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"…slave dance, that form of dance, in its thousands of variations, in which a female may excitingly and beautifully, marvellously and fulfillingly, express the depths and profoundities of her nature. In such dance the woman moves as a female, and shows herself as a female, in all her excitingness and beauty. It is no wonder that women love such dance, in which dance they are so desirable and beautiful, in which dance they feel so free, so sexual, so much a slave." (Magicians of Gor, p.44)
Few other quotes better sum up the essence of slave dance. In simplest terms, slave dances are dances meant to be performed only by slaves. By definition, they are not meant to be done by free women. Free women are often prohibited from observing slave dances, especially the more erotic varieties. The primary reason for this is not that they might be offended but actually it is for their own protection. The observation of such dances may lead to the ignition of slave desires within the free woman. This might lead the free woman to place herself in situations where she could be enslaved. Yet, a number of Physicians tell free women to learn slave dance if they wish to get over being frigid. Even if they do learn such a dance, the dance of a kajira is still a thousand times more sensuous than a free woman.
There is an abundant variety of slave dances on Gor. They include such dances as these from the books including the belt dance, brand dance, capture dance, chain dance, display dance, hate dance, hunt dance, leash dance, love dances, love dance of the newly collared slave girl, mat dance, need dance, placatory dance, pole/post dance, rebellion dance, sa-eela dance, dance of the six thongs, submission dance, submission dance of the netted slave, tether dance, tile dance, dance of the Tuchuk Slave Girl, virgin dance, and the whip dance. This is by no means an exhaustive list and many of these dances are mentioned only briefly in the novels.
There is no or little standardization in slave dance. A dance can differ from city to city, paga tavern to paga tavern, and even slave to slave. Each girl, in her own way, brings to a dance her own personality, disposition, emotions, sensuality, and needs. A girl's body type will also affect her style and method of dance. The location of the dance, the time of day, and the number and type of observers will also affect the dance. A girl may even dance the same dance differently each time she performs it. For most dances, there are only certain basics that the dance will share in common with other dances of the same name.
It is said that: "In every female there is a dancer." (Mercenaries of Gor, p.60) Many Goreans believe that the ability to dance may be genetic within the female gender. They offer proof in the fact that the learning curve for a girl learning slave dance often follows an unusually sharp learning curve. This tends to supports that at least the rudiments of slave dance may be genetically coded. This might be a survival mechanism for women. The woman who can dance well and be the most pleasing will commonly be the one chosen. This genetic trait may be most prevalent in certain types of dances such as need and display dances where the survival mechanism would be the most evident.
Music is not even necessary for slave dancing. It can be performed by a girl who only hears music within her own mind. Dancing also need not be more than simply beautiful movement. A kajira was advised to: "Move as seductively and beautifully as you can, and as a slave, swaying, crawling, kneeling, rolling, supine, prone, begging, pleading, piteous, caressing, kissing, licking, rubbing against them." (Mercenaries of Gor, p.60). Floor movements are a type of dance where the girl cannot rise higher than a man's knees. "In few modalities is a woman's slavery made clearer or more manifest than when she must perform floor movement, than when she must, in effect, dance before men, never rising higher than her knees." (Kajira of Gor, p.288) Floor movements include such activities as turning, twisting, rolling, crawling, sometimes on hands and knees, sometimes on the stomach, sometimes kneeling, sitting, or lying, or half sitting, half lying, or half kneeling, half lying. The Turian knee walk is a specific type of floor movement that is not really described in the books. From its name we can surmise it involves much movement on your knees. A dance can also be extremely formal and structured, with clearly defined phases and a specific story that must be told.
Dancers get superb prices as slaves, some of the highest prices for any type of slave. Dancers may often cost an amount counted in gold tarns. There are even slavers who specialize in the renting, purchase and sale of dancers. In most paga taverns, dancers must be bargained for separately. They generally do not come with the cost of a cup of paga. Most taverns have a square of sand where their girls may dance. In general, a dancer is expected to satisfy whatever sexual urges her dancing arouses in her audience, especially in paga taverns. At times, a girl may even have to dance for her very life. A Master may command them to dance and if they are not sufficiently pleasing, then he might slay her. In actuality, the killing of a dancer is likely rare as they are very valuable property.
"The true dancing girl, who has a great aptitude for such matters, and years of experience, is a marvel to behold, for she seems always different, subtle and surprising. Some of these girls, interestingly, are not even particularly beautiful, though in the dance they become so. I expect a great deal has to do with the girl's sensitivity to her audience, with her experience in playing to, and interacting with, different audiences, teasing and delighting them in different ways, making them think they will be disappointed, or that she is poor, and then suddenly, by contrast, startling them, astonishing them and driving them wild with the madness of their desire for her. Such a girl, after a dance, may snatch up dozens of gold pieces from the sand, putting them in her silk, scurrying back to her master." (Assassin of Gor, p.91)
Some say that the dancing girls of Port Kar are the best dancers on Gor. A number of other cities make that same claim as well. It is obvious though that all cities produce excellent dancers and they are a valuable commodity.
It usually takes much training and practice for a kajira to become a good dancer. Every dancer hopes to one day be good enough "…to be permitted to dance before a Ubar." (Guardsman of Gor, p.234). Good dancers possess a myriad of body types. There is no figure that is any better for dance than another. Sometimes, it may take a certain master to bring out the dancer in a girl. Like all other skills, obviously a girl needs to consistently practice to become a good dancer. Kajirae should get a lot of practice in front of an audience. "It is good for them to get the practice, hearing and seeing men respond them them. That is the way to learn what truly pleases men. In the end, I say, it is men who teach women to dance." (Assassin of Gor, p.91)
Some Earth dances, such as belly dancing, are similar to Gorean dances. Other Earth dances are never seen on Gor. For example, carnival dances like bubble or fan dancing do not exist on Gor. Goreans would not consider them real dances but more like comedic teasing. Some Gorean dances, especially the story dances, do not exist on Earth.
Dancing may be done in the nude, with jewelry or even dancing silks. These silks are usually diaphanous and can be of any color. One common method of wearing the silks is to have them hung low on the girl's hips and fall to her ankles. The silks though can be worn in a myriad of ways, all dependent on the girl, the dance and the audience. Jewelry can be of any type but most likely would be bright, shiny and make noise. One dancer wore a belt of small denomination, threaded, overlapping coins. Slave bells are also very common on dancers. Most often, men will place slave bells on a girl and generally only one who has authority over the slave. The slave herself will rarely put them on. The bells are often placed on their ankles though they could also be placed on wrists, belts or other areas. Many slave girls know how to wear their bells to drive a man crazy with passion. Zills, finger cymbals, may also be worn by a dancer. They are worn on the thumb and first finger of each hand. The dancer will judiciously use the clashing of the tiny cymbals to enhance her dancing.
The dancing chain, also known as the dancing collar, is another tool sometimes used to enhance a girl's dancing. They are used often in the Tahari region. The basic dancing chain consists of a long, light chain. It attaches to a ring on a right manacle and then to a girl's collar. It then descends to a ring on her left manacle. The chain hangs down to around her knees. This chain is meant to enhance her dance, not to restrict it. It does impose subtle limits but those are intentional, indicative of the girl's bondage. A traditional chain in the Tahari is the oval and collar. To enter the chain, she will kneel, head down, in a large oval of chain. At the sides of the top of the oval are two wrist rings. At the sides of the bottom of the oval are two ankle rings. The oval will be pulled inward and the wrist and ankle rings fastened on the girl. A dancing collar is placed around her throat. The front of the collar has an open snap ring. The chain is then placed within the snap ring and locked into place. The wrists will now be about a yard apart and the ankles will be about eighteen inches apart.
Though all dances are different, varying even from girl to girl, there are some basics that are generally common to all. Dances may begin in a number of ways but a common starting position is to have your hands lifted over your head with the wrists back to back, your body held high and your stomach held in, with your right leg flexed and extended, only the toes touching the floor. Most dances also consist of a series of different phases. During these phases, the music may differ and the girl's movements and expressions may also differ. In a story dance, each phase is meant to signify a different segment of the story. There are also "book" dances and non-book dances. A book dance is simply a dance that was mentioned from the books. If you perform a book dance, you should get the basics of that dance down correctly. You have room for artistic license in these dances but you still must follow the basics or the dance is no longer a book dance. Not all of the book dances were described that well or even at all. But, I shall give information on many of these dances.
Belt dance: This dance was developed and made famous by Port Kar dancing girls. It is performed on love furs with a Warrior. It receives its name from the basic that the girl is not supposed to rise above the Warrior's belt. It is very important that the girl does not rise to her feet. This dance will likely include many floor movements as the girl is not on her feet. This dance has phases and in the later phases of this dance the girl acknowledges that she is the Warrior's and tries to please him. He will remain aloof from her and her efforts will get more desperate. At the climax of the dance, the girl will be on her knees. The Warrior will be at her side, holding her behind the small of the back. The kajira will bends backwards until her head touches the furs and then the Warrior will lower her to the floor. They will end the dance in a kiss.
Brand dance: This is a dance that is mentioned in the books but is never described. From its name, we can speculate that it is a story dance about a girl being branded. The beginning phases of the dance may concern the girl's fears about being branded. The middle phases will depict the actual branding and the latter phases will show the girl accepting and admiring her new brand.
Chain dance: This seems like it is a long dance with numerous phases. It begins with a robed and veiled woman, scared and nervous, trying to flee from some unknown pursuer. A Warrior will appear and will continually block her escape. Eventually, he will capture her, and will remove her robes and veil. She will plead desperately with him but to no avail. She will then kneel and submit to him. The Warrior will collar and chain her, using a Turian collar and a chain of about twenty feet. The girl will go out to the limit of the chain and will start to dance. At times, the Warrior will pull the chain toward him and then release the chain, though he will decrease the length of the chain. He will do this multiple times, each time signifying a different phase of the dance. Theses phases will show many different styles and emotions, from a savage dance filled with hatred to graceful and pleading. Other phases will be very slow, consisting of almost no movement except for the turning of a head or the movement of a hand. Even other phases will be defiant and swift, stately, simple, proud, and even piteous. The dance finally ends when all of the chain is gone. The Warrior will then kiss the slave and carry her off.
Hate/Rebellion dances: These dances are not described much though it is obvious they are meant to show certain emotions. They allow a girl to show hatred and rebellion toward their master but that is not how they will end. Each of these dances conclude with the ultimate surrender of the girl to her Master as his love slave. Like the command, "show rebellion," these can be cruel dances to make a girl dance.
Love dance of the Newly Collared Slave: There are many variations of this dance and most cities have their own version. The basic theme of this dance is that a girl dances with joy that she will soon lie in the arms of her strong master.
Mat dance: This is another dance that is not described much in the books. It is performed on a slave mat and consists of many floor movements.
Need dance: This dance usually proceeds in five, clearly defined phases. The phases are denoted by the music and the movements and expressions of the kajira. During the first phase, the girl will dance, feigning indifference to the presence of the men around her. In the second phase, as she has not yet been raped, she must subtly show her distress, uneasiness, and restlessness. She is beginning to become aware of her sexual urges and fights against them. At the conclusion of this phase, it must be evident that she has deep sexual needs and that she fears not being attractive enough to the men. During the third phase, in an almost ladylike fashion, she will admit defeat in her attempt to conceal her sexuality. She will then acknowledge before the men that she has sexual needs, inviting the men to claim her. She will also still show her fear over not being acceptable to the men. In the fourth phases, also called the Heat of the Collared She-Sleen, she will shamelessly dance her need and beg for sexual satisfaction. The final phase is also known as the Heat of the Slave Girl. This is a very dramatic phase where the girl clearly admits that she is a slave and pleads for her rape. The girl will rarely be on her feet during this phase. Obviously, if she is pleasing, she will be raped once the dance is completed.
Netted Slave Girl dance: This dance will begin with a number of slaves writhing in a net on the floor. There will be some girls dressed as slave hunters though they can clearly be seen as slaves. The "hunters" use light staffs, pretending to prod and torment the girls in the nets. Much skilled staff work may be involved. Near the finish of the dance, the "captives" will be proudly displayed. Then, upon the snap of a slave whip, the "hunters" will strip and join the captives. A larger net will then be used to cover all of the slaves.
Placatory dances: There are many varieties of these dances. The purpose of these dances is for a girl to beg forgiveness and ease the anger of her Master. She will endeavor to show her sincerity and desire to improve. Every trained slave learns some form of placatory dance during their training. Some of these dances have fixed forms, sanctioned by custom and tradition, such as the stately "Contrition Dance" of Turia. Most of these dances are "free" dances in which the slave improvises the moves. The dancer will adjust the dance to conform to the nature of the offense and the nature of her Master.
Pole or Post dance: There are many versions of this dance, some using a real pole while others use an imaginary pole. The dance may be done with one or more girls. They may be tied with bonds or not. The girl will dance around the pole, kissing, caressing, and licking the pole. If it is done without a pole, the girl will dance as if it does exist. A girl can achieve remarkable control around this imaginary pole. This dance can help show a girl how to address herself to a standing master. He can thus be treated like the pole.
Sa-eela dance: This is one of a number of dances that belongs to a group of dances called the Lure Dances of the Love-Starved Slave Girl. The common theme of this genre is the attempt of a neglected slave to get the attention of her Master. The Sa-eela is commonly done in the nude, with only a collar on. It is a moving, deeply rhythmic, and erotic dance, one of the most powerful of all the slave dances. It is performed differently in different cities. It consists of a number of different phases. During the display phase, a girl will call attention to all of the aspects of her beauty such as her hair, her legs, feet, hands, and more. It is basically a phase categorizing a girl's physical assets. In the final phases of the dance, the girl tries to arouse the interest of her master eventually placing herself at the mercy of her master. This is not the type of dance that would be performed in the presence of free women.
Six Thongs, Dance of the: In this dance, the girl wears a collar and locked rings on her wrists and ankles. The collar and rings are belled. Six men will then each fasten a length of binding fiber to her. One length will be fastened to the rings and two will be fastened to her waist. The men then stand by her side, three to a side, and about six to eight feet away. They each are holding an end of the binding fiber. The girl will then begin the dance as if she is unfettered. She will eventually begin moving and feel a minor restriction. She will frown, looking annoyed and puzzled at first. Her hair will also begin the dance pinned up. During the dance she will remove the pin and her hair will fall down. She will then find that she is not permitted to place her hair back with the pins. The girl eventually understands her plight and will try to resist. She may charge one of the men but the others will hold her back. Finally, the men take up all of the slack, bind the girl, lift her over their heads and display her bound body around the room.
Tether dance: This dance is similar in some ways to the dance of the six thongs and the pole dance. The girl is tethered to a slave stake. She may then either fight the tether or love it. The tether may confine her body or caress it. The girl may also incorporate the slave stake in her dance so it becomes similar to a pole dance as well.
Tile dance: This dance is usually performed on red tiles beneath the slave ring of a master's couch. The dancer is commonly chained to the slave ring. The dance is performed on the girl's back, stomach and sides. It signifies the restlessness and misery of a love-starved kajira. A premise of the dance is that the girl believes she is alone. She will moves and squirms in her need. The master will then supposedly surprise her and she will try to hide the torment of her need. She will fail at this and eventually surrenders her pride. She will finally writhe openly, begging him to touch her, to rape her.
Virgin dance: There are three basic categories of virgin dances. First, they refer to the types of dances fitting for a virgin. These dances would rarely be seen in a tavern. Second, they refer to any dance that displays a virgin who is soon to lose her virginity. Third, and most commonly, it refers to a "role" dance where a girl dances as if she was a virgin but knows she is soon to be ravished. This type of dance is rarely done by an actual virgin. It is not a story dance but is more an emotional or attitudinal piece.
Whip dance: There are numerous types of the whip dance, some with and some without music. In some forms, it is not even really a dance. A naked girl simply moves seductively around a room trying to entice the men present. The men may tell the girl to dance in a certain way. If she is not found pleasing, she will be whipped. When a man is sufficiently arouse, he will take the girl to his mat for his pleasure. After that, the girl will return to dancing for the rest of the men and it will continue until all the men are either pleased or decide to quit. In another form, an equal number of slaves dances for a group of men. The girls strip themselves to the strokes of the whips and then dance toward the men. A man who does want the girl dancing toward him will whip her back. He will also whip the girls who do not dance toward him until they do. It is also common for the slaves to circle the group five times so the men can inspect them. When a slave is sufficiently pleasing, she will stop dancing and then go to the man's furs.
There are also a number of dances that are specific to certain cities or cultures. Here are a few of these dances.
Ianda dance: On the island of Ianda, located north of Anango and close to the shore, girls learn how to dance using their hands and beads to form certain figures which have symbolic meaning. Some of these figures include a free woman, whip, yielding collared slave, thieving slave, terrified girl summoned before her master, girl meeting one with the plague, obedience and joy. It would be similar in some ways to the sign language of the Red Savages though beads are also used in this dance. Few girls outside of Ianda would know this form of dance.
Rence Girl dances: The Rencer Caste live in the swamps and marshes of the Vosk Delta. The dances of rence girls are unique on Gor. There is some savagery in their dances but also stately and stylized aspects. There are movements reminiscent of the casting of nets, poling of marsh craft, weaving rence or hunting gants. But, their dances all eventually become the dances of women who desire men. Even the shiest of girls will become quite wanton. In the Rencer community, it signals the end of childhood when a girl first dances. The dances are usually done in a circle at their occasional festivals. Only single women are permitted to dance and after the dance, they will pair off with the single men.
Tuchuk Slave Girl, dance of the: This dance is done by the slave girls of the Tuchuks, a tribe of the Wagon Peoples. Little description of this dance is given unfortunately. Most of these dances are performed at night, openly by firelight.
Panther Girl dances: During some nights, under the moons, panther girls dance naked and wildly, like slaves, inside a dancing circle. They usually dance when their suppressed womanhood becomes too painful. Each band will have a dancing circle near their camps. This is commonly a clearing of grass of twenty-five to thirty yards in diameter. At one side is a slave post, about five feet high and seven inches thick. There are two heavy metal rings in it, one ring two feet from the ground and the other three and a half feet. On the front, near the top, is a crude representation carved in the bark of opened slave bracelets. In the center of the circle are four heavy stakes, about six inches high, forming a small but ample square. The enslavement of males often take place in these circles as well.