It’s been just over a year, and this is finally going to see the light of day. For me, this may not be easy to write, as I am not one for conflict. I generally steer away from conflict or potential aggressors as I have been a victim of these types of people most of my life, and yes, even within the metaphysical community. I’m sure a lot of you have too, but I won’t allow this to squelch the fire that is within me. I have decided to put this last ghost to bed and move on, however that may be. I know, this may sound dramatic – and there are many more pressing issues in this world today, but as a dancer, an instructor, and someone who people ask “when are you going to teach this again?”, or “why don’t you teach it here”, it is sometimes painful to tell them I can’t, for fear of having a civil lawsuit filed against me. Special note: I have chosen to keep the “other establishment” nameless, to protect those who are not involved.
This is not meant to slander, but only to explain as best I can – why I have not been able to teach this dance as a regular class since leaving my prior establishment, and not being able to provide a requested service to others at that time.
This contentious issue was “The Witch Dance”.
It is not copyrighted. It is not patented.
There it is. The ugly truth of it. Something someone has “laid claim” to that is not copyrighted, patented, or otherwise legally “theirs”.
It is like saying I cannot teach the “Macarena”- you know, that dance from the 90’s that Everyone Was Doing, and at almost every wedding? Who knows, maybe the Witch Dance will also be a Wedding Favourite, like the Slosh, or Monster Mash (depends on the wedding, I suppose).-find the logic in this one…
If I teach The Witch Dance, this establishment will file a civil lawsuit against me, and any other establishment who teaches it in our area, as per their email to my lawyer. I feel sad for anyone who decides to leave that establishment for whatever reason and try to take their talents anywhere else for a little revenue for themselves or their families. Unfortunately, this establishment is another within the Metaphysical Community I am part of.
Their way of “getting around it” is their claim that they are the ones who “pioneered this dance in …….. Region” – but there have been smaller groups doing it prior to this within the area, as this dance went viral on YouTube. The original creators then made a video for all to learn it, dance it, and share the experience within their pagan/witchy communities. The link to their tutorial is here: https://youtu.be/vMsEU8P4fKs
It’s not like it will take thousands of dollars of revenue away from that other establishment. I haven’t made a penny off of teaching The Witch Dance since leaving them almost a year ago. In truth, I only taught it in two workshops purely for charity with 100% going towards that charity, or for another event that I did not take a penny for. Yes – I taught/danced these for free, with a couple ladies who joined me.
By the way, my Besom (broom) has not yet required a repair or fix-up, and stands proudly inside my home at my front porch.
Over this past year I have been asked by those in our Pagan/Metaphysical Community if I can teach it at my new place. I have been getting so much support from the new place, and I have grown so much since leaving the other one. I was only asked because they weren’t comfortable at the other place, and they love my style of instruction.
In my experiences, each shop is different – each with something to offer their clientele. And we shouldn’t have to worry about “competition”. That is the old energy, the old dimensional way of thinking. The new Energy says there IS enough to go around! And no one should feel obligated or “coerced” into taking a course/purchasing a product from only one source, being fed that they are the only authentic source around. This kind of thing is toxic, and of the old energy, and it needs to stop. Yes, I said it. It needs to stop. I am not a “wannabe”, or a “hobbyist”. I am real.
I totally get that. Vibes are different. People are different. Resonances are different. Not everyone is going to like that place or this place, this instructor or that instructor, just because they are all within our Metaphysical or Pagan Communities.
Constantly having that unnecessary and illogical “lawsuit beast” hanging over your shoulder has made me feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Because of that, I decided to do some inner work on myself during the pandemic by training for my Chakradance License. In doing so, I experienced some deep transformation and healing. This has confirmed my long-standing desire to teach this, so once I received my license, I began classes and workshops once we were able to in our area. I joyfully announced my new license as well as my upcoming Chakradance classes on Facebook. And yes, shortly afterwards –that “other establishment” is having their own version of this class. Do I go to my lawyer and file a civil suit against them for teaching something similar/same that I worked so hard to get a license for? No. Did I check with the Founder of Chakradance that there are no copyright infringements being made? Yes – only to maintain the integrity that is the Chakradance Program. Chakra Bellydance is something entirely different than that of Chakradance. Chakradance is a healing moving meditation – with deep inner soul work being done within each Chakra. Here’s a link to Chakradance where you can also click on the “find a class near you” for classes in your area.
Because of the imposed restrictions for The Witch Dance, I was inspired to create a new class called “Witches Bellydance”. It is inspired by the dark fusion pagan bellydance style I’ve been performing with for over 10 years of my 14 years belly dance experience, and I’m excited to be sharing it within a class. Along with the ceremonial aspect and the honouring of the Gods, Goddesses, Elements, and Ancient and Modern Pagan Lore, it will have my own style of Fusion Bellydance. Within a week of announcing that class, the other establishment released their own version (yes – along with all the Pagan Deities). Now I figure it won’t matter what I do, there will always be imitation. Besides, isn’t imitation the best form of flattery? There will always be that wolf trying to block my path. Therefore, it concludes that not being “allowed” to teach The Witch Dance is ludicrous, and I will decide to do what I want to do, on my own terms. Heck, maybe it will be within the subject matter within my Witches Bellydance class, along with other dance pieces honouring the Pagan Witch?
In conclusion, 2020 has allowed me to do some deep inner work, and this has allowed me to face my shadow, and that is what this Open Letter is all about. Airing it out, no longer letting it stay inside me. And being gentle with myself. And I urge you to do the same, in whatever situation. Be gentle with yourself. Be true to yourself. Be kind. Be your own authentic powerful self.
-Be Your Own Light.
Shari. (Echoes of the Mother)