Yousha Hussain, a 22-year-old Pakistani male belly dancer, defies societal norms and faces bullying for pursuing his passion in a country where dancing is taboo, especially for men.
Inspired by Indian dancer Eshan Hilal, his journey, marked by family opposition, highlights the physical and psychological challenges of belly dancing for men.
Despite initial hurdles, Hussain’s story becomes a symbol of resilience, breaking stereotypes and encouraging a more inclusive cultural perspective in Pakistan.
In a society where dancing and singing are often met with disapproval, Yousha Hussain, a 22-year-old Pakistani male belly dancer, challenging norms by pursuing his passion for belly dancing.
He says he is highly inspired by Indian belly dancer Eshan Hilal and is fuelled by a love for Hindi movies and Bollywood music. However, Hussain’s journey into the world of dance has not been without its challenges.
The Struggle of Being a Pakistani Male Belly Dancer in Pakistan
Hussain acknowledges the societal taboo associated with dancing in Pakistan, where conservative values prevail. Regardless of gender, becoming a dancer is frowned upon in the country, and the challenges multiply for a male dancer.
“People bullied me for following my heart and still frown upon me when they see my videos.”
In a country where traditional gender roles are deeply ingrained, the decision to pursue a career in dance is met with skepticism and resistance. Dancing is perceived as a big taboo, making it extremely difficult for individuals like Hussain to openly embrace it as a profession.
Family Opposition and Acceptance
Hussain’s journey was marked by familial opposition, particularly from his father, who initially disapproved of his son’s desire to become a dancer. In the conservative Pakistani society, the acceptance of dancing, especially for a man, is a complex and arduous process.
“It’s difficult in Pakistan, and belly dancing is difficult to pull of physically for a man as we do not have the same body structure as women. I have reached to this stage after a lot of practice and it has taken me over a decade!” Says Yousha Hussain.
Hussain faced initial lack of support from his family and relatives. However, as Hussain gained recognition by performing on TV shows, his father eventually relented, highlighting the power of talent and perseverance in challenging societal norms.
Breaking Stereotypes and Challenging Societal Norms
Yousha Hussain’s story is one of resilience and determination. By breaking stereotypes associated with gender and dance, he is not only pursuing his passion but also paving the way for others who aspire to challenge societal norms. The difficulties he faced shed light on the broader issue of cultural perceptions and the need for a more inclusive perspective on diverse forms of expression in Pakistan.
Yousha dreams of taking his art of belly dancing to an international level and represent Pakistan on a global level.
Yousha Hussain’s journey as a Pakistani male belly dancer exemplifies the challenges individuals face when pursuing unconventional passions in conservative societies. His story serves as an inspiration for breaking barriers, challenging societal norms, and encouraging a more accepting and diverse cultural landscape in Pakistan. As he continues to follow his passion, Yousha Hussain stands as a symbol of resilience against societal expectations, proving that talent knows no gender boundaries.