or fellowship hall. Evidently this was a case of miscommunication but of course many will make it a judgemental issue with the church.

ustabe
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ustabe 01/14/10 - 01:08 pm
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Scary stuff from both sides

Scary stuff from both sides of this question. I don't know which is worse: right leaning rednecks or stiff necked Baptists.

missyaug
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missyaug 01/14/10 - 01:08 pm
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I think alot of people are

I think alot of people are really missing the point here. If the school contacted this group, and asked them to perform, then the fault lies with the school for choosing to have this performance at a venue that wouldnt be inclusive of all performers. Jezibell has a right to be angry and disappointed, I'm sure I would be too in her situation. She hasn't done anything wrong, and even stated that some performers adapted their routines to appease the church. But, the fault really lies with the school. Keep it up Jezibel, don't let all the people bad-mouthing you get you down, they only do it because it somehow makes them feel better about themselves!!

jamesj
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jamesj 01/14/10 - 02:14 pm
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missyaug, I think you are the

missyaug, I think you are the one really missing the point, Jezibell needs to lay blame at the school. She is laying blame at the Church. The Church is standing up for their belief, I stand up for mine and I hope you wont let anyone come in your house and shove something in your childrens face you dont want them to see.

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