Tribal stage names

topic posted Tue, February 6, 2007 - 4:22 PM by  Megan
I have a (probably dumb) question... why do tribal dancers (RB, Sharon Kihara, Kami liddle, etc) refrain from using stage names? I've always been curious.
posted by:
  • Unsu...
    I was wondering that too!! I'm intrigued to see the answers. Cabaret dancers always have stage names, but very few tribal gals seem to!
    • actually, there IS a tribal BDSS that uses a stage name.............but ya just can't tell from what she's using.
      (sorry, lips sealed)

      but it's a good question, and I would like the answer - IF anyone can claim to know the "why" of it.

      Conversely, I was at the first Maui intensive with Rachel Brice and out of nearly 80 students, I would say maybe half had "artist" names. Then one of my friends in L.A. started giving me "grief" about mine, saying that having one "wasn't tribal".

      anyhow, might be enlightening to hear some explanation.

      • I can go on a supposition ...

        Perhaps, it is the Safety in Numbers that yeilds itself to anonymity..
        Think about it.... In a glamourous solo setting... taking a stage name, allows you some annonymity from weirdos.
        In a Troupe setting, you have the safety of "Sisters of...... blah blah" (whatever the troupe name happens to be). So you become known as a whole, rather than individuals.

        However, all of us in my troupe have them.. But we aren't sticklers at being called by them either.
        • "Think about it.... In a glamourous solo setting... taking a stage name, allows you some annonymity from weirdos.
          In a Troupe setting, you have the safety of "Sisters of...... blah blah" (whatever the troupe name happens to be). So you become known as a whole, rather than individuals"

          Fajera...I love that, neat idea. Whether it's the reason or not, I love it!
      • Ooooo I know who it is! (Had to write a personal check...) But yer right, best not to spill the beans...

        I think it's totally up to the artist. I come from the world of classical music, so a stage name just never occurred to me. And when I found out that many belly dancers used them, I was a little confused. I can certainly see the function of such a thing.

        Maybe it helps you get into the "zone"? Maybe your name (like mine) is just not very sparkly or catchy? Maybe you have a professional alter ego during the day that you like to keep separate from your dancing?
        • Hehe, Ashley. That's exactly why I don't have a stage name. I was a classical musician first & I don't want people to separate my two performing personae... but then plenty of classical musicians have stage names, too... often to sound more exotic. Like Zara Nelsova was born Sarah Nelson!
          • Well. I just learned that porn name would be: Roscoe Homan. Hmm.

            As far as stage names, tribal or otherwise, I definitely have one. I didn't have any reason for choosing one other than the fact that I liked the idea of picking a name that I thought fit my personality. My name means (according to some translations) Loyal friend and serene. It's also really similar to the name Sophia, which I've always liked.
  • Unsu...
    They do well enough to afford protection ;-)

    Our group takes pseudonyms as an anti-creepo tactic. Plus, it's kinda fun.
  • Unsu...
    Personally I like to think of a stage name as an alter-ego- who I am on that stage may not be me normally! :) You take on a different persona.

    (Of course, I'm still a baby bellydancer, but still... if I ever do perform a solo, I'd definitely use a stage name.)
    • I'm with you on this. (Though I'm also an actor, so maybe that's why) but I took a dance name reasonably early in my career b/c I liked the idea of having a belly dance side.. Though it's pretty much taken up all of me now ;)
  • Quite some time ago I remember reading that the tradition of using a stage came grew out of the fact that, back in the day, it was not considered at all respectable to be a belly dancer so dancers took stage names to hide their true identity in order to protect themselves and their families. After reading this (dang! I wish I could remember where!) I made a conscious decision NOT to use a stage name, but to proudly use my own given name as a way of saying, "I'm proud of what I do and grateful to live in a time and place where I can do it openly and won't be persecuted for it." Just my personal decision, I can't speak for anyone else.
    • Hi peeps! So I started bellydancing originally with the Ottoman Trader's doing Renaissance Faires. My name was Aminah and I was from Yemen. hee hee. After performances at local faires, women would come up to me and ask me questions. How long? where? you know, the basics. I was in character, my name was Aminah. After a couple years of this, things started changing in my head. I didn't want women to know me as Aminah, or anything else. I wanted women to know me as Amy. I wanted them to know that they could pick up bellydance from wherever they are, being whoever they are. Time to stop pretending that it wasn't me up there. Cuz it was. All of it. I wanted to tell them that I wasn't born with a hip scarf on my ass and I wasn't born with a bellydance name. Just Amy, just dancing. and just my take.
      oh, and dance names are cool too!
      • My change was similar to Amy's. I was in the SCA, an I was Mahirimah. I used the name everywhere I did dance, though. After a while, I realized that this dance was a part of ME, the everyday real me, and not just something I put on like a coat or a bracelet. I wanted my real me to be connected with my dancing, and not a pretend me. So I went with my real name from then on.

        I know some women used to use stage names to protect them in various ways. The most popular being stalkers at the clubs. I think this is why it is still so much more common in the cabaret community, which performs at the ethnic nightclubs where that is a concern, than in the tribal community, where we don't worry so much with where we perform and tend to travel in packs.
      • I've always wanted a stage name but having lived with Julia for almost 37 year now....I can't seem to find a name that I look at and think "that is me".

        So, I'm sticking with my real name by default.

        Of course, by doing so no one will ever be able to say that I picked the name they were already using either.

        I can see both the reasons for choosing a stage name and the ones for not choosing a stage name.

        Since I'm not looking to become a household name...I suppose that if at some point a name jumps out at me that I always have the option later to adopt a stage name.
      • I love that (Amy's) way of thinking about the real-name vs. stage-name thing. Using my real name (which is kinda boring) makes dancing much more about what I think it is - an accessible, everyday art.

        I appreciate that there are some venues or styles of dance careers that could make it feel threatening to be known by one's real name, and that there are day-job employers who wouldn't understand bellydance, but - for me - I'm just at a point in life when I wouldn't dance in those places or do those day-jobs, cause that'd feel somehow less authentic to me.
    • Sharon said: "Quite some time ago I remember reading that the tradition of using a stage came grew out of the fact that, back in the day, it was not considered at all respectable to be a belly dancer so dancers took stage names to hide their true identity in order to protect themselves and their families. After reading this (dang! I wish I could remember where!) I made a conscious decision NOT to use a stage name, but to proudly use my own given name as a way of saying, "I'm proud of what I do and grateful to live in a time and place where I can do it openly and won't be persecuted for it.""

      LOL! That made me laugh. My real name is Salihah. I use it for dancing, too, since my name is Arabic...and because I get a kick out of it for the very same reason. Salihah means "pious" in Arabic and is supposed to reflect a very pious, discreet, and prudent Muslim woman. So I think using my name as my dance name is especially fun. It's my own joke of irony.

      Like Sharon said, "I'm proud of what I do and grateful to live in a time and place where I can do it openly and won't be persecuted for it."

      I am Muslim, but I don't reflect the rest of my name! And my family came to America so we could be who we want to be and I am proud of what I do and grateful for who I am.
  • i use a stage name simply for the fact i hate my real that an when i use it i feel very liderated i know that prolly doesn't make much sense.
    • no, it makes perfect sense. i adopted a new name (not just a stage name) a couple of years ago and it changed my whole life.
      • Unsu...
        My real name I hide due to living in the south, it's just too weird lol. Thanks to a typo on my birth certificate instead of Denise.... I'm legally Demise on my Dr.License, checks, CC's lol I have always been called Denise tho.. a stage name would just add to the confusion haha
        My hubby said I should start a travel business with that name heh Demise Travel.. who wants a ticket destination anyone? : P
    • This makes perfect sense. I hate my given name as well but I've never found a stage name that works for me. I've tried several. Oh well, maybe some day.
  • That's a good question...I wonder if Rachel had a stage name when she was doing cabaret? Probably not...

    Personally I'm not into the stage name's just not me. I like that the Holly onstage is the same Holly as offstage and vice versa. For me, it's all one identity.

    I'm not saying I don't think other people should use them, just that it's not my personal preference.
    • Unsu...
      I use my real name cuz it's so fricken' common, no one could ever find me ;-).

      I'd tell people if I picked a stage name, I'd get something more unusual!
      • Unsu...
        Shay - I was acutally hoping someone would say it becsuse I had no idea! :-)

        So Rachel's real name is not Rachel? Pretty interesting!
        • No, Rachel is Rachel. There's another dancer who chose a new name for herself, but I thought I read that she legally changed her name.
          • The other dancer in question changed her performance name mainly to keep her identity hidden from stalkers, etc. I don't think it's a "big secret" either, but revealing who it is might tip off a few people that may use the information in potentially harmful ways.

            It's a real situation, unfortunately. Let's not make it worse.
            • I've had a couple of different dance names and realized why they didn't seem right --- they weren't me! Only "Miki" has been with me through all the things that make me who I am. I still didn't want everyone to know my complete name, though, so I go by the nickname my family and everyone calls me with my last name abbreviated the way everyone around me treats it anyhow. My sweetie even says he doesn't mind if I am still known as Miki Bow after we marry. It's what he calls me, too.

              ANd I know whose name is differnt in BDSS of the tribal girls. I just can't remember what the REAL name is!
              • Unsu...
                Holly - I hope my post didn't sound like I planned on using this conversation in a malicious way? Im was just surprised, that's all.
                No biggie!
                • No!! Not you--sorry if it came off that way. I mean that she has already had to deal with harassment, and that it would help in a small way to not reveal who it is, in case the harasser--who may be trolling this tribe--decides to dig for more info.
    • Rachel did have a stage name, I think.... I think she mentioned that a while back... it was something like "Abir", maybe?
      • None of my troupe use stage names, , I think a couple of the girls used to but being tribal we just use the troupe name. We do a large number of shows and have a decent bunch of "regulars" (who we love to see) but most people get everyone confused anyway as four of our girls are similar height, weight and hair so they are always being mistaken for someone else, especially once we re in costume.
        I chose not to use a stage name because my former husband was a well known recording artist and I already knew so many people everywhere that it seemed kind of silly at the time to have everyone recognize me and think "that's not her name". Unfortunately it offers zero protection from weirdos and stalkers, you would be amazed at how easy it is to find anyone.
        Having had a crazy stalker myself and having to deal with more than one during my marriage, nothing is secret they can find anything in only a few minutes. Fortunatly we dont have much trouble as we have a lot of support from our drummers and partners.
        • I chose not to adopt a stage name because most of the ones in the belly dance community were Arabic words or names and I didn't want audience members thinking I was from North Africa or the Middle East. Not that there is anything whatsoever wrong about being from those areas, but I've never traveled there, I don't speak Arabic, and my style of dancing is definitely American belly dance. I was afraid that if people thought that I was Arabic that I would then be misrepresenting their culture in some way. I prefer for people to know that I am Kristina, from California, doing my dance my way, with respect for the cultures that belly dance comes from but not claiming to represent those cultures.

          No offense at all to dancers who have chosen to take on Arabic stage names. I also respect the desire to adopt a name to fit the stage persona, or to protect one's identity, or help slip into character. Many of the stage names that I've heard are beautiful! I also know that many belly dancers have taken the time to learn Arabic, travel to Egypt, Turkey, etc, and are far more equipped than I to represent aspects of the culture. This is just the thought process that I went through when deciding whether or not to take a stage name for belly dancing.

          Oh, and I was afraid it would just get confusing having two names!
          • I chose my dance name when I danced cabaret. I never changed it because I already knew people in the community and they knew me as Nari. I also like my stage name because it sounds like an everyday name to me, although not American. It's easy to spell and easy to pronounce. Nah-ree. Simple.
            Plus, I have had to deal with a couple of creepy guys in the past, so I like that they didn't have access to my real name. But I think whichever you prefer is fine. I'll call you Bob or Babalou. Makes no difference to me! ; )
          • Unsu...
            I chose my name from a book...

            I have no idea if it's even a real name or where it really came from, I don't THINK it's Middle Eastern...but it sounded exotic, and the so called "meaning" fit me well at the time I took it.

            Zatarra...supposedly means "driftwood", from the Counte of Monte Cristo. It was what the pirates named Edmund Dantes after he become one of them.

            I suppose though I could take on a Chinese I am half Chinese if I wanted to change my name, but since I don't perform anymore, it's not really moot. Yet. =) I hope to get back into performing after a couple of years of classes.
  • Unsu...
    Pepper is my given name, but most people assume it is a nickname. I have had to pull out my DL or just roll my eyes when people really didn't believe it. Whatevah. When I chose the name Poisonbelly, it was going to be troupe name, but as dancers came and went, I was the one who always remained. So now people just refer to me as Poisonbelly, although I think that is amusing. I didn't really need a stage name, but I got one anyway. My student troupe will have a name of their own, and I think that is rightly so. I think for protection or privacy and safety it is a fine idea. I have some young, YOUNG dancers in my group and sometimes I worry for them. Some times they get TOO much attention from certain people in the audience, enough to make me a little concerned about them using their real names.
    • For the record, I think Pepper is an awesome given name.
      It may have something to do with my love of all things containing capsaicin or peppercorns. :)
      • Unsu...
        LOL! Very sweet. Yeah, I love it as an adult, but as a kid it was AWFUL. Peppermint Patty, Pepperoni Pizza, Hey Pepper-Where's Salt???... you know, you can imagine. Childhood trauma aside, I think it suits me. And since my dad named me and he's no longer with me, I feel very proud to hold on to that piece of him.
  • I don't perform all that much, but I do have a stage name. (In fact, I just settled on one after using a different one for a short time.)

    Unfortunately, we still live in a world where there can be misconceptions about performers, and I'm a public school teacher without tenure. My district can dismiss me for anything they consider "conduct unbecoming"... and in the district where I teach, trust me, ANYTHING is possible.

    Sad but true.
    • I know what you mean Arani! I'm starting a new job with an organization that is run by the Catholic church. It may not be a big deal for them but by using a stage name it provides some barrier to my relationship to the organization. Granted, people will probably recognize me, but it may raise less eyebrows.

      Originally, I came up with my name as my moniker for writing on livejournal. Then at a student performance the emcee wanted to know what our stage names were and its what I blurted out. I asnwer to both my given name and my stage name and don't make a big deal about who calls me what.
      • Unsu...
        Hey, just digging through interesting topics and found a need to comment on this one. Sorry to bump it!

        Having been part of the online community for much longer than I've been learning to dance, there are a couple of handles that have rather stuck to me as they follow me around the Internet. One of them has been retired - Zaniah, which suited me for a while but was also the name I adopted when I first decided on a spirtiual path of a pagan nature, tended to be how I was found on pagan message boards and what have you. I've since decided that my other handle, Analae, is one I'm more in tune with, and who knows: it might become a stage name if ever I start performing (and I hope to). I think the fact that I've already got a web domain with it and am fairly recognizable online under that name (LiveJournal, message boards, email addresses, etc.) help the idea that it's just a synonym of myself that I can easily step in and out of. Besides, I like the name a lot. I've been using it on and off (mostly on) for over ten years now.

        On the other hand, some individuals will instead use their already-chosen alternate personas as their later internet handles, so I suppose it just makes sense. We live in a world where no one really has only one persona. I see the advantages on both sides of the coin - an author more often than not writes under his or her given name, and is indexed as such. How do you prefer to be indexed? Would it bother you to be known to the end of time under your stage name? Does it create mystique or confusion? On the other hand, does working without a stage name make you feel like your day-to-day life is limited by who you are publicly? What if you decided to change your legal name by marriage/divorce or otherwise? Would it affect your performance life?

        One of my teachers in the past was Halyma, who is here on Tribe, who produces her instructional DVDs (not Tribal, but awesome nonetheless) under that name - but I still think of her in my head by her given name. I don't find this confusing, and I think anyone who is interested in a person will certainly make the effort to learn their given name and connect with them on a personal level. To each their own, of course.
        • I connected with my first teacher by both her given name and her stage name. My most recent teacher, I have always called by her dance name and usually get a blank look for a moment when people refer to her by her given name. I just identified with her so long as this being of dance that I never called her anything but her stage name or "mom", since we were all her ducklings for so long. I hope my students can identify with me an a variety of levels. You bring up a very interesting point...
    • Unsu...
      I chose Obsidia as my stage name because it's dark and mysterious sounding and MUCH more intriguing than my real name (Tracey-see what I mean?)..

      and calling me Obi is much more fun....funny thing is my friends tend to call me Obi in everyday settings and I respond without thinking...

      which is all good...lmao
      • honestly, i'm tempted to pick a stage name since Rachel Brice is the first in everyone's minds when you hear "Rachel".

        (that said, i haven't actually picked one and started using it.)
        • I was at a Rachel Brice workshop retreat last summer and it seemed like everyone's name was Rachel. The organizer was Rachel, the assistant was Rachel, Rachel was Rachel, and there were a couple of others. We went around introducing ourselves and when it came to my turn I said, "My name is Sharon but I'm changing it to Rachel." I just wanted to feel included :-)
          • 'Course, there are some pretty awesome belly dancing Sharons out there (our moderatrix included), so maybe I'll just keep my own name after all.
            • LOL! That is why Is started using my nickname, Shay, a couple years back. Suddenly, after a lifetime of not knowing anyone but my grandmother who shared my name, tribe is positively overflowing with Sharons! I know of at least 4 who post with some regularity, so letting people call me Shay helps a lot!
      • Obi I have a similar situation. I chose my name because it has meaning to me (it is a Slovak name and my grandma was part slovak) and I liked how it sounded and how it seemed to suit me. I like being Zuza when I dance or am in that setting.

        The majority of the dancers in TNT (my dance troupe) have stage names also.

        I guess I never thought of it being non-tribal to have one. There are both cabaret and tribal dancers that use their real name - or at least a name that seems like it could be real vs. a stage persona.
    • Great point; some school districts are absolute asses about that kind of thing.

      I never chose a stage name, because my own name is A) unusual enough, and B) my job doesn't much care if I put funny costumes on the weekends sometime and dance. In fact, my company comptroller and her husband came and saw Ak-Ana dance at the Kimmel Center.
  • I don't only do tribal, the troupe I belong to does a lot of different styles, but I've decided not to use a stage name. My instructor tried to give me one, but I really couldn't get used to it. I don't perform solos very often, so I didn't hear it often enough to get used to it. Also, I live in a college town with about 85,000 residents. Pretty much every time I leave the house, I run into someone I know and if you've known me for more than four minutes, you know I bellydance. It just seems kind of pointless.

    The same people who come to our bellydance shows also see me at the Farmer's Market on the weekends, out at the bars on Saturday night and buying toilet paper at the supermarket. There's really no way to maintain any mystery.
    • Yeah, my cabaret instructor also wanted us to all have stage names. She had 2 reasons for it: to have a stage persona and for safety. So I went ahead and chose one. But now I'm thinking about getting rid of it. The problem is not only does my stage name not fit me, neither does my real name, lol. (Trudi? What was my mom thinking?)
      • Trudi - maybe a different stage name that suits you better? Doesn't necessarily need to be of Middle Eastern origin. Maybe something that reflects your background or just represents who you are?
        • I've definitely been thinking about getting a new stage name because Trudi definitely won't work.

          "Maybe something that reflects your background or just represents who you are?"
          Yeah, that is going to be the really hard part, lol.
          • You could be Trudi Scrumptious, which would be a play on the name Truly Scrumptious, the character from "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang".

            Kinda burlesque-y but I've loved that name since I was little!
          • I like the name Trudi, actually! But if you don't, pick something that feels right for you. :)
            • I tried to find a stage name, but none flet like me. I like my own name because I'm proud of my Irish heritage and proud of my name! If I did have a stage name, it probably woudn't be Middle-Eastern at all, probably another Irish name.
              • Heh.
                When I went looking for a cover up for shows, I didn't get a kaftan, I went for a flowing robe with Celtic knotwork around the edges, because it felt truer to the "tribe" I was actually from, and that I identified with the most.

                I like your name. And I haven't met a single other Fiona (much less a belly dancer) so you may be unique in that. :)
                • Arani- I'm a high school teacher, so I know how you feel. It was much worse in Dallas than it is now that I'm in Houston, though. In Dallas, I had to use my stage name, make my MySpace page private, and change my MySpace search name. It was a nightmare. And I was asked at one point by a higher-up to not let any students or parents know that I belly dance. Dumb. Really dumb.

                  Holly G- So funny you mentioned Chitty- Chitty , Bang-Bang and Truly Scumptious, because my man was playing that song this afternoon.
                  Who doesn't love them some CCBB? Classic!
                  And Trudi, I dig your name. But Truly Scrumptious is equally delicious. ; )
  • I've been wondering if I should use one at all--my real name (Katrina) is unusual enough in belly dancing, it's not like it gets confused with the dozens of other Katrinas out there (I just get the hurricane jokes...*sigh*). But there is the safety in seperating your performance life from the rest of your life (especially work)--I mean, if you have one creepy guy who wants to find you, their having your real name isn't really a good idea. Or if you have a potential employer looking up your name and they have some confused idea of what belly dancing is (i.e. hoochie coochie dance), you may not want that popping up on Google.

    I just don't feel particularly like a different persona when I'm dancing--it's a different aspect of me, sure, but a new name doesn't fit--they're all facets of me. Yeah, that's it--I'm multi-faceted, like a gem. It's not multiple personalities at all. ;p
  • I thought about taking a stage name for awhile, but I realized my real name already IS Near Eastern. ^_~ Convenient!

    Which tribal BDSS dancer uses a stage name? Now I'm curious!
    • How bout doing that game of finding your "porn star" name: First name is the name of your first pet, and your last name is the name of the street you grew up on:

      I've also heard using your middle name as your first name(but not many people have middle names) and the last name the street you grew up on: in that case mine is Leandra Pointsettia, but my husbands takes the cake: Glen Starling!
      • Oh no Sooz! I lLOVE THIS! My porn star name (using the pet's name as a first name) is Muffin LaSalle!

        (Well, it's either that or Muffin 213th, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, ya know?)
        • <Muffin 213th>

'd get people like me asking, "the 213th WHAT? Whatever it is, that's a LOT!"
          • Yeah, I would have been "Sasha 124th Street", if I took the first pet I really "knew" (was old enough to know), and my first street I lived on.

            But if I took the name of the first pet of my life and the first street with a name, I would be " 'Mama Kitty' Linden ". I always thought that sounded like some kind of big black soul singer. I love it. :)

            Secondly would be "Sasha Rose" (first pet and middle name). Pretty, classy.

            Miss Scarlet Rose is my burlesque name ( ), and I chose to use my middle name as part of it since I always loved my middle name and it fit. I have a backup stage name for another time, should I choose to change it... secret for now. :)
            • Mine so wouldn't work: First pet name and first street would be "Weird Glencrag." Yes, we had a tabby cat named Weird... We didn't exactly go for the classic pet names in my family. :)
      • Unsu...
        Holy cats, my name would be
        Midnight Joy Drive.

        • Unsu...
          Oh, and the husband?

          Bingo Guadalupe Circle.

          oh, wow...
          • Misty Horne

            I can hear the cheesy music now *bow chicka bow bow*
            • I would be Drew Stonecrest

              Hubby would be Trixie Carlson...bwahahahaha!
              • Unsu...

                Mine would be Prissy Alvin. Lovely.

                When folks go by just their first name, is that considered a stage name? For example I love my first name - Monica, but loathe my long-ass, impossible to spell, Germanic last name. I've thought about going by just my first name but then I have to think about Monica the R&B singer... of course I went by just 'Monica' long before she was out of grade school - I was paying homage to 'Madonna'. lol!
      • Pet + Street = "Shayna Dalton" for me (my poor daughter would be "Flipper Arleta"!)

        I am looking for a stage name, because I think "Stacy" just doesn't sound exotic enough - like wearing tennis shoes with my costume. It's comfortable, it's me - but it doesn't go with the whole outfit. Fortunately my SCA name "Chaiya" would probably work (it's a the Hebrew for "Life" or "Eve", though in Hindi it seems to mean "Shade" or the sound that ankle bangles make).

        - Stacy
    • Unsu...
      Samara is an awesome name!

      Funny, whenever I dance people ask me, "That's an awesome stage name, what's your real name?"
      Tushara IS my real name!

  • I have a stage name but often don't use it lol. I really like my name Maya Kali, but I sometimes forget to introduce myself to students as Maya. I'd really like to change it to maya but don't want to spend the money doing so. But at the same time, I sometimes feel weird having people call me by Maya when half hte people that know me call me by my real name. Perhaps I should just start introducing myself as Maya anyway. Lol!

    I have a stage name not really for anonymity but because I like the name and Maya is more ME than Carrie is. I like the simplicity of the name, but the slight exoticness of it too. It's pronouncible but slightly different. Yet doesn't seem melodramatic.
  • Every time this subject comes up I'm reminded of a funny thing that happened to me at Tribal Fest last year.

    My real name is Layla, and yes this is the only community (besides Arab-community gatherings I've attended) where "Layla" is a somewhat common _stage_ name.

    So last year at Tribal Fest I go up to Kajira who I have only chatted with on the phone and introduce myself, "Hi I'm Layla" and she gives me a look like "which one" so I say, "you know DJ Layla..."

    "Ohhh! DJ Layla!"

    So I guess my stage name is "DJ Layla" and I'll galdly stick to it!
    • Unsu...
      Basically it came down to this: Cat is my real, actual name (obviously short for my full, "baptized" name), though often people think it's my SCA name or something I made up, sigh (my SCA name is Caterina). When I was a little Gothling in the mid to late 80's, there was only, like, ONE other Cat in the scene so it was totally cool. Fast forward into the 90's and beyond, and there are a million bazillion Cats/ Kats in the alternative/ goth/ bellydance/ SCA/ most any other scene I'm in. I didn't want it to be a thing of "Which Cat? Cat who?" so I chose a name that totally rocked my chakras and had a lot of personal meaning for me -- me and pomegranates, it's a big thing. And I dig the way it sounds, and there's only one of me that I know of...

      I *love* my real name, Cat, as well as Cathryn/ Caterina/ Cate any other form of my name that various people call me, I just didn't like the idea of being one kittycat in a pride of hundreds. That, and I can be super paranoid. :-D
      • Oog. Tell me about it--my real name is Katrina, which got shortened to Kat...which was great for a while (because apparently the full version is too long for people to get right as it is), until I got more into the goth/geek/SCA scenes, and realized there were lots of people who used Cat/Kat even if wasn't a direct derivation of their given name.
        Got confusing.
        But try reclaiming your full name after a decade of going by a nickname, and you'll discover that even people you didn't tell your nickname to seem to naturally default to it...
  • I have been curious too! Since I don't do just tribal ( still deciding who I am in this dance, so I do a bunch of styles), I don't know any sort of answer to that. I completely made up my stage name, but people still think it's real, and ask me what it means ect ect ect.. I think that there is a link between the fact you see many more tribal troupes than cabaret troupes, or at least, I do. Generally, it seems cabaret dancers take classes for awhile, then go on to be soloists, whereas a lot of tribal dancers tend to stick working with troupes, which may be of some effect. I dunno. Just an observation.
    • Hey all !

      So Kajira Djoumahna of Black Sheep Belly Dance isn't her real name and she's strictly "Tribal" !

      I use my Czech childhood nick-name " Barushka " and I'm Tribal with a fusion flare !
      it’s a mix of 2 words: Berushka (ladybug) + and Barbara = Barushka.
      I'm sure there are more ladies !

      xo ~ b
      • I've been wondering about this as well. I'm getting more into teaching and performing in my area, and I need a name. I've been Wildcat for as long as I can remember. My father gave it to me as a SCA associated name when I was a little kid, and everyone calls me WIldcat. I love my name, and it really is a part of me, but it doesn't lend itself well to dancing, and is too obvious a nickname. My real name is kind of boring for dancing - Laura Little. The upside is that everyone rememebers it, but doesn't provide any mystery whatsoever. I have looked through Arabic names, but none of them really suit me. I was thinking of just going by Cat - which oddly enough after 25 years someone just started calling me that - but that is also a pretty common dancing name.

        If I did use Cat, I would want a last name too. Should I just use my last name for ease of memory and be Cat Little? Should I take my grandmother's name and be Cat Moody? Should I go for something completely different? I need help!
        • What about Turkish or Indian influences?

          The Turkish word for cat is Kedi, and for Little it's kuchuk (closest I can come with no umlauts or cedille on the c), or ufak.
  • I've had so many names that I've gone by. I don't really care much for my given name. It's not awful, it just doesn't really seem to fit me. Kaia was supposed to be an intermediate name while I searched for something else, but the last troupe I was in demanded that I keep it so they wouldn't get confused ;) No one can really pronounce it though, and I always cringe when they say Ki-ah or Kai-ah. It's actually Kai-ee-ah, the Japanese pronunciation.

    I never use my real name online and there is no where I can help it that my real name is used. For safety. I spent some time modeling and the last thing I wanted was someone being able to track me down. Not that anyone really cared to *smirk*
  • I've thought about having a dance name but the Sac bellydance scene is confusing enough with two Amy's who teach, real names, dance names, nik names, screen names. Plus I'm one of triplets who all go to the same studio. Dance names are cool but I won't add to the confusion by making up my own.
  • I don't have a stage name.
    I hate my real name, and I just don't think I'm creative enough to come up with something that sounds nice and really represents who I am well....So I'm just me.
    • Well, again, play on words!

      Heather is a type of plant, yes?

      Bitki is one of the Turkish words for plant. I think it's cute!

      Sorry, I don't have an Arabic dictionary handy, just my Turkish one...
      • I started out in primarily caberet circles and never chose or was pushed to choose a name. I thought about it, but really just felt silly about it. That and I fretted about running into someone with the same name, at least with my real one 'Hey its not my fault what my name is.' lol. My real name is fairly boring and definetly not 'exotic' sounding, but everyone knows me by it now so I figure why bother. Sometimes I think about it again when I see my name on programs among all the 'fancy' names. But I'll let it be. Now that I'm drifting into tribal territory I'm kinda glad less tribal gals pick names, my name fits in better with Heathers, Rachels, Sharons, and Kimmys than Basimahs, Zaphiras, and Odessas (no offense ment to anyone bearing such names, just using examples)
  • My name is Nicole...I keep on trying to think of a way to jazz it up a bit for stage. I've never been too attached to my name-but my family is. So I feel very strange changing it.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    • I don't have a stage name (only dance in a nursing home right now anyway) but I have considered coming up with one if when I eventually do Burlley. If I was to use the Porn name thing: Snowball Kopachuck Drive.

      I've gone through a few different names in my head but I think I'm going to stick with my first name.

      Some of the inspiration for a stage name: Star Trek; Doctor Who, Tolkein, The Poges, Tibetan Buddhism, etc.
      • I don't have a stage name because I'd feel like I was creating some kind of alter ego (Holy Pantaloons, Batman!), like Sharon said, and it's still just me on a stage in different clothes. Plus, my real name is OK. Maybe if it were Mary Jane, I'd want a stage name. I hope I haven't offended any Mary Janes out there!

        My porn name- Dolly Skycrest! Sounds like a saloon girl!
        • I've been thinking about adopting a stage name as well. Just because I have the most dull last name in the universe.
          I'm pretty okay with my first name though. "Drea" is a nickname, and it's not common (and spawns other fun nicknames like "Dr. Drea" and "dre dog").

          So I'm thinking maybe calling myself 'Drea Lamour'.
          It's very old Hollywood.
          I can't take an Arabic name, because I wouldn't feel right, it's not my culture.

          I was also thinking of taking my great-great-great gandmother's name: Safronia.

          What do you all think? Safronia or Drea Lamour?

          Oh, and my porn name is Vixen Cedar. Yes, my cat's name was Vixen.
  • A lot of people have mentioned having SCA names . . . When I left college and moved to a new state, the only people I knew in my new city were SCA people, so everyone called me by my SCA nick-name, Gia. Only my co-workers used my legal name. After a year, when I changed jobs I just asked my new boss to call me Gia. I continued to use the "Gia" even after I moved back to my home state, and eventually left the SCA.

    When I started working in the organic gardening industry, *everyone* had pseudonyms. Most of my co-workers were called Birch, Caribou, Forest, Star . . . until payday and then it was James, Carrie, Jenny, Star . . . :-) It was so easy just to use "Gia" there too.

    When my cousin and I shared a house, she said, "I can't call you Gia when I've known you for 27 years as Birth Name," but within three days she was calling me "Gia" and actually got confused when my Dad called the house and asked for me by my birth name.

    My friends know my birth name, but my neighbors, landscaping clients, and other casual acquaintances all think that Gia is really my name. And, actually, by now, it is. I could do the paperwork to change it legally, but I really hate paperwork.

    When it comes time for me to dance on a stage, I think I'll just keep using Gia. It's an unusual enough name that there aren't any other Gias around, It's short and easy to pronounce, it's Who I Am, and really, I couldn't keep track of another pseudonym. I don't worry about stalkers because my legal name is still my legal name, the phone and address are listed under my husband's name, and I never bothered to take his last name. In fact, people that I *like* have a hard time finding me unless they already know my phone number . . . so I don't worry much about stalkers.

    BTW, my porn name would be either Freckles or Ginger Kiekbusch (pronounced Kick-Bush). Yuck!
  • I guess if I was performing regularly I'd definitely consider it, simply as Mary is so incredibly generic. I'm seriously thinking about dumping the marylittlegoth anyway, as I feel I've outgrown it. I had to think up a username in a hurry and so I've been marylittlegoth online pretty much everywhere for ten years or so (if you google it you only get me :o) ). I'm not worried about stalkers, with us running a goth club for ten years it wouldn't be at all difficult for anyone to track me down whatever I'd gone by.

    I've been wanting and intermittently trying to dump Mary itself for years (most of my life) but somehow never really get round to it. Mainly because of all the mickey taking, Christmas being particularly fun as a child.

    I do use other names online occasionally, I use Livia sometimes, if there are more than a few other Mary-type names on a particular site, which I also answer to as it was a long standing roleplay character I've played off and on for a few years, and occasionally I use Magdalen. I'm not sure what I'd change it to. According to my nans, we're pretty much completely English (I'm the only person I know with no discernible Celtic ancestry) with a bit of Eastern European gypsy/traveller (probably Roma).

    I've never managed to make any new name or tag stick though, mainly as I have a large personality so tend to stick in people's memories!
    • When I danced with a troupe and was still in college I didn't ever think about having a stage name. Now that I dance primarily solo in my area and I have a career (outside of bellydance, shock!), that tends to be very conservative (I'm a civil/environmental engineer) - I've adopted a stage name because I prefer to keep the two separate.
      • using the mother's maiden name theory...

        Axl Clark.

        I think I like it :3 Dance for me has been so much out side of the SCA, more people know me by "Tricia" the dancer, than "Yseult" [Yseult is me as a heavy fighter, while I was one...since that's where I used the name mostly] I thought about using my SCA name as my dance name, but because I was so much of a mudane-life didn't seem right. I am more myself when I dance then anywhere else really, and I want people to remember me, not a character. That being said, it's pretty easy...there arn't a whole load of Tricias/Patricias out there...but Axl Clark is just damn sexy if I do say so myself :], I might have to start using that one.
  • Unsu...
    Another 2c in the fountain...

    My name, my whole life, has been Katie. Through elementary school, there were 4 of us who came up together; I can't count how many Katies went to my middle and high schools, and even though I was in a couple fairly small programs for college and grad school, there were *always* other Katies. When I got into the SCA and Belegarth, I jumped at the chance to change my name, if only to *finally* be the only one to respond when that name was called. Of course, I found out that there was also a pizza place called "Tobin" in town, but whatever. I'm so much cooler than they are.

    When I started dancing, I decided that "Katie" simply didn't really fit with coin bras, tassel belts, and zils. My teacher, who is also a professor at the local U, goes only by her "stage name" while doing anything concerned with dancing, so when we did our first student showcase, she asked (fairly suggestively) if anyone wanted to pick a "stage name". "Namir" doesn't really mean anything, so far as I've been able to find out, and it sounds either Middle Eastern or Irish, both of which I'm fine with; I just like the sound of it.

    Don't know why I didn't sign onto Tribe as Namir or Tobin, though....

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