Monday, November 26, 2012

Putting a New Look on Belly Dance

Madame Lynette had a problem:  Despite her many efforts to advertise her studio, Madame Lynette's School of Belly Dance, it showed a downward trend in enrollments.  Let's face it: popular recreation and self-improvement classes undergo periodic waxings and wanings.  Remember découpage?  It's been only a rumor for a long time.  Likewise jazzercise classes.  Same for aerobic golf and free-form hopscotch aerobics-- all passé!

Clearly Lynette saw a problem was getting worse, so she consulted Dr. Snoodley from the Marketing Department at the nearby university which shall be unmentioned to preserve whatever shards of a reputation it had. Dr. Snoodley, lit up a forbidden pipe of tobacco or some other mind-altering forbidden substance, and listened to poor Lynette's plaintive account.

Finally, Professor Snoodley, after several drawn-out Midwestern sighs, declared, "It's clear that you must repackage your product.  Let's face it: dancing sexily is just so 1990!  We're now in the second decade of the 21st Century, the Post-sexual Era!  And, while wearing an exotic costume consisting of harem pants or veils and a rhinestone-studded bra with a beaded fringe may be fun and appeal to your narcissist students, your classes needs more than that.  Your approach is not old enough to be retro, but it's clearly on the way out!  You need some effective adjective grafting in your ads to provide your belly dancing approach with a new look!" 

Lynette mentioned that belly dance can serve as a non-impact, weight-bearing exercise and is therefore suitable for all ages  Perhaps, she suggested, her ads could stress belly dancing for fitness.  After all, it's a good exercise for developing firm, well-toned abs and can prevent osteoporosis in older people.  Belly dance moves are beneficial to the spine, as the shimmy and the full-body undulation moves lengthens through decompression and strengthens the entire column of spinal and abdominal muscles in a gentle way.

However, Snoodley indicated that there is a wide range of competing activities that claim, sometimes rightly, to have health benefits.  And, unfortunately, by emphasizing the health aspects, this subliminally signals to the audience that it is very demanding and not much fun, like calesthenics.

Professor Snoodley said, "No, you need some effective buzzwords.  Let's see now, what rings peoples' chimes nowadays?  New and improved?  An oldie from the 1970's, but your prime demographic might be unaware of that.  Feminist?  This is a really a stretch; but most people pay little attention to the meaning of buzzwords.  Holistic?  A very positive karma concept.  Now there's a word that is vague enough to promise outcomes that fit into whatever self-improvement goals they may be vaguely forming."


Professor Snoodley was on a roll now.  He began to channel the spirits of long-departed marketers.  "Let's see . . . . How about tantric as an adjective . . . . To harmonize the student's chakras?  That sounds so exotic and New Agey!"

[Actually, it is a Hindu concept, but neither comparative religion nor Mid-Eastern dances are extensively studied by marketing majors.]

"Your personal name . . . .It sounds so uncomprisingly Western . . . . Why not use a foreign-sounding nom de danse instead?  How about Madame Naomi or Ouida?  It sounds so mysterious, seductive, yet accessible and friendly?  I think these ideas might work."

So Lynette renamed her studio Madame Naomi's New and Improved  School of Holistic Feminist Tantric Belly Dance and Chakra Harmonizing.  It became instantly a hit among the trend-seekers in the discriminating market of Southern California. 





11 comments:

Dianne said...

it's all in the buzz words
life is a sound byte

free form hopscotch aerobics killed me!! priceless
I bet I could get a pack of crazed Moms to do it with their kids

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The Prof. got it wrong, it's in the costumes!

Kristen Lavransdrittsekkdatter said...

I do not understand why belly dance fanciers uniformly go in for those costumes that verge on being indecent!

John said...

It's all about the marketing...

Mike said...

"the Post-sexual Era"

WHAT?! Noooooooooooo.....

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The Post-sexual era: I'm glad we're behind the times.

TexWisGirl said...

ha ha.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I had a little fun with ad men and New Age concepts on this one.

Bilbo said...

I like the New Age thing, since Mike and I are dealing with Old Age. In any case, belly dancing is good for raising the blood pressure and heart rate ... of the observing men, anyhow.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Bilbo, would that make belly dancers a kind of health care provider? Maybe attending sessions could be included as a medicare benefit?

Bilbo said...

Angel, I hadn't thought of it that way, but it makes sense! I'll bet that an hour at a belly dance performance would be a lot cheaper than most prescription drugs!