Am I Too Old To Start Learning Bellydancing?
No matter what age you are, you're not too old to start to learn Bellydancing. You're never too young and you're never too old as far as I'm concerned.
With regards to going on to Bellydance professionally, that's a different story. In our youth-obsessed society, it's unlikely that you will be able to perform professionally if you're, say, 80 years old, no matter how good you are.
I won't put any specific age restrictions on this, but let's say that if you want to be a professional Bellydancer, you're better off starting younger than older.
Having said that, no matter what age you are, you'll certainly be able to do amateur performances at Bellydance festivals and at the haflas that Bellydancing schools hold. So if you have a passion for performing then I strongly encourage you - no matter what your age is - to dance at all the Bellydance festivals and haflas in your area.
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.