One of the most amazing things about the annual belly dance festival Tribal Fest is the body art. The dancers at this event, if you were to line them up, would constitute one of the most amazing living works of art in the world. It certainly stands as the most epic display of body art, tattoos, piercings, henna, and adornments that I have ever seen. I think that this speaks to the role of individuation, personal expression, and the body as art in belly dance culture. That everyone is accepted and celebrated at this event is part of what makes it special. Dancers that may seem unusual or outside the norm in their daily lives are suddenly a part of the flock at Tribal Fest. And this is important. Having a place to authentically be oneself is a rare and precious thing in the modern western world, it promotes positive self esteem and empowerment, and provides dancers with a sense of acceptance and legitimacy that they can carry with them into the rest of their lives.
Dance on my inked boys and girls, dance on.
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